Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chris Cawthray Trio Recap

Chris Cawthray (l) and Glen Hall

A lucky few patrons of The Spill had a unique opportunity to witness the improvisational prowess of a hell of a good band on Saturday afternoon. Peterborough isn't yet a jazz town, but if more people knew what they missed over the weekend, it just might turn out to be. (Did that make sense?). Over the course of about an hour, Chris Cawthray (d), Glen Hall (sax) and Simeon Abbott (keys) ran through a set that encompassed a Cawthray original, Steely Dan, Bob Dylan, Sonny Rollins, Beck, Rob Price and Wilco (I think Abbott's warm keys and Hall's inside --> out solo made their version of "Jesus, Etc." even more enjoyable than the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot original).

Full set list:

Hope Song (Chris Cawthray)
Mouse Game (Rob Price)
Showbiz Kids (Becker/Fagen)
Blessing in Disguise (Sonny Rollins)
Ballad of Hollis Brown (Dylan)
Paper Tiger (Beck)
Jesus, etc. (Wilco)
Untitled improvisation (Chris Cawthray Trio)

We at the IMC aren't licked yet, so pay close attention for news on upcoming shows in both Ottawa and Peterborough. (It is possible that that was our last matinee, though.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Your Final Reminder

Should be a good time tomorrow afternoon in Peterborough, with music supplied by Chris Cawthray, Simeon Abbott and Glen Hall. I'm also told, though I can't yet personally verify, that the evening act, a group known as Carpe Noctem, are worth your time as well. So consider clearing your schedule and joining us for a jazz day-night doubleheader.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Rotation: To Willie

What? To Willie by Phosphorescent, Matthew Houck's reverent ode to Willie Nelson, and therefore to plain old regret, doubt, the pain-muting qualities of various substances, and the fresh regret engendered thereby.

Why this? Why today? I can't fully explain it, but something about spring run-off invariably sends me scurrying for the comforts of country music and its off-shoots. Recent days have seen me cozying up to Neko Case and Merle Haggard, but this is the one that sticks, the CD that gets carried from the car to the house and back again. It stirs memories of pre-adolescence, when my dad would mumble along to Willie's albums (cassettes) and I'd try to figure out just what there was to be so damn sad about. Now I'm older, and I understand. So does Matthew Houck.

This was a test, in a way, this season. I mean, if in fact this is spring, because who the hell knows around here, but the sun's out, the snow's all but gone, and we're up to our armpits in mud. If we don't have a snowstorm in the next few weeks, we might even start to see shoots. But this is the first urban spring I've experienced in eight or nine years, and I wasn't sure it'd be the same. No flooded fields, no overflowing ditches, no gravel road turned into a mudpit. I wasn't sure I'd have the same musical impulses. Would I open the windows and bleat along with Gram Parsons the same as I used to? Happily, yes.

What's strange is the degree to which my two year-old daughter has taken to the record. Thing is her favourite song is "Reasons to Quit" (sample lyric: "...the coke and booze don't do me like before...") and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Marked Urgent

Boogie on over to CKCU post haste to catch my ninety-minute take on the history of Black Saint and Soul Note. It's impossible to fit it all into an hour and a half, of course, and unfair to even try, but I'm funny like that. If you can't make it there tonight (8:30-10:00 pm EST) I'll put up download information here once it's available. But with music by Billy Harper (that right up there is the very first release on Black Saint, from '75), the original Air, the World Saxophone Quartet, Jemeel Moondoc, the String Trio of New York and Mal Waldron -- among others! -- there's no reason to spend your Thursday night doing anything else. Am I right?