An article I was asked to write was published on London Jazz News today, check it out:
An article I was asked to write was published on London Jazz News today, check it out:
This past month saw a bunch of music getting going again - I had a livestream show with Garry Elliott playing Bill Evans compositions, and took part in the first performance this year at the National Arts Centre's 4th Stage with Kellylee Evans, the day after the downtown area was declared safe for business to resume.
On my Patreon I also uploaded a version of Oscar Peterson's "Place St Henri", and the Canadian Sunset trio performing "Moanin'" from a concert last year. We talked about the tune Moanin' in…Read more
I recently made a post over on my Patreon page letting everyone know about my upcoming shows with the Ottawa Jazz Festival, which is in large part local talent this year, which is very exciting to me.
The post is public for all to see and will give you an idea of what Patreon is like have a look:
There are a few other posts I recently made public so you can get more of an idea of what my posts look like.
I also have added all of the shows to my online events…Read more
Just a reminder that tonight (Thursday June 10) at 7:30PM I will be hosting a live show/presentation on my Zoom with drummer Jennie Seaborn. Similar to the previous duo concert with Scott Latham I will eventually post a recording here for my patrons afterwards. Here is the link to the event on facebook or you can go to my zoom room directly.
This Saturday for my 11AM group class I'm going to talk about Ran Blake's ear training for basic harmony and look at one or two of the most…Read more
I'm so pleased at how these Saturday group classes are going - please feel free to stop by and hangout. I will be presenting different mini-topics each week through the school term.
On the Jan 23 class, I talked about the music Keith Jarrett wrote for his European quartet, thinking about the story from the Ian Carr biography saying he just jotted down some simple music on the plane ride over. I also shared two of my versions of his song "The Windup" and "My Song". There are lots of different versions…Read more
As of January 2021 I have started a weekly group class for my teaching studio, every Saturday morning at 11AM over Zoom.
You can come join in by simply joining my Zoom room at 11AM this coming Saturday.
Students who study with me privately will have access to recordings of the older classes, but I am hoping to share some of my handouts online for everyone to see as well.
In the trial class on January 16, we briefly talked about Bb blues in jazz, especially in Monk's music. Here is a handout I made of…Read more
On the wall in my teaching studio there are three IKEA LP frames that fit vinyl records that can be easily swapped in and out. Because I can only listen to vinyl in the basement, it's a nice daily reminder of some of the music I've picked up physical copies of, usually from the Record Centre on Wellington. I try to change the records out once a school term and put the three albums on a Spotify playlist so I can let those albums percolate a bit through repeated listens.
Over the last several months the…Read more
Just a quick note to let you know that the third of the five solo albums I recorded this year are now available on most music streaming services. Physical CDs will be ready when all five are finished.
You can check out all of my recent releases on my Music page, or go directly to my latest album on Spotify by clicking here.
This latest album features almost entirely original music. When I first conceived of this monthly set-of-piano-music project, I cast a fairly wide net, but now that it's almost time to…Read more
I have been preparing some new solo piano music but in the meantime, I updated my store to only show physical products, as I've made most of my earlier albums available on major streaming services like Spotify. I also added a tip jar, which I'm intending on using during any online events in the coming months. If you are listening to my music online and want to make a gesture of support, since purchasing and downloading albums is less of a thing, please feel free to do so. Thanks!
I wanted to share the sad news of the passing of one of my favourite Ottawa jazz musicians, an inspiration and a mentor to me and many other local players.
Click here to see a short article on Hugh's passing.
My quotes at the end were taken from this written interview with Peter Hum:
1) When did you play with Hughie and where? How many gigs did you do with him?
I got to play with Hugh every Sunday for at least a year at Chez Lucien around 2007/2008, right up until I moved to Boston for grad school at the…Read more
In preparation for this Sunday's concert with John Geggie and Tim Bedner I've been listening to a few really great new (to me) pieces of Brazilian music. The songs I brought in were "Corsarios" by Bosca, a Hermeto Pascoal tune called "Bebe" and a few pieces by Egberto Gismonti. A Brazilian singer I met on a cruise ship gig about 15 years ago gave me a copy of his incredible album Alma - I love the songs "Baiao Malandro", "7 Aneis", and "Agua e Vinho", but the piece we settled on was "Um Anjo"- a song from…Read more
This Friday I'll be playing at the Merrickville jazz festival with Norm Glaude for his tribute to Toots Thielemans - here are two of my favourite tracks that we've done in the past.
Estate - from Only Trust Your Heart
Before I was involved in this project I had already listened to this version a bunch as my go to for this tune.
Sno' Peas - from Bill Evans' Affinity - this is just about the hardest set of changes in a simple 8 bar section AABA tune that I've played in a while. They break up its…Read more
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this year's Ottawa Jazz Festival. It was a very special honour for me to be part of the house trio hosting the jam sessions every night for ten straight days - the first year I went to the jazz festival (1996...) I probably went to eight of their late night jams. It was my first exposure to the music in a club setting - real professionals playing mere feet away, the sound came from the instruments as much as any sound system. I'm really happy to have had this chance…Read more
Hey, just a quick note to say I've updated my calendar to reflect some Jazz Festival events, most notably the 24 hour jazz ramble which takes place from 10AM Friday to 10AM Saturday next weekend. I'll be on at noon with Mark Ferguson playing some Bill Evans music in the style of his overdubbed pianos records. I'll also be part of Ed Lister's quintet at 9PM. The whole event takes place at the Record Centre on Wellington.
I also had a blast playing all types of Indian music at City Hall last week for the…Read more
I've started rehearsals with Vinay Bhide for a show May 10th at noon at City Hall. Vinay has asked Mike Essoudry and me to join him to play what we feel fits in the performance of two pieces. One is based on the Raga Rageshri, on which I have previously written an original piece, "Pas De Deux". In the key of C, the notes for improvising are Bb-C-E-F-A-Bb-C and the downward notes are C-Bb-A-F-E-D-C. After a few minutes of getting it in your ears, an accidental G sounds glaringly wrong.
I've also been…Read more
Not a lot of shows coming up with all of my accompanist work looming, but I thought I'd share some things I've been checking out.
I've been listening to Keith Jarrett's Radiance, and album I couldn't get into when it first came out. Now that I've been doing more solo playing and my ears have improved, I thought it would be good to give it a few more passes. The concept is that he takes an idea from the previous improvised piece and forms a new piece out of it, and de-emphasizes melody, contrary to a lot…Read more
My hopes of a regularly maintained thoughtful content-filled blog haven't materialized in the face of my regular practice and teaching schedule. However, I thought this might be a great and easy way to keep track of fun news and things I'm doing as they happen, instead of constantly bombarding my e-mail list.
Most recently, I've been practicing video game theme songs for this Friday, when I'll be playing with the relatively new F8-BIT at Live on Elgin.
Alex and Michel were interviewed about the project…Read more
My love for North Indian Classical music began when I took a course taught by Vinay Bhide at Carleton University in 2002. His introduction to Indian music was aimed at all Western musicians, but to me seemed geared even more towards jazz musicians since so much of the excitement in Hindustani music comes from improvisation, usually over a pre-determined or standard form. Their idea of form differs, but not as much as you might think.
Although the amount of great reading materials is rapidly growing, I most…
During World War II, Hitler's regime forbade certain musical ideas and devices that didn't conform with their idea of artistic music.
From New Dutch Swing:
It [de jazzwereld's guideline for entertainment music in 1940] was mostly a detailed roster of forbidden devices and practices: plunger mutes, growls, smears and other dirty timbres, ostinato basses, background riffs repeated more than three times, charts written by black musicians, washboards, the use of the word 'jazz' were all off-limits.
How many…Read more