This week I made a new friend. He is more playful than a plant, easier to train than a dog but nonetheless the kind of friendship fraught with folly if either party has read William Goldman’s “MAGIC“, or seen the film starring Anthony Hopkins. More puppet talk a little later…
Monday began with a lotta laughs, courtesy of Heather Bambrick, host of Wake Up! on 91.1fm (www.jazz.fm) and our fellow wise cracker Tim Keele. I often say the stuff off air would make a great TV show. That night I enjoyed Reg Schwagger and Mike Murley and their tribute to Jazz Samba, which was celebrating it’s 50th year. The show, part of the JAZZ.FM91 Sound Of Jazz Concert Series performance was a perfect recreation of this famous recording; and the rhythm section of Steve Wallace on bass and Fabio Ragnelli on drums certainly deserve half the credit. The fab four played other Stan Getz hits in the second set making it a perfect night. Still, knowing I had time to catch a late set by The Good Brothers at Hugh’s Room, I bee-lined over…natch! It was a mixed bill of music with proceeds going to www.unisonfund.ca which is going to launch officially anytime soon. Just trying to raise that last $150,000 (or a million!)…stay tuned! I had to leave before finding out how many silent auction items I purchased. More on that in next weeks blog…
Mid-week, Heather Luckhart invited me to the One-Of-A-Kind Show which immediately brings to mind macramé owels, knitted reindeer hats and unicorn snow domes…but upon arrival we found a cornucopia of delights: Clothing, jewelry, toys, sculptures and my extra-pricey (but worth every dime) shortbread cookies, baked by none other than countertenor Carl Strygg. Heather and I stopped by a home-made puppet makers booth and after a quick glance, one fellow seemed to be lookin’ right at me. His creator said “I don’t normally name puppets but I suppose you could call him Brad if you want.” I slipped the puppet on my arm and he spoke: “No way man…then I gotta say Hi I’m Vrad. Vrrrraaaaad! I can’t say my name cuz this guy is a shitty ventriloquist!” and he hit me. The guy laughed and said “hey, you’e done this before!” Heather suggested Steve because that was easier to say, and the puppet said mysteriously “we’ll see”. I took it that he wanted to be christened in public at the loft party coming up in a couple hours and said as much. I took the puppets silence to mean yes. I knew he’d be a handful while shopping so put him in the bag for a nap and we continued our journey through Gift City.
Jessica Ferg dropped by in time for some food and wine before everyone else showed up for my party and I noticed the puppet seemed at ease with her…and wasn’t acting rude. Whew – so far so good…I would hate to discover I’d adopted a “Bad Puppet”. Once the loft party got going, I brought Allan on stage and after he sang “Old Devil Moon” someone suggested he be called Allan to which he quickly added “yes, and that’s Allan with two L’s.”
As I’ve stated previously the loft parties are never the same because they are infrequent, often impromptu and I only have space for 30. This party was a “wear a hat theme” for no apparent reason. Too bad I forgot to tell that to half the people!
Tony Quarrington (guitar) Waylen Miki (piano) performed for most of the night with a slew of guest performances. Andrea Ramola returned from touring and performed with Sahra Featherstone on violin. Heather Luckhart sang the blues by request from King Arthur, a good friend of mine and of JAZZ.FM91. He’s really helped raise the bar in our fund raising efforts with his good ideas,
and his capital! His modesty prevents him from wanting me to use his surname but not modest enough to stop me from nicknaming him “King”. By next summer Arthur and I will be hosting parties in a secret location bungalow…assuming those “count-downers” are wrong about the Mayans. THERE’S THIS And speaking of that…why is nobody speaking about that? (That, being the latest “End Of Days” thingy coming up this month.) I think the de-bunkers did a great job with the public at large, explaining how wrong the so-called “experts” were who claimed the date for the world’s end is literally set in stone. I went to a few lectures, the best of which was at the ROM with my pal Kiran…and while I like the topic (Egypt gets me going too), the notion that someone pinpointed the exact time of a cataclysmic event is banana cuckoo. THERE’S THAT
On December 21, 2012 at 11:11 I will be at the town square in Havana Cuba with a bunch of friends joining me on a Jazz Safari. (I’m guessing out of a couple dozen, half will be up for these shenanigans.)
At 11:15 we’ll stroll a few feet away just south of the Cathedral to a garden patio where a giant tails of grilled lobster await, along with a bottle of rum that comes free with entry. We will celebrate the new Mayan Calendar! (Hey – ours ends ever year…then I go out and buy a new one!)
Then I bee-lined up to Barberian’s for lunch with Barbra Lica’s parents and a JAZZ.FM91 listener who had donated during our fund drive to have lunch at this famous restaurant with yours truly. Everyone loved their food and swore to return with friends.
Ian Shaw is in town! Allan and I met Ian at the airport and checked him into his hotel. Ian loves performing in Toronto and just played a sold-out Hugh’s Room in February. He can break your heart with a song one minute and then crack you up the next with his dry British wit. Ian plays tonight (Monday, Dec. 3) at Hugh’s Room. There might be a handful of tickets left but it will sell out! www.hughsroom.com