I started my week with a perfect sail in Lake Ontario. Claire and Shereen took turns playing Captain…and the sailing conditions were absolutely perfect. We sailed far enough to see the Toronto skyline as a sliver of metal…then came back.
I emceed a show by Nikki Yanofsky at Koerner Hall and suggested to Pat Taylor and Josh Grossman of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival that they start a kazoo festival. I don’t think they bought it but I would love to do a weekend sometime with lots of ukes and kazoos! Stay tuned!
When it comes to taking photos at gigs, I’ll only share mine when there are no others to be found. Thanks to people like Don Dixon, Janet Jardine, Bill King and Robert Saxe, I will post an entire page this week of the best shots from the fest, and give credit to any photographers with links to them, natch! Come on back soon and checkitout.
I loved the Don Francks concert at Dominion On Queen. Don played with his A-list jazz pals, Steve Hunter (keys and MD), Scott Alexander (bass), Brian Barlow (drums) and new guy Turner King (sax). I always love to watch someone playing with Don for the first time. By the third song Turner was playing like a veteran…one song ended with a perfect drone of bowed bass, sax and Francks doing a native chant. I’ve never heard a quieter, more respectful audience at this venue. The food was wonderful, my date was blown away and I even got to get up and sing a duet with Don for the enthusiastic crowd. Good times!
At JAZZ.FM91 this week, we had some actors in to talk about the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (www.icff.ca). Nick “Rise Of The Gargoyles” Mancuso and
Monica Nappo (who I had just enjoyed in the Woody Allen film “From Rome With Love” a few nights earlier) both came in about 9am and like all good Italians were wide awake drinking coffee. (I’m accustomed to jazz musicians just crawling out of bed to make an interview more oft than not.) While I was racing around to jazz concerts on my bike, I made time for some parties this past week. Vezi Tayyeb’s birthday party was a cozy treat.
His pad reminded me of Gino Empry’s old place…it seemed like at least three condos interlocked with little rooms everywhere. A-maze-ing! The food never stopped and I met a bunch of new friends and saw some really old ones. (Uh, long time-no-see-types, not 102-year-olds.) Speaking of old friends (ok, insert joke here if you must)
Richard Flohil wrapped up his birthday week having friends to his backyard. I strolled through Pride Central on the way, but quickly decided that in order to handle Pride Day drunkenness, I should be in proper “spirits” …and since I was sober in the afternoon on Saturday I moved through the festivities without stopping for a beverage. It was seriously too drunk out there for me! 😉
Another great bash this week was the party hosted by Scott Morin and Kitty at their Niagara Street loft. Robi Botos trio (featuring Dave Young on bass and Terry Clark on drums) were joined by Scott on sax…it’s a great vibe and I’m always happy to arrive early before it gets packed. If meeting Dr. John was the highlight of last week, saying hi to Edie Brickell for a bit just prior to her concert with Steve Martin was my favourite celeb sighting of this week. She’s so sincere and sweet and I have to admit I couldn’t believe this is the girl I saw twenty years ago on Saturday Night Live and has had three kids and married Paul Simon since then! Steve Martin’s show was a huge crowd pleaser…who knew bluegrass would be such a perfect end to a jazz festival? Funniest quote of the fest: Don Francks (on Smokey Robinson, Steve Martin and Willie Nelson headlining shows this year):
“The TD Toronto Jazz Festival…just enough jazz to piss you off!”
It was super sunny and I was so happily drained by sunset that I didn’t make it to the fireworks, which, by all reports, were the best they’ve been in years! Oh well, I’ll take sunny sailing over fireworks, please and thanks!
I arrived home to find a typical backyard party with my cool neighbours who share the warehouse I live in. Happy Canada Day indeed!