3 Recommend It!

John Geggie / Lorne Lofsky / Joe Sullivan / Jim Doxas: Ottawa, Canada, May 26, 2012

John Geggie / Lorne Lofsky / Joe Sullivan / Jim Doxas: Ottawa, Canada, May 26, 2012
By Published: | 5,002 views
John Geggie / Lorne Lofsky / Joe Sullivan / Jim Doxas
Geggie Concert Series
NAC Fourth Stage, Ottawa, Canada
May 26, 2012

For his final show of the 2011/2012 Geggie Concert Series, Ottawa bassist John Geggie put together a group of Canadian musicians who are all deserving of broader international recognition. A down-the-middle mainstream jazz set, it still had plenty of surprises in store for the near-capacity crowd at the National Arts Centre's Fourth Stage, and if it was more about rounded surfaces than hard edges, it was none the weaker for it.

Montreal drummer Jim Doxas has been a mainstay of the Geggie Concert Series, one of a very small cadre of percussionists that Geggie calls upon on a regular basis. Truly one of Canada's semi-hidden treasures—he's not exactly out of sight as pianist Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones
b.1934
piano
' longtime rhythm partner and, more recently, as a member of Toronto singer Sophie Milman
Sophie Milman
Sophie Milman

vocalist
's regular touring band—but his unfettered interpretive nature, and an ability (not unlike Geggie) to fit into virtually any context as if it were custom-made, renders him a drummer with whom more folks should be familiar.

Joe Sullivan
Joe Sullivan
Joe Sullivan
b.1906
is also based in Montreal, a Northern Ontario-born trumpeter who studied alongside John Medeski
John Medeski
John Medeski

keyboard
at the New England Conservatory, recruiting the Medeski, Martin & Wood
Medeski, Martin & Wood
Medeski, Martin & Wood

band/orchestra
keyboardist for his 1994 debut as a leader, A Song for Jersey (Blue Loon). Sullivan has, in recent years, been recording for Montreal's Effendi label, alternating time between his sextet and an acclaimed big band whose Northern Ontario Suite (Effendi, 2010) is an overlooked gem as memorable for the trumpeter's writing as for the performance of Sullivan and his large ensemble.

Another underappreciated artist, Toronto-based guitarist Lorne Lofsky
Lorne Lofsky
Lorne Lofsky
b.1954
had a brief flirtation with broader exposure in 1980 when pianist Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
1925 - 2007
piano
helped him release his leader debut, It Could Happen To You, on the high-profile and internationally distributed Pablo label. Following two decades of heavy activity, including a handful of late '90s recordings with Peterson and trombonist Rob McConnell
Rob McConnell
Rob McConnell
1935 - 2010
trombone
's enduring Boss Brass for Concord and Telarc, Lofsky's recording activity has decreased significantly with the new millennium but he remains active in Toronto, performing and recording with saxophonist Kirk MacDonald in addition to intersecting with Sullivan as an occasional guest with the trumpeter's sextet. His approach is clean, clear and understated, the closest comparison being John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
b.1944
guitar
when the better-known guitarist is working in a more straight-ahead context.



All of this combined to create a confluence of preexisting chemistry and newfound musical discovery in an evening that leaned heavily on Sullivan compositions for the first of two sets, as well as Bronislaw Kaper's "Invitation" and Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
's "Au Privave," two jazz standards that have been covered countless times, but were delivered here with effortless grace and a simpatico understanding that seemed to get better with each passing song. Lofsky's ability to solo in, out, around, over and through the changes was equally matched by Sullivan, the guitarist's warm tone and the trumpeter's burnished-but-rounded timbre on trumpet, flugelhorn and cornet equally appealing.

The set's straight-ahead nature didn't mean there weren't some challenging scores; Sullivan's writing demonstrated, at times, a penchant for knotty heads, but invariably opened up into more relaxed middle sections where the trumpeter, Lofsky and Geggie each got plenty of solo space. Geggie is just as often heard in left-of-center contexts like his album with pianist Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
b.1947
piano
, Geggie Project (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2010), but he's always retained a lyrical bent, regardless of context, even as his personal voice continues to evolve and assume greater shape. He's also been fashioning his own identifiable signatures over the past few years, including remarkable harmonic control when playing with a bow. His own "From Which," from the bassist's more straight-ahead collaboration with Toronto pianist Nancy Walker
Nancy Walker

piano
and American saxophone powerhouse Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
b.1966
saxophone
, Across the Sky (Plunge, 2010), received a particularly lovely rendition during the second set, with Doxas' rim- driven pulse, Sullivan's muted horn and Lofsky's chime-like harmonics creating an even gentler cushion than the impressionistic album version.

comments powered by Disqus
Download jazz mp3 “Across the Sky” by John Geggie / Marilyn Crispell / Nick Fraser
  • Across the Sky
  • John Geggie / Marilyn Crispell / Nick Fraser
  • Geggie Project
Download jazz mp3 “Scatterbrain Drain” by John Geggie / Geggietrio + Donny McCasln

Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records