John Geggie / Lorne Lofsky / Joe Sullivan / Jim Doxas: Ottawa, Canada, May 26, 2012
Soloing less than his band mates only meant that when Doxas was featuredoftentimes as part of a trade-off section near the end of a songit was all the more memorable. A rarity in his melodic approach to the kit, nothing was verboten in Doxas' vernacular, as he moved seamlessly from playing with his hands to rattling a large chain of bells worn around his body. And while Doxas had plenty to show, he played, refreshingly, as though he had nothing to proveat one point beginning with nothing more than a four-on-the-floor bass drum pattern and single brushed snare, and leading into an extended solo of tremendous restraint more about expansive color than his admittedly inestimable chops.
The entire set managed to be both relaxing and commanding, calling for plenty of applause throughout the sets and a well-deserved encore at the end of the evening. With budget cuts at the National Arts Centre, there is a very real possibility that the 2012/13 Geggie Concert Series will either be cut back significantly or, even worse, cancelled outright. It would be a tremendous shame as Geggie's series has been responsible for some of the finest jazz this town has seen in the past decade beyond the purview of the annual Ottawa International Jazz Festival, with past collaborators ranging from pianists Crispell, Myra Melford, Edward Simon, Marc Copland, Craig Taborn and Bill Carrothers, and guitarist Vic Juris, to bassist Mark Dresser, saxophonists McCaslin and Ted Nash, trumpeters Cuong Vu and Ron Miles, and legendary Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen. With the majority of Geggie's shows well-attended, here's hoping the NAC doesn't make the mistake of cutting this essential series from its annual program.