Pat Metheny: “One of the things that makes the guitarist interesting is that it is such a personal instrument. It can be so many different things. You know, you say ‘guitar.’ I mean that could mean anything from a guy playing a nylon string on a stage totally unamplified to the guy in Megadeth with six Marshalls (amplifier)...”
- Interview with GJR: August, 2003.
Pat would know. When Metheny’s One Quiet Night (Warner Jazz) won a 2004 Grammy Award® for Best New Age Album, the native of Missouri broke a record: Grammy wins in nine different categories.
Outside the Comfort Zone:
Canadian music legend Randy Bachman released his newest record, JazzThing , on May 4. This record contrasts the possibilities of great blues and the limitations of the conventions that underlie them. Randy Bachman achieves the strata from rock guitarist to jazz practitioner.
”After decades of painting myself into a musical corner, and trying to reinvent the pop/rock musical wheel,” writes Bachman, “I found myself seeking a way to express myself in broader musical terms. This led me back to my teenage years with Lenny Breau and playing jazz for the first time.”
JazzThing in depth .
Bachman’s voice is distinguished by its plain statement. Fans of Bachman-Turner Overdrive enjoyed Randy’s vocals in classics like “Lookin’ Out for Number One” and “Blue Collar.” For better or worse, Bachman’s voice has not changed. It remains a straight delivery, unwavered by vibrato or muscular exertion.
JazzThing features some stellar guitar work. Not surprisingly, that occurs in Bachman’s blues comfort zone on “Breau’s Place (Quiet & Blue).” Bachman and Breau’s deft combination of chords, notes and improvisation make this a prime candidate for song of the record. The back half of “Dead Cool” breaks a sweat of fantastic scaling from Bachman as well as some serious key work by Chris Gestrin. If the writing on the wall says it all, as “In Blue,” Randy sought to relax in jazz.
JazzThing is an enhanced CD. It contains some very interesting studio content and audio commentary from Randy Bachman. These features easily make up for the relative brevity (47 minutes) of the record itself. Musicians and fans will enjoy the extras.
Bachman tours Canada for 11 days to promote the album. The Winnipeg native will play nine shows in seven different cities. The journey brings Randy to Vancouver’s Jazz Cellar on May 20 and 21.
Randy Bachman: JazzThing :
Maximum Jazz: MAX 14792
Universal Music Canada: UMCF-05200-2
2004: vocalists Jane Monheit and Denzal Sinclaire do a twin bill at The Centre on Day Nine of the Vancouver Jazz Festival.
1608: Samuel de Champlain founds the City of Québec.
The Arrogance of Worms:
It is only fitting that Canada’s Arrogant Worms began as a joke and, somehow, survived campus radio in Kingston, Ontario. On March 14, the Worms convinced 376 Vancouverites to imitate snapping shark jaws and one imagined similar loyalties shown for the legendary Spinal Tap and The Trailer Park Boys .
Let it be quickly added: Mike McCormick, Chris Patterson and Trevor Strong are a hell of a lot more polite than Bubbles (Canada’s next Prime Minister), Julian and Ricky . Still, the faithful at Cap College’s Birch Theatre howled with recognition of every number. The Worms gleefully insulted us with two hours of slapstick, music and dance. The troupe carried out a whirlwind two-week tour of the country to promote its new record, Toast. Songs from this record were funny, especially “Little Cuban Friend,” “Wolfe Island Ferry” and the zippy, schizoid insanity of “The Coffee Song” (such insanity being endemically appreciated by Vancouver caffeine addicts).
”Canada is the best of ‘em all,
We got a beaver.”
2004: the Evan Parker Trio brings a free jazz conclusion to the 19th annual Vancouver Jazz Festival at Studio 16 (11 pm). Parker is scheduled for four appearances at the festival this year.
1865: the first edition of Alice in Wonderland is published.