My Jazz Story
Jazz expands consciousness, refines the auditory sense, addresses the needs of the spirit, stimulates the intellect, awakens the dance, and sparks the dream...
My first exposure to jazz came quite early in life, thanks to - the good fortune of having parents who came up in the Swing Era and loved music; having a relative (an uncle of my dad, but sadly, far away) who'd been instrumental to the origins of live jazz for and by Canadians in the early part of the 20th c.; a decent national public radio service (CBC) AND a succession of ground-breaking progressive underground and campus stations that delivered jazz of all varieties to my curious young ears (albeit, not often enough!); a great selection of LPs to borrow and discover, courtesy of the local public library system of the 1970s, and record stores that let you try out merchandise at listening stations; an older sister who gave us all magazine subscriptions at Xmas time (such as Stereo Review and Rolling Stone); and - very helpfully - a small but select number of romantic partners, between my late teens and my thirties, who all knew much more about jazz than I did at the time! I might add that a lot of the really good jazz one heard in the sixties and seventies was found in tv and film. A real boon to those with impressionable ears, those far too young for clubs and hefty record collections. The albums Crystal Silence (Gary Burton & Chick Corea) and Time Out (The Dave Brubeck Quartet) were my first actual jazz purchases. (By mail, from the Record Club of Canada probably - that was always the more affordable option when i was sixteen.) But before those two arrived, I'd already heard some great jazz on my records at home via the music of bands like The Pentangle and Jethro Tull, and folks like Zappa and Van Morrison too. And we were all listening to things like Bitch's Brew and Birds of Fire in those days - without dreaming of calling THAT jazz. [As well, I once received a Return to Forever album as a gift, when i was just fifteen. But didn't enjoy it much at the time!] Soon after the Corea/Burton and Brubeck, my very next jazz buys were Infinity (John and Alice Coltrane), because it was Trane and it was on clearance, and The Young Lions - Lions of Jazz (a dble. lp) because it was second-hand, Yusef Lateef was playing, and it looked like a real bargain with great potential. Which it most certainly was! Over the years, it's been a real privilege to have been able to personally meet and assist so many distinguished, and lovely, players and composers, via a long-standing engagement with the local jazz scene (volunteering at festivals, producing/hosting a variety of jazz programs on campus and co-op radio stations, working as a music educator). A few whom I more vibrantly recall - Sonny Rollins, Cyrus Chestnut, Oliver Jones, Branford Marsalis, Victor Goines, Marilyn Lerner, Ed Bickert!
And the concerts and club shows I've been able to see!! (See? it pays to stick it out, see the decades through!) Too many to recall - some of the notables include McCoy Tyner, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Oliver Jones, Marcus Roberts, Francois Bourassa, Brad Mehldau, Vijay Iyer, Marilyn Lerner, John Stetch, Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, Johnny Griffin, Steve Lacy, Glen Hall, five assorted members of the Marsalis family, Miles Davis, Roy Eldrige, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Terence Blanchard, Chet Baker, Cleo Laine & John Dankworth, Bobby McFerrin, Andy Bey, Cedar Walton & Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dave Young, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Burton, Manteca, Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin, Larry Coryell, Ed Bickert, Jesse Cooke, John Abercrombie, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty, Mac Rebennack, Toots Thielemans, and possibly even the MJQ (now, why can't i pin this one down in my murky memory bank?! ) My advice to new listeners? Turn on your radios. (Seek and ye shall find) Especially, try your player/podcast-catcher/internet/youtube, and so on. "Temple of Jazz" (for instance) comes around twice, sometimes thrice, each month - on campus & community, volunteer-driven CKUW 95.9 (ckuw.ca). That's every second weekend at MIDDAY (11 to 1 CST) on SATURDAYS. There and then we will meet live (or whenever it's handy for you, thnx to podcast/archives) to worship at the Altar of Syncopation. There's something for everybody at THIS temple's jazz brunch! (find me in FaceBook too, Kits)
My House Concert Story
Karly Epp, with Karl Kohut and Aaron Shorr.
On Glenwood Crescent in Winnipeg, a Christmas season event.
Saw the invite on Facebook.
In my end of town, so i checked it out, reserved a seat, and enjoyed a beautiful evening of jazz, baked goodies, and conviviality!