Paul J. Youngman

Paul J. Youngman

They came to see a Cuban Latin Jazz Master, the headliner of the concert and the magnetic draw for a packed house, the great trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, Arturo Sandoval. What they got as added bonus was one of the most dynamic Latin Jazz trios on the planet. Opening for Maestro Sandoval was Toronto’s own, by way of Cuba, the Hilario Duran Trio, made up of Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Mark Kelso playing drums. The trio played at a very high level of excitement with a glorious sound. They
29.01.2011

Jazz Lives!

Published in Concert Reviews
The 22nd anniversary of the Toronto Jazz Festival was one for the record books with more venues, more musicians and more aspirations of becoming the very best North American jazz festival. There literally was something for everyone. That seems to be the theme for most festivals these days, but with 50 venues, 350 concerts and an estimated 1,500 performers this event aims to please. The big shows focused on piano, the Grandmasters series, featuring Ahmad Jamal, Michel Legrand and Dave Brubeck. Mi
29.01.2011

A Fitting Good Night

Published in Concert Reviews

The Art of Jazz Celebration is an amazing event. This year, the theme was about a Global Jazz Village and it lived up to the name in spirit, music, musicians and audience participation. The inaugural year, 2006, I considered this a spring jazz festival, and a great one at that. It was much more; it was enlightenment for many, including myself.

I felt like I was in jazz heaven that first year, witnessing performances by jazz giants, famous names like Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, John Hand

Starting out on electric piano Hermeto Pascoal the 2008 Art of Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, introduced his music to the audience in layers, as if pulling open the pages of a dynamic novel, the performance opened up to reveal more of the fascinating imagination of this spectacular master multi-instrumentalist performer. In the first song of the evening Pascoal would give the audience a taste of his versatility. Switching from the electric piano to electronic wind synthesizer and add
The Boiler House is an upscale dining establishment in the Historic Distillery District, it is not a great jazz venue for a powerhouse jazz quartet, it’s better than being outside in the rain, but not by much. The room has a very good lay out for a dining establishment with nice private booths and a 2nd floor balcony for intimate dining. The non-obstructed seating amounts to about forty seats, the obstructed view seating, about one hundred seats. People were in the aisles; they were peaking arou
29.01.2011

Jazz For The Spirit

Published in Concert Reviews
What a mix of spirit, a joy of life, the gift of humour and a soul that swings. That is Sheila Jordan and she performed an afternoon show that was a delight, with her a wonderful accompanist, Steve Kuhn who also took to the daylight for one incredible set of touching piano reminisces, that was emotionally charged.

The songs that Sheila Jordan sang were put out in wonderful fashion with a bebop style, songs with beautiful melodies, "Gentle Thoughts", "Lucky To Be Me" and songs with melancholy

Randy Weston and Billy Harper - Duo Series

Randy Weston took to the stage and seemed all about business, he announced the evening’s performance would be dedicated to the blues. He proceeded to hammer out powerful chords that resonated wildly in the dim and dark cavernous Fermenting Cellar of the Historic Distillery District. Billy Harper came on equally as strong with a muscular tenor tone, stirring the soul and captivating the listener with his intensity. The first blues tune was a tradition

29.01.2011

Children of Song

Published in Concert Reviews
The junior jazzers turned out in full force for Jumpin’ at Roy’s a performance at Roy Thompson Hall this past Thursday backing up Jon Hendricks, the master of jazz vocalese. They were also all for helping out The Art of Jazz quintet. The young 240 member group proceeded to serenade an eager audience, whom for the most part, looked to be friends and relatives of these young crooners.

The Art of Jazz Community Voices are nearly seasoned pros now, as this is their second big show staged in Toron

29.01.2011

Sunshine In Toronto

Published in Concert Reviews
There is something fresh and exciting about the Tierney Sutton band and it is captured on their new recording On The Other Side a Telarc release for 2007 and one of my favorites of the year. I jumped at the chance to come out and see the band at one of the most intimate nightclubs in Toronto, The Old Mill Inn.

The show, put on by the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival and coinciding with the International Association of Jazz Educators, IAJE conference that took place in Toronto, Jan

The cheers go up on recognition of the first song of the concert, "Don’t Be That Way" a huge sound fills the concert hall, with a gorgeous clarinet tone leading the way and sounding as sweet as can be. The orchestra is playing with passion, layer upon layer of fine silky like tones radiate out towards the smiling faces. A typical big band, a full sound that can’t go wrong? This big band is different, you have your trumpet section, your trombones, but add to that a twenty plus member string secti