Paul J. Youngman

Paul J. Youngman

The second act of a double bill, having just returned to earth after witnessing an Anthony Braxton performance during the first act, featured William Parker Ensemble, who performed a one act suite on "The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield" that seemed like a throwback to another period of time. How fitting that the civil rights movement, free thinking and questioning the motives of the powers that be, can ring as true today as they did during the civil rights movement and the peace marches of the
The AIM Toronto Orchestra conducted by Anthony Braxton put on an audio sensory show that for the most part sounded out of this world. An 18-member orchestra had been assembled from the rank and file members of The Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto; this organization was founded in late 2004 by Ken Aldcroft, Rob Clutton, Nick Fraser, and Joe Sorbara as a result of meetings with Vancouver guitarist and former New Orchestra Workshop (NOW) Artistic Director, Ron Samworth. In January 2005,

Guelph Jazz Festival

Published in Concert Reviews

The theme for the 14th annual Guelph Jazz Festival - People Get Ready, The Future of Jazz is Now, held true to that concept and could even have been stated as the future of jazz is among us; it is youthful, energetic, alive, well and ever creative. The festival for those who may not be aware is the penultimate venue in North America for jazz experimentation, exploration and collaboration in performance and composition. Jazz mentors, legends, educators, master musicians and leaders in their fi

The northern jazz scene is alive and well, Molly Johnson performs to a near capacity audience, as witnessed by me while on holiday in cottage country this past week. Having missed Molly Johnson's recent performance in Toronto, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out her performance in support of her new CD, Messin' Around.

Another good reason that motivated me was the idea of a new theatre, checking out the Algonquin Theatre going into its third season of existence, offic

Mela as he likes to be known took to the Pure Spirits Stage and at once became at one with the spirits of the Historic Distillery District. He explained to the audience that he had a new album and he would be playing most of the songs from the album, he said, "I would like to tell you what I’m trying to do, I want to combine the Afro Cuban with jazz and free jazz."

Francisco Mela has that smokey sounding voice, of a raw Flamenco singer, full of passion and fire. He played with mallets and cre


An Enchanted Evening

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Roberta Gambarini, New York based, Italian born and raised, has firmly established herself as one of the best jazz vocalists of our time. Just my opinion, no, this is the voice of many, including jazz legend, renowned drummer Jake Hanna. When I asked Mr. Hanna his feelings on playing with Roberta Gambarini, he replied without hesitation, "She is one of the best, and I have played with all the greats." This is no understatement, having played with vocalists from Billy Holiday to Tony Bennett, and

The Original Superstars of Jazz - The Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, Nov. 16, 2006

The Original Superstars of Jazz Fusion concert with Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jean Carne, Wayne Henderson, Bobbi Humphrey, Ronnie Laws & Jon Lucien was a tremendous success. The fusion occurred between the promoters, a co-production of Toronto Downtown Jazz and REMG Productions and the audience, a diverse mix of young and old. The young people were singing along to songs that were wri


Cosmic Elegance

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Charlie Haden Quartet West

Live at the River Run Centre, Guelph, On. Aug. 31, 2006

Defying time or labels with a compassionate and sensitive ear on this world while visiting a world that should be, Haden and friends guided the audience at the River Run Centre on a cosmic journey of peace and harmony.

Quartet West, comprised of Allan Broadbent (piano), Ernie Watts (tenor saxophone), Rodney Green (drums) and of course Charlie Haden on acoustic bass. Had

The David Virelles Quintet Live at The Beaches International Jazz Festival

Fresh off a very successful Canadian tour the band performed an early morning show, 11:30 A.M thus kicking off the 18th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival. I was invited to see the band, report on the show and follow up with a post show interview.

Classically trained Virelles studied piano in his native Cuba at the age of seven. Through his families collection of jazz albums he was exposed


At Last

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"At Last" Etta James The Hummingbird Centre June 27 - Toronto Jazz Festival - Day 5

The show was sold out, The Hummingbird Centre seats 3200 people, as Ross Porter (Jazz.Fm Radio CEO) mentioned at the start of the show, "At last the Toronto Jazz Festival has arrived; they’re scalping tickets in front of the theatre."

The Roots Band took to the stage, Donto James, drums; Sametto, bass; David Mathews, keyboards; organ; Bobby Murray, guitar; Josh Sklar,