Friday, February 25, 2011

Odds and ends

Mens Mezlan Clive
Last night, some of my students mentioned that they are actually reading my blog.  I have been quite delinquent in my blog writing duties of late. Despite the fact that Capilano U is on reading break this week, I have been quite busy with my usual range of performing activities and other teaching jobs.  I did take a morning to buy myself some lovely new Italian shoes (on sale of course!).  That made it feel a little more like a holiday.  My wife and kids often tease me about the number of shoes that I have, but for someone who performs all the time it is actually pretty important to have some options for the stage. Shoes and chocolate are really my only serious vices.

On Wednesday I had the perfect opportunity to put those new shoes to work as I played at Presentation House Studio with Joe Poole (drums), Coat Cooke (saxes) and Clyde Reed (bass).  Joe is a fellow shoeist and he thoroughly approved of my purchase. The music was superb.  Clyde and Joe were in particularly fine form, grooving very well together and creating a kind of buoyant, joyful swing feel that such as I have rarely experienced.  Coat was really wailing as usual.  His sound is always so powerful and his ideas very original and fluidly connected.  It was a privilege to make music with them.

Last week the jazz choir I direct at Cap U, the 'Combo Choir'  (must think of a catchy name...), performed with Len Aruliah at two concerts, one at Cap and one at the West Van Community Centre.  Both gigs went very well and the students did a fine job with Len's music.  Len had a very good time as well and was impressed with the ability of the students to playing such difficult music.  I spent yesterday arranging a whole new concert worth of music for the group: five Kenny Wheeler tunes.  I think these will be great fun for the students.

I have no big plans for the coming week.  For a change there are no gigs or significant projects.  I will just enjoy my teaching and get some practicing and composing done.  Lastly, Adrian Caballero finally sent me a picture from the gig I did last month with the Australian saxophonist Jason Thornton.  Jason has now asked me to play on some tracks for his new recording.  It should be fun to send digital tracks back and forth across the world.  From left to right: Jason, Me, Joe Poole, Brent Gubbels.  


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