Wednesday 27 November 2013

Louis Hayes workshop featuring Cap Jazz Students!

Legendary Jazz drummer, Louis Hayes will be visiting Vancouver December 5 - 8 for some performances and a live recording at Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club.  Mr. Hayes is best known for his work with the Cannonball Adderly Quintet and has performed and recorded with many of the greatest jazz musicians of all time including John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton, Curtis Fuller to name only a few. At age 76, Louis Hayes still plays with tremendous vitality and drive and is a living link to the history of the music.

In connection with Hayes’ residency at the Cellar, the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund will present a free workshop/masterclass with Hayes and a quintet of fine young musicians from Capilano University's Jazz Studies program:  Miles Wong (drums), Stephen Edwards (bass), Jonathan Tobin (piano), Ben Frost (trumpet), and Octavio Pauley (tenor saxophone).  The students successfully auditioned for this privilege by creating a youtube application video and all are very excited about this unique opportunity.

The workshop is a new venture for the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund and may be the start of a series of educational workshops if the event is well attended. The workshop is free and open to the public and music students are especially encouraged to attend.

December 7, 1:00-2:30pm
Cellar Jazz Club
3611 W. Broadway, Vancouver
Free admission. No tickets or reservations necessary.

Monday 11 November 2013

Hidden Gems: Graham Collier's Deep Dark Blue Center

I’ve been thinking of the days when I was a student and how we would get together to listen to new recordings that our friends had found.  With the nearly unlimited instant electronic access we have now it may seem strange, but in those days a new LP or cassette was a big deal and everyone was anxious to hear anything new.  In the interest of sparking some of that interest among some of you younger Cap Jazz folk, I’m starting a series of blog posts featuring ‘hidden gems’ that may not pop up so readily on youtube searches.

Here's the first one:

Graham Collier was an amazing English bassist and composer active from the early 1960s until his death in 2011.  This record features some of the best of the British scene of the time playing Collier’s compositions.  Everyone plays beautifully, but of special note for me is the contrast between the two great trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, as well as the great rhythm section hookup of Collier and John Marshall.  The writing is very diverse and inventive in its use of counterpoint, background figures, riffs and ostinatos. Think Gil Evans meets Mingus. Perhaps the most significant feature for me is the fact that large open spaces are left in the composed material for players to stretch out and make their own contribution.  This remained an essential component of Collier’s approach until the end.  His book, The Jazz Composer: Moving the Music off the Paper (there is a copy at the Cap library), is great read offering many opinions and perspectives that are unique to Collier and which will probably make you shout in agreement or slam the cover shut in anger - or maybe both in the same chapter.  It is a real mind-expander and highly recommended.  The book, this recording, and many others can be found at Graham's website, maintained since Collier's death by his partner, John Gill. PLEASE Don't be cheap and dishonest and look for a place to download the music for free. Download legally or purchase a hard copy. John is a lovely fellow and will be happy to send things in the mail.

Check it out!


Harry Beckett or Kenny Wheeler (trumpet and flugelhorn)
Dave Aaron (alto sax & flute)
Mike Gibbs (trombone)
Karl Jenkins (baritone sax & oboe)
Philip Lee (guitar)
John Marshall (drums)

Graham Collier (bass)

Monday 4 November 2013

The More the Merrier

w. Geoff and Emma at Tangent Cafe (Vincent Lim photo)
Re-blogged from Jared Burrows' blog.  
Cap student names  in bold...

My friend Dave Branter (a great saxophonist and teacher) mentioned in an email how he likes being 'the old guy' in Colin MacDonald's Pocket Orchestra.  I'm not as old as Dave, but I do know how he feels. One of the best things about being a music educator is watching students mature technically and artistically into wonderful musicians with whom I get to perform.  That seems to be happening a lot in the past little while and I have really enjoyed it. Stefan Thordarson (violin) was on the Colin MacDonald Pocket Orchestra gig with me last Friday and I've also been playing with him Lyle Hopkins (bass) Trio.  The week before that I played the music of Jimmy Giuffre at the Tangent Cafe in a trio with Emma Postl (voice) and Geoff Claridge (clarinet).   Two weeks ago Luis Melgar was playing second trombone with the Hard Rubber Orchestra and I see that Jeff Gammon (bass) is playing with Steve Kaldestad at the Cellar this Wednesday.  In a few weeks I'll be playing in Bill Clark's band with John Paton (sax).  We've been featuring Capilano U students at Presentation House each week since September and I recently heard some really good trio music from students Kyle Araki (drums) Jonathan Tromsness (bass), and Nick Leffler (sax).  This past week at the BCMEA conference I ran into a whole bunch of my students who have gone on to be really successful school music teachers and players.  It just feels good to see people continuing the tradition of bringing beauty into the world.  

Stefan between Elyse Jacobsen and Doug Gorkoff.