Jazz Fest part I

Went to see Herbie Hancock on Sunday with Andrew. Going to see Dave Brubeck tonight with Ashleigh.
I'll write about both of them soon...so keep reading!


Now I've heard everything

I was on my way home from work, listening to CBC Radio 2 (it's the only radio station I will listen to nowadays), and what did I hear?
A jazz version of Scotland The Brave. With a jazz bagpiper. And a kick-ass rhythm section.
The player? Rufus Harley, who apparently died last summer. This guy was an accomplished jazz saxophonist who had guested with the likes of Sonny Rollins and Herbie Mann. This wasn't kitsch or something strange...it was straight-ahead jazz with bagpipes as the lead instrument. The best part? It was pretty good, too!

Now I've heard everything.


You see a gazebo...

Ahhh...a blast from the past.

ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?
ED: (Pause) It's white, Eric.
ERIC: How far away is it?
ED: About fifty yards.
ERIC: How big is it?
ED: (Pause) It's about thirty feet across, fifteen feet high, with a pointed top.
ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.
ED: It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Pause) I call out to it.
ED: It won't answer. It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Pause) I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
ED: No, Eric, it's a gazebo!
ERIC: I shoot it with my bow (roll to hit). What happened?
ED: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
ERIC: (Pause) Wasn't it wounded?
ED: Of course not, Eric! It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Whimper) But that was a plus three arrow!
ED: It's a gazebo, Eric, a gazebo! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It's a *)@#! gazebo!
ERIC: (Long pause. He has no axe or fire spells.) I run away.
ED: (Thoroughly frustrated) It's too late. You've woken up the gazebo, and it catches you and eats you.
ERIC: (Reaching for his dice) Maybe I'll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.


Onwards and upwards

So Aaron and I have a place set up for July 1st. It's on Clarence - near Q94 FM, just off of Pembina. If you have any house-related stuff you don't need anymore (This includes food), let me know!



Music reviews

Lately, I have been absolutely mesmerized by one particular artist: Brad Mehldau. Brad is a younger guy - born in 1970, and he is one of the best jazz pianists on the scene today. His style is nothing like I have heard before - he is definitely influenced by the greats of bebop, but from what I can hear, his influences range from standard jazz to fusion and free jazz, to hard bop, and even outside jazz proper to progressive rock, electronica, modern "classical" music, and just about everything else. To give an example, on his CD "Largo", he has a bunch of self-composed tracks which are fantastic, but he also covers Radiohead's "Paranoid Android", and the Lennon/McCartney tune "Dear Prudence".
I have two CDs of his that I want to write about today - the first being "Largo". This CD has gotten a lot of play in my car recently, and even Aaron was impressed enough with it to blog about it. I think that my favourite track is "Dusty McNugget", with its extremely laid-back feel, with a touch of funk. "Paranoid Android" is awesome as well, as is "Dear Prudence", which is a close second for best track. The last track, "I Do", is very reminiscent of some Billy Childs stuff I heard recently, and this track is just Mehldau and his piano. I can detect a touch of Gil Evans in the arranging done for this CD as well - very, very innovative, with some extremely interesting sounds and harmonies. This is a great CD for chilling out to.
The second CD is Metheny/Mehldau. This is a duet CD between the legendary jazz fusion guitarist Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau. Save for two tracks, this CD is just Metheny and Mehldau. These two play together like nothing else I have ever heard - what goes on in this CD is pure, unadulterated magic. The tracks I currently like best are "Unrequited", "Ring of Life", "Say the Brother's Name", and my favourite, "Make Peace". I can't even describe how good this CD is - it's probably best labelled as fusion, but is very accessible to people who aren't intimately familiar with the inner workings of jazz genres. This is also great chill-out music, and chances are that even if you aren't a jazz fan, but appreciate good music, you will enjoy this CD.
So there you have it. Buy both of these CDs - you won't regret it. Here's a link to some of Mehldau's music on the Web.
And, just for fun, a YouTube of Mehldau!