Tim Leah (photo by Nathan McTague at the May jam)
Alrick Huebener’s nephew, Nathan McTague, brought his camera to the May 16 jam session at the Carleton Tavern and took some artful shots. While he was there he got to hear Alrick’s group, named after the mysterious Ralph Mercredi, play a really nice set.
The set was all the more impressive given that the group’s regular guitarist, Louis Allard, had to miss the session. So Alrick, on bass, along with David Fraser on tenor, Derek Smith on trumpet and Dave Finlayson, on drums played with no chord instrument. They brought it off and took on an edgier kind of sound in such modern classics as Ornette Coleman’s Blues Connotation.
Among the assembled jammers were Karen Oxorn, who made an infrequent but welcome visit and sang beautifully as always, Lee Anne Frederickson who made an impressive JazzWorks debut singing Girl From Ipanema and tenor saxophonist Dimitry Egunov who turned heads with his playing on There Will Never Be Another You.
A reminder that next month’s regular jam will be held on Wednesday, June 19, instead of the Thursday. This is due to the opening of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. Host band will be a group that has played together for many years, both at jazz camp and around town. It features Pat Kelly, guitar, Rob Ward, guitar, Brian Kirk, saxophones, Craig Reid, trumpet, Lance Schwerdfager, electric bass, and Tim Leah, drums.
Sunday jams will continue
Here’s news. The monthly Sunday jam sessions that begin in March as a pilot project will continue, after a decision by the JazzWorks board of directors.
While less well-attended than their Thursday counterparts, the Sunday jams have attracted a steady following, including many who come just to listen. The atmosphere is quieter, more relaxed and there is more opportunity for the musicians in attendance to play. As their reputation gets around, the Sunday jams will certainly grow.
The May 12 jam featured a well-rehearsed performance by Swing Time, with Janet Hofstetter on vocals, Paul Bourdeau and Rob Martin on guitar, Ann Downey on bass and Joseph Zulak on violin, with several invited guests, including Betty Ann Bryanton for a tongue-in-cheek vocal duet on My Baby Just Cares for Me.
The next Sunday jam, June 9, features Hélène Knoerr (vocals, double bass) Devon Woods (saxes, clarinet, flute), Chris Smith (drums) and John Wiseman (guitar). That’s 2 p.m. at the friendly Carleton Tavern, beside the Parkdale Market.
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About this blog
Tune Up won't be a calendar of events — Ottawa Jazz Happenings takes care of that. But it will discuss events and issues of interest to the JazzWorks community. Journalist, author, trumpet player and a jazz camper since 1999, Charley Gordon is a former vice-president of JazzWorks.