Some nice news for one a long-time JazzWorks faculty member: trumpeter Jim Lewis has won a Juno nomination, along with guitarist David Occhipinti and bassist Andrew Downing, for their album Bristles.
The nomination, for Jazz Album by a Group, is well-deserved. The album combines live and studio tracks. The live tracks, recorded at The Jazz Room in Waterloo, feature the group’s individualistic take on standards such as You and the Night and the Music, I Fall in Love Too Easily and Emily. If you know Jim’s playing, you will know that the standards will not receive standard treatment. Interspersed are improvised interludes of less than two minutes and named after painters, such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinskiy and Jackson Pollock — hence, “bristles.” It is challenging but accessible music.
Bristles, which might be the name of the group as well as the name of the CD, is up against some stiff competition for the Juno. Among the other nominees in the category are Toronto pianist Brian Dickinson, who recently played in Ottawa, and the legendary saxophonist Jane Bunnett.
Also nominated is another musician with a JazzWorks connection, the great Toronto pianist Chris Donnelly, a jazz camper when he was a kid, around the turn of the century, with his group Myriad3, described in a recent Jazz Times as “Canada's answer to groups such as The Bad Plus.” Myriad3 played on the main stage at last summer’s Ottawa Jazz Festival. Don’t know when the group will be back in Ottawa (they’re heading for Germany in the spring), but I do know that Jim Lewis and Bristles will be at GigSpace in April, probably April 24. More details when they emerge.
Another Sunday jam
Don’t forget to be at Bluesfest Festival House on Sunday, Feb. 8, for the second of the new JazzWorks mentored jam sessions. The first one, led by John Geggie, was a successful introduction to the art of the jam session. There was good talk, enjoyable music and valuable lessons were learned. The space at Festival House was perfect for the event.
This time, the jam session will be led by Mike Tremblay, a fine tenor saxophonist and experienced teacher. Every musician has his own approach to the music and the experience of making it and it will interesting to get Mike’s take.
The jam session begins at 2 p.m. Bluesfest Festival House is at 450 Churchill Avenue in Westboro. Entrance is at the side, off Ravenhill.
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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.