Art By JS Creative writing Reading

One person, two lives, many still lifes

Mary Heister Reid (1854 – 1920) led both a conventional life as wife to painter George Agnew Reid, and an unconventional life as a painter in her own right. Early on, the two artists studied in Paris and went on to visit art galleries in Spain and England before settling in Toronto, a very dull Canadian city at the time. Poet and biographer Molly Peacock paints for us how MHR made the best of her situation… See the 5-star review on Goodreads. #FlowerDiary, #MaryHiesterReid, #womenartist

By JS Music

Song of the Day 20210527

For the second time this week, I had the great honour of presenting a Song of the Day on #jazzfm91: “Natural Cause,” from Emancipator’s Dawn to Dusk album. The introduction, in a four-part spoken word poem, tells the story of how I discovered the tune:

Part 1 of 4 –Transcendence

Cold November day. Music

flows over the fences. Summons

in me the very best.

Building crew two yards away. But,

what’s it called?

Who plays it?

I find more mint to pick. No,

not the end yet!

Part 2 of 4 – Coincidence

Same November day. Later.

Bright colours lit by sun. This

I can make mine.

Out front I go, frame

and snap.

Builder happens by. Says,


Part 3 of 4 – Carpe Diem

Same November day. Night.

Search ‘Emancipator.’ But,

which song, which instrumental?

Memory fading. Is it

this one? Or

that one?

“Natural Cause.”

But there is more.

Part 4 of 4 – Cause and effect

It starts with Woolf wavering,

Virginia Woolf writing The Wave.

Inspiring Ludovico Einaudi to compose a

piano opus, “Le Onde.”

And Doug Appling to sample a

portion, “Dietro l’incanto” and

transform it into “Natural Cause.”

Bonus Part 5 – Natural Cause in plain language

I hope you enjoyed “Natural Cause” from Emancipator’s Dawn to Dusk album, featuring Marcus Marino on piano Ilya Goldberg on violin and Doug Appling on all electronic instruments.


By JS Music

Song of the Day 20210524


Today I had the great honour of introducing the Song of the Day on JazzFM91. I chose Prologue, by Renaissance, recorded live at Carnegie Hall in June 1975. Little known fact:  Renaissance was the first British rock band to sell out Carnegie Hall for three nights in a row!

The lead vocals are by Annie Haslam, who once told a Toronto audience that she gave her first public performance on amateur night at the Isabella Hotel right here in our fair city (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Enjoy her pure and clear vocals, aptly complemented by the other members of the band. “Prologue,” an energetic seven-minute-plus number, was composed by the late Michael Dunford, the groups’ main tune master, and is arranged by all members of Renaissance, including bassist Jon Camp and drummer Terry Sullivan. I would like to mention here another no-longer-with-us band member, keyboardist John Tout, whose jazz-infused contributions to “Prologue” and to all of Renaissance’s songs, I treasure.

John Tout

John was quiet and didn’t draw attention to himself while performing – all eyes, mine included, tended to be on vocalist Annie Haslam and on acoustic guitarist Michael Dunford, who stood at the front of the stage and engaged the most with the audience.

Well, John Tout, wherever you are, I salute you. Your unique arrangements and playing style will continue to delight me for as long as I live!