Now Available on Mixcloud

Three Season MixFor friends still waiting for a copy, here’s quick access to the half-hour that aired on JAZZFM91 on July 30th, 2017.

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Playlist and bonus material

Clematis whirly-wing seedheads
Clematis whirly wing seedheads – photo by JS

What: Host My Own Radio Show

When – date: Sunday July 30th
When – time: 4:30 to 5:00 EST (UTC – 5:00)
Where: FM 91.1 in the Toronto area or online anywhere in the world at http://www.jazz.fm/index.php/on-air-mainmenu
 
 
In choosing the five instrumentals to feature in my precious half-hour of airtime, I had three goals: put listeners in a happy mood; include tunes I discovered via Jazz FM yet heard only once or twice – rare gems; and introduce fusion pieces I love.
 
Special thanks to Dani Ewell and William Heaton for their help with the show!
Here’s my playlist, for your enjoyment:
 
  1. Out of the Cool, an Andrew A. Melzer composition played by Norm Amadio from his 2010 album, Norm Amadio and Friends
  2. Intimate Strangers, a Roger Chong composition played by The Roger Chong Quartet, from the 2013 album, Live at the Trane
  3. Glad, a Steve Winwood composition, played by Traffic, from their 1970 album, John Barleycorn Must Die
  4. Ryshnychok/Earthly Mother, a P.I. Maiboroda composition interpreted by CANO – Cooperative des Artistes du Nouvel Ontario / Cooperative of Artists from Northern Ontario, on their 1978 album, Eclipse
  5. The Aged Paulownia Hides Its Melody (Freestyle Ver.) (동천련로 항장곡 [산조 Ver.]) from The Painter of the Wind Soundtrack, 2008.
 
Bonus material
 
Track 1
Norm Amadio is a native of Timmins, Ontario, and Andrew A. Melzer is also the composer of Canada (we love you) / Canada (notre pays), chosen as theme song for Canada’s centenary in 1967.
Musicians on Out of the Cool:
Norman Amadio (piano)
Reg Schwager (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
Phil Dwyer (saxophone) – not sure
Guido Basso (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Mat Pataki (percussion)
And possibly also bassist Rosemary Galloway and drummer Terry Clarke
 
Track 2
Roger Chong is a Hong Kong native who was raised in Toronto and trained musically at York University. Apart from playing the guitar like it’s an extension of his fingers, Roger is also a well-loved jazz educator.
The Roger Chong Quartet is made up of:
Roger Chong (guitar)
Denis Kugappi (piano)
Ken McDonald (bass)
Steve Farrugia (drums)
 
Watch the Roger Chong Quartet perform Intimate Strangers at the 2015 New Market Jazz Festival. BTW, love the man-bun, Roger!
 
 
Track 3
If you attended École secondaire Saint-Joseph de Hull in the mid-seventies you will surely recognize Glad from a dance routine choreographed by our gym teacher, Mademoiselle Turgeon. The upbeat piece gets deconstructed and built up again before veering into a slowed-down, dream-like outro. Cool, man! Oh, and listen for the oh-so-sixties cowbell!
 
Traffic is made up of:
Steve Winwood – Hammond organ, piano, bass, percussion;
Chris Wood – saxophone, flute, percussion;
Jim Capaldi – drums, percussion
 
Track 4
Ryshnychok / Earthly Mother is originally based on a Ukrainian poem by Andriy Malyshko in which a lyrical hero remembers his mother giving him a towel-cloth that signifies his life path.
The poem was later set to music by Platon Ilarionovych Maiboroda, Song about the towel-cloth (UkrainianПісняпро рушник; Pisnya pro rushnyk) also known as Ridna maty moya (My dear mother/Dearest mother of mine), which first appeared on the soundtrack of the 1958 Soviet film Young Years and was later popularized by Dmytro Hnatyuk.
Here is an English version on YouTube. See if you can hear the melody lines that inspired Wasyl Kohut and his band members in CANO for their prog rock interpretation! On the Eclipse liner notes, Ryshnychok is described as “a famous Ukrainian melody of immigration, loneliness and love.”
On Eclipse, CANO is made up of:
Rachel Paiement – acoustic guitar
David Burt – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
John Doerr – electric bass, trombone, programming
Wasyl Kohut – electric violin, mandolin and, for this track, a violin courtesy of Remedy Music in Toronto.
Michael Kendel – grand piano, electric piano, synthesizer, vocals
Marcel Aymar – vocals, acoustic guitar
Michel Dasti – drums, percussion
 
Eclipse is dedicated to founding member André (Dédé) Paiement, Rachel’s brother, who contributed music and lyrics to the project but was diagnosed with brain cancer before the band went into the recording studio (Eastern Sound Studio, Toronto). André opted to take his own life. The liner notes end with a hand-written dedication: “Dédé, cet album est pour toé, This album is for you.”
 
 
Track 5
 
This piece is played on a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum, a zither with 12 or more strings.
 
Moon Chae-rim as Jung-hyang playing the gayageum
The gayageum soundboard is made of Paulonia, hence the title of the piece, The Aged Paulownia Hides Its Melody. Paulonia is an ornamental tree with foxglove-like panicles of flowers, and is considered the fastest growing hardwood. Its wood is light, fine-grained and warp-resistant.
 
This version, called “freestyle,” is from the soundtrack of a 2008 South Korean historical television series, The Painter of the Wind. In the 20-episode series, one of the thematic musical pieces is picked up by the strong-willed female entertainer portrayed on the left, a gisaeng, and spun into a decidedly jazzy interpretation.
 
The series is based on a bestselling novel by LEE Jung-myung that fictionalizes the rise to fame of mid-eighteenth century painter, SHIN Yun-bok, as s/he (in the fiction, the talented girl must pass as a boy) is mentored by another great painter of the age, Kim Hong-do.  This low-resolution YouTube video, set to the same music as my Track 5, introduces paintings from both masters along with screen caps from the series.
 
Most of the information in this post was pieced together from various wiki sites. Thanks, wiki contributors, from one of your supporters!

Bonus Tracks

Light Effect
Light Effects by JS
To get you in the mood for next week’s broadcast, here are 10 instrumental tracks I considered including but reluctantly had to leave out. Some are classics while others are more eclectic.
Listed in chronological order. Enjoy!
 
  • Take Five, composed by Paul Desmond and played by the Dave Brubeck Quartet on their iconic album, Time Out, 1959. Also check out the 2002 version by Donald Harrison, featuring Christian Scott and Eric Reed, on Real Life Stories.
  • The Hipster, composed and played by Harold McNair and other musicians on Harold’s 1968 self-titled album.
  • Sentimental Walk / Promenade Sentimentale, composed and played by Vladimir Cosma on the Original Soundtrack for Diva, 1981.
  • Last Train Home, composed by Pat Metheny and played by the Pat Metheny Group on Still Life (Talking), 1987.
  • Skating, composed by Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelson, played by David Benoit, Remembering Christmas, 1996.
  • Wade in the Water, composed by Ramsey Lewis and played by the Ramsey Lewis Trio on Ramsey Lewis’s Finest Hour,  2000.
  • Café by the Sea, composed and played by Kevin Laliberté on the album Siesta, 2006.
  • Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, composed and played by Riuichi Sakamoto on Playing the Piano, 2009.
  • Magnolia, composed and played by Mirko Signorile from the album of the same name, 2012.
  • Kingdom Come by The Soul Jazz Orchestra on Inner Fire, 2014.
  • Santiago by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from their album So it Is, 2017.
 
Share yours!
Oh, and if you get this far in the posting, click here and consider sponsoring my participation in Jazz FM’s upcoming Jazzathon. You’ll be supporting the wonderful community work (listed under Education) done by the station and I’ll get to walk to 4 jazz venues in Toronto along with like-minded music lovers. And listen to great live performances. THANK YOU!

Taking to the airwaves!

Dissolving Moon
Dissolving Moon, photo by JS

You are cordially invited to listen as I take to the airwaves and guest-host a half-hour of instrumental music with wonderful co-host Dani Elwell and ace producer William Heaton at Jazz FM91. Mark your calendars for:

Date: Sunday July 30th
Time NOW CONFIRMED: 4:30 to 5:00 EST (UTC – 5:00)
Where: tune in to FM 91.1 in the Toronto area or listen online anywhere in the world.
Why instrumentals?
Like abstract images, instrumentals allow us to imagine our own stories and drift into moods that marry music and soul: happy, light-hearted, energized, groovin’, inspired, transcendent, dreamy, relaxed, at peace. And also bothered, rubbed the wrong way, disrupted … although I hope this doesn’t happen to you very often!
 
Over the next few weeks I’ll post bonus tracks, the show’s playlist and bonus material about the instrumentals I chose to feature. Stay tuned!

“Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe”

220px-vanmorrisonastralweeks
Courtesy of Wikipedia
One Saturday night when I was a science student at the University of Ottawa, I was in my room listening to the radio while doing a  lab report – you know, writing my observations and conclusions in one of those hard-cover notebooks.
I sat in the dark except for a desk lamp when the song, Madame George, came on, the quiet strumming of the guitar, then Van’s voice breaking through. The emotions. The vulnerability…
I knew right away that I had to listen, really listen, so I turned off the light to give my ears a chance to absorb as much as possible.
The song poured right into my soul.
Even though I knew nothing about the world Van was singing about, I felt his longing and how it lingered long after he left wherever it was that he was leaving – Belfast, as it turned out.
For me it was a mystical experience, a communion with something sacred and enduring. And 40 years on, reading comments online, I see that I’m far from alone in cherishing this particular song from Van’s 1968 album, Astral Weeks.
Enjoy!
The quote in the title is from the lyrics to Madame George, which can be found here.
Listen to Jazz FM91‘s Nightlab, hosted every Sunday night from 10 to midnight EST by the wonderful Dani Elwell, and you might hear this story and this song in the not so distant future.

Dylan, Ear-Worms, and More on Draft 12.1

bob-dylan-hyway-61-revisited-cover
Credit: bobdylan.com

Bob Dylan’s star is shining bright since the announcement that he has been chosen as the 2016 laureate for Nobel Prize in Literature. Congrats, Bob! Well deserved, and thrilled that literature, in the eyes of one of the most visible literature prize committee, has been expanded to include song composition! Readers of these pages will know that I often use examples from song lyrics in my posts because I find that they connect us more tightly than words that live only (mostly) on the page.

Which brings me, in a round-about way, to a strange ear-worm of mine, strange because I’ve heard the song only a handful of times in my life. Oh, but what a powerful song Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man is, with it’s dirge-like tempo and angry insistence!

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

(Pa-pa-pam pam pam!)

It comes to me at odd moments, a stray thought about a misunderstanding big or small, and the lyrics will pop into my head and stay there for a day or two, pa-pa-pam pam pam!

And speaking of words that live beyond the page, if only fleetingly, a reminder that Draft 12.1 is only a week away. Check out Draft’s newest related post, The Writer’s Unblocking: 4 Authors Share their Ideal Writing Spot.

Oral Story-Telling – John Pizzarelli

For a great example of oral story-telling, check out Radio Deluxe’s broadcast of John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey’s concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal Stamidnightmccartney300te Northridge in Los Angeles, recorded live April 9th, 2016. Download Show. After the first two songs, John tells the story of how he came to record Midnight McCartney.

I’d previously heard him tell the same story on the Radio Deluxe program taped at John and Jessica’s home in New York, but this live version is even more hilarious. John lays it on thick and hits all the right notes.

A shout out to Jazz FM 91 in Toronto for airing this program every Sunday morning at 9 am.