by carl wilson

Jazzing the 'topia

Lori Freedman and Frank Gratkowski. This is tonight (Monday), folks!

Rushing, and there's plenty of chatter for y'all to get caught up upon in the comments sections if that's your poison, but kwickly:

1. Today in the Globe & Mail, I reviewed the new Howe Gelb album, 'Sno Angel Like You, which was recorded with the Voices of Praise gospel choir (!) as well as singer-songwriter Jim Bryson, and Jeremy Gara, the drummer from the Arcade Fire, a year or so ago in Ottawa (Ottawopia!?). Howe and some version of that band, or another band, or no band (it's kind of unclear), are touring in Canada for the next week, including Monday in Montreal and at the Horseshoe in Toronto on Sunday, March 5. (Full tour dates.)

2. The AIMT (Association of Improvising Musicians, Toronto) - one indie-music collective that ought to get a lot more attention for how much cool shit it's doing - hosts Montreal reeds player Lori Freedman on the weekend of March 10-12 as part of its Interface series. But first, Ms. Freedman is making her way here this weekend in the company of heavy German reedist Frank Gratkowski; they're both playing the NOW Lounge (189 Church) on Sunday from 4 pm to 7 pm, along with a bunch of local improvisors, and then a duo show Monday night at the Goethe Institut (163 King W), 8 pm. (More details here.)

3. And that's only the beginning of the jazz/improv action to come around town, including two shows by the mighty NYC post-Cecil piano force Matthew Shipp next weekend (March 4-5) at the Music Gallery and Arrayspace, followed March 10 with an appearance by the great Randy Weston. Also, much later in the year, John Zorn's Acoustic Masada (with Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen and Joey Baron) is playing the Music Hall on June 28. Not to mention the Derek Bailey Memorial BBQ on March 17 with a fistful of local guitarprovisors, Henry Kaiser and Lukas Ligeti playing with CCMC types past and present on March 26, and other wonders yet to reveal their true names to mortal ears - let alone all the snappin' happenin's every week at Arraymusic, the Tranzac, the Rex, the Red Guitar and elsewhere.

So it seems the Senator dies and the Toronto jazz scene comes to life!

| Posted by zoilus on Friday, February 24 at 08:16 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (16)



i was kidding a little, matthew. but the thing about utopias is, it's always possible to contemplate them.

Posted by zoilus on February 27, 2006 07:27 PM




I understand your reasoning behind Torontopia, and I think it's a great concept, and one thing I've learned from my own site over the last six months is that the local music scene isn't as hopeless as I'd imagined it to be...but there's serious work that needs to be done here before it'd be possible to even contemplate a utopin arts (especially music) community.

Posted by matthew on February 27, 2006 05:36 PM




I agree it is ridiculous to say who is the best in art. However, recognizing a small group of people who have done good work in the last year is one way of advertising the genre and giving a little push to the industry (and boy do we need it in Canadian Jazz!)

Eventually, choosing a winner is a way of drawing more of the mainstream audience in with the competitive aspect of the broadcast or show. (competition helps ratings...have you seen Canadian Idol?....sorry)

I think people's reluctance to try to embrace the Junos and other awards is symbolic for why it is taking so long for the world to discover Canadian music. ie. If we can't be proud at home...

Last year Carl wrote a great article on the Junos.

Yes he was critical but hopefully people are listening! (CARAS?)

Anyways, Zoilus has probably done more to help and promote the Canadian music scene than the Junos (certainly the Toronto scene) but if everyone continues to work together, just a little bit, we might get some more of our artists over.

Of course, music is not a sport and as I like to say; almost anyone can catch a ball.

p.s. I will vote for Rob Clutton in a Speedo any day!

Posted by tim on February 27, 2006 01:00 PM



pardon the press release format, but all questions should be clarified w/the following. otherwise feel free to reply to sender...

MATTHEW SHIPP (nyc) solo piano

*ONE* Release Tour 2006
March 4 + 5/Toronto
2 gigs at 2 places w/grand pianos
*ONE (1) * RoughIdea + RMS present
Saturday March 4 - 8pm
the Music Gallery
St. George-the-Martyr Church
197 John Street
Grange Park (north of CITYTV)
Tickets - $15
RotateThis - 416 504 8447
SoundScapes - 416 537 1620
TicketMaster - 416 870 8000

*ONE (2) *
*RoughIdea + ArrayMusic present
Sunday March 5 Matt*inee - 1:30pm
ArrayMusic Studio
60 Atlantic Ave suite 218
south of King west of the tracks
Tickets - $11
ArrayMusic - 416 532 3019
SoundScapes - 416 537 1620

Posted by rg on February 27, 2006 11:55 AM



The NOW Lounge on Sunday was exceptionally good. Thanks for plugging the upcoming Interface - promises to be a great 3 days of music making.

Posted by Rob P on February 27, 2006 10:30 AM jazz look to this site for giving me information on the creative alternatives in music/art/ etc....while i am happy that my old friends have been nominated, it's no surprise to me that the awards themselves did not appear on this site/string..i mean, really!....would you expect to see the juno nominations here?...frankly i think the whole notion of best this or that is so incredibly old school (although a swimsuit competition in the jazz awards would be interesting) and not as much about music as it is about sports...and i don't consider music a sport...peace...nilan

Posted by nilan on February 27, 2006 08:54 AM



The bumpf:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - 7pm
The Music Hall, 147 Danforth Avenue
Soundscapes, Rotate This or Ticketmaster - (416) 870-8000,
Ticket prices: $40 and $55, plus service charges
Limited student tickets are available, ID required

Posted by zoilus on February 26, 2006 07:22 PM



Any details on tickets to the Acoustic Masada show (price, on-sale date etc.?)

Posted by Paul M on February 26, 2006 01:37 PM



Carl, I always look foward to your posts that include jazz or improvised music (and I am always impressed by how many there are!) Although I like to read it all (I even picked up the Destroyer disc yesterday but the jury is still out for me!)

Anyways, I was suprised you didn't take this opportunity to mention the National Jazz Awards Nominations. (perhaps you were waiting) I am pretty sure you knew that our fave bass player Rob Clutton was nominated for best bass player and people can (and should) vote online at

thanks as always!
tim posgate

p.s. Ok...I can't resist...I was prett happy to get a couple nominations myself!

Posted by tim on February 25, 2006 10:42 PM



Thanks carl.

Ill get the new gelb.

Here are the guardian reviews of the two cd's i mentioned:,,1711336,00.html,,1711149,00.html

BTW, im seeing Beth Orton in Cambridge tommorow. How exciting!

Posted by guy tanentzapf on February 25, 2006 05:03 PM



I dont' know those other groups you're mentioning, Guy - i'll have to look 'em up.

Posted by zoilus on February 25, 2006 02:47 PM



Nick - You're right, Lori plays clarinet more than sax, tho she plays both. A hurried slip.

Graham, the Shipp show at Arraymusic Space is at 1:30 next Sunday afternoon and the price is a very reasonable $11. (Even the Music Gallery show is only $15.)

Guy - I think this is Howe's best solo album. It's not as good as the best of Giant Sand, but it's quite strong, with a unique style that doesn't blend into all his other stuff. That three-star rating is out of four - but if I were to translate it to a numeric value out of a hundred, it'd be about an 83,

Posted by zoilus on February 25, 2006 02:46 PM



do you have any more information on the Sunday Shipp show? i.e. Arrayspace? Cost? etc.. I'd go to the Music Gallery show but I've already committed to the CMW Raekwon show that night...

Posted by Graham on February 25, 2006 10:13 AM



Hey Carl,

I read your review but im still not sure how much you like the new Gelb?
Is it a honkin masterpiece like Glum or chore of enchantment or a mostly boring curiousity like a lot of his solo stuff?
Or is it somewhere in the middle.....
In other words should i really buy it?

I'd also be interested in your opinion of the new Cortney Tidwell and (especially) Solveig Slettahjell (and her slow motion quintet). Both of which are getting staller reviews in the UK press right now.



Posted by guy tanentzapf on February 25, 2006 09:34 AM



one thing... isn't lori a bass-clarinetist?

Posted by Nick_S on February 24, 2006 09:43 PM



Thank you ever so much for plugging these events! Esp. the NOW Lounge this Sunday ;-)

Posted by Nick_S on February 24, 2006 09:36 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson