by carl wilson

Gwo-Ka a Go Go

I've always been dismissive of the Toronto Downtown Jazz fastival as thin mainstream gruel, and usually it is, but either I'm getting softer or the festival's getting a little harder edged - this year's program is actually pretty impressive. And this afternoon's outdoor show by David Murray & the Gwo-Ka Masters stands out as one of the best free outdoor daytime concerts I've ever seen. No Hamid Drake on drums, unfortunately (I didn't recognize the replacement but he was no Hamid), but the Guadaloupe drummers and Murray himself went all-out, even on the unfortunate departure from the African rhythms into a feel-good island party tune about Bahia that broke the trance they'd been weaving in the withering heat for an hour. And listen here: Herve Sambe (at back in this pic) is your new guitar hero, alternately scratching like a turntablist, nimble fingering it like all the jazz guitar heroes and shredding like Sepultura.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, June 24 at 10:03 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)



Murray was my first DuMaurier Jazz fest experience, at the behest of Tim Powis...what a baptism that was back in 87(?). Murray has been my living sax king ever since, from seeing the World Sax Quartet at the Bam Boo (completely acoustic in a packed house...) to getting in to see him in his super-quartet with Blackwell, Hicks, Drummond during his Ming's Samba period at the Village Vanguard as Max Gordon looked on...unfortunately I can't see him here...I won't bore you with the details, but in involves a newly purchased sailboat...Murray's not free here, tickets are $ lucky youse on the freebees...

Posted by Phil on June 27, 2005 3:33 PM



I find if you really pay attention and search out the good shows they will always be there. (kind of like anything in, tv, art...)

It is true though, the repeat offenders is a strange part of our festival that I don't understand.

Hope people come to hear Howard Johnson at noon on Thursday at Nathan Philllips Square. (free!!...with Tim Posgate Hornband)

Posted by tim on June 27, 2005 9:28 AM



It was J.T. Lewis on drums. He was a bit more studio-hack-y than Drake would have been, but still effective. A great afternoon, not least for the sight of several hundred normal people of both genders at a David Murray show.

The T.O. fest does tend to toe a more mainstream line in their ticketed concerts, but they've booked some adventurous bills in the past (Martin Tetrault at B-Side and a free show with Chris Potter spring immediately to mind, and there are probably others). My complaint is that they book the same people from year to year - surely there are new acts doing the festival circuit that don't feature Roy Hargrove?

Posted by Dave M. on June 26, 2005 2:12 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson