Dobbin's Den

August 2004

There is a lot of music for the jazz fan in upcoming weeks. Roberto Occhipinti will be bringing Hilario Duran into Upstairs on Sunday, September 26. In Burlington, Vermont at the Flynn, James Harvey and Garuda appear on September 4th at 8pm, followed a week later by the Willem Breuker Kollektief with shows at 7 and 9:15pm. The Breuker ensemble will also be in Montreal on September 28th at the Sala Rossa [4848 St. Laurent] with cellist Erik Friedlander heard in the first part of that show.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival has announced this year's "Off-Season" program. They will be using the following venues: Salle Gesu, the Spectrum, the Metropolis and the Outremont Theatre. At Gesu, you can hear reedman Joel Miller with guitarist Ben Monder guesting on September 18. The Metropolis hosts the exciting Afro-Cuban All Stars plus Carlos Placeres on September 28. At the Spectrum, it's Rokia Traore of West Africa on October 14, Bruce Cockburn hits on October 16 followed a day later by, the not to be missed Kelly Joe Phelps shares a bill with our own Jordan Officer. England's Jamie Cullum arrives on October 20, he's a singer getting a lot of ink. I haven't heard him but I did see a posting on a jazz site wondering what North America did to deserve him. On the following night, the marvellous Harry Manx, a multi-string player from Canada's West, opens for Bob Walsh on a night headlined by blues harp player Guy Belanger in a recreation of the music from the "Gaz Bar Blues" film and in November, a pair of vocalists - Coral Egan appears on the 12th and Stacey Kent, a big hit here this summer at the Jazz festival, on the 26th. Coming into Theatre Outremont, the award winning Dave Holland Quintet on October 2nd with the duo of Steve Amirault and Andre Lachance, an exciting opening act [and Billy Kilson fans can rejoice as he's also part of this year's Montreal Drum Festival with "BK Groove", that's at Salle Pierre Mercure on November 14]. Also at the Outremont, it's Tango Flamenco on October 29 and on November 13, the Christine Jensen Quintet featuring her sister, Ingrid, an outstanding trumpet player, the runner up in the Down Beat Critics Poll for the second year in a row. Tickets go on sale August 28 at noon.

Gordie Fleming, the greatest bebop accordion player I ever heard [he also played piano and organ], died on August 31, 2002 in Toronto, he had just marked his 71st birthday on August 3--he was born in Winnipeg in 1931. Shortly after his death, his daughter Heidi began an uncompromising search for material and with the help of many of her father's friends came up with a wonderful array of recordings and 25 of them have been compiled on an anthology that is now in release as "According To Gordie" on the Just A Memory label. That same label also has a new CD of previously unreleased material culled from a Dizzy Gillespie appearance at the Rising Sun here in Montreal. I had the privilege of doing the liner notes for both. Staying on the subject of CDs, this is Count Basie's centennial year, he was born in Red Bank, N.J. on August 21, 1904 and England's Proper label has a wonderful 4-CD Proper Box set, "The Count Basie Story" contains 99 tracks beginning with the "Smith-Jones" tracks from November 9, 1936 and ending with a 1950 recording of "Basie Boogie" with the wonderful tenor of Lester Young on the former and Wardell Gray on the latter. Joop Visser contributes his usual informative notes in the 47 page booklet that comes as part of the package.

© Len Dobbin 2004
Montreal, Quebec, Canada