Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Did I say I would be posting every day during the jazz fest. Well, sorry to
the 3 or 4 of you who check this regularly, it got pretty hectic, what with
my desktop publishing and web duties, but mostly with the gigs. Man, on
Sunday it was like 3 gigs in a day. An afternoon set at the Distillery
Ribfest, then an early evening rehearsal with Andrew and John and then
hosting the after-hours jam from 1-4 am at the Rex Jazz & Blues Bar.

The jazz festival always gets extended hours (for serving liquor) for a
club or two for the duration of the festival and this year the Rex was the
destination. They hired me for two nights and called it an acoustic blues
jam. Well, I should probably have brought a rhythm section rather than
fiddle & mandolin, but we had an amazing time (even though we had to play
without a bass player for a while).

There has never been a blues jam anything like this in Toronto (and we have
had many blues jams). The first night we had many of the jazz stars that
had just played in the tribute to Dizzy Gillespie on the main stage and
that included Roy Hargrove (who was the first jammer to arrive and the last
to leave), Antonio Hart, other horn players whose names I can't remember
but who are quite well known in the jazz world. Plus we had the entire
rhythm section of Roy's band, RH Factor, that were playing the next
evening. Then on the second night, Roy didn't come back, but the rest of
his crew did plus guitarist Russell Malone, who launched into a blues
guitar duel with Todd from Roy's band and they raised the roof. (Ooops,
just got a call from my soundman and I'm outa here - I have to be on stage
at 2 (that's pm today, not am)