Pat Blythe – Jazz and Around Town

pat-blog

It’s so quiet in the house you can almost hear it…..the quiet I mean. The steady tick of the clock, the occasional gurgle of the hot water radiator and the hum of complete stillness. The outside world seems so far away, almost non-existent. As I sit typing this it’s like I’m on the inside looking out….a rather surreal feeling….like one of those movie scenes where the person is standing still  and everything else is whizzing and swirling by at record speed. Watching and waiting. A sense of calm yet anticipatory. Of what I don’t know.

Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel

jazzJazz has been on my mind particularly since meeting and listening to Juno award winner producer and jazz pianist Eddie Bullen. His hands just fly over the keys, sometimes becoming a blur, barely touching each note. But the music…..oh the music….I could just sit back and listen all day. It’s quite sublime. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing and watching Bullen perform live, very up close and personal a number of times….first at Taste of Columbia with Liberty Silver and the last at my Christmas open house. To the great delight of folks crowded into my ground floor, Bullen hit the keyboard a few times. Since my drums were set up and the guitar just happened to be hanging around, there were quite a number of jam sessions throughout the day. He could jazz up any piece and the game became “name that song”. An amazing and very gracious talent!

Spice Island – Eddie Bullen

Good friend Marysia Gonzalez joined me at the Aga Khan Museum on February 11 to enjoy Bullen and his son Quincy perform their show “Father and Son: Dueling Pianos”. From classical to jazz, pop, calypso, reggae and rock (with Quincy stepping up front with his Telecaster), the father/son duo put on a fabulous performance. A description of the show goes like this, “Dueling Pianos takes the audience on a journey through masterful renditions honouring jazz, classical, calypso and reggae traditions — illustrating how Eddie Bullen prepared his son, Quincy Bullen, to understand and embrace their family history, as well as the roots of music.” The stories of growing up in the Bullen household surrounded by music, with early morning practices, missed school buses, father teaching son but eventually, son teaching father. The show is filled with wonderful music, some surprises, lots of laughter and much love. I HIGHLY recommend it if you have the chance.

Quincy Bullen (interview with Eddie)

Eddie Bullen grew up in Grenada and decided to make Canada his home in the 1980s. Over the years Bullen has produced over 150 albums working with many artists such as Deborah Cox, Melba Moore, David Rudder, Byron Lee and Dee Dee Bridgewater; is the creative force, mind and talent behind Thunder Dome Sounds; was nominated for a Grammy; won two Juno awards for his work on Liberty Silver’s hit singles “Lost Somewhere Inside Your Love” and “Show Me The Way To Love; composes and arranges for radio and television and raised (along with his late wife Joan) two beautiful, talented sons (Quincy and Tre-Michael) who appear to be following in their father’s footsteps. Multi-instrumentatlist Quincy, who has already recorded three CDs, has mastered the piano, drums, bass and guitar….and he sings! Tre’s preferred instrument is the drums although, if memory serves, I believe he also plays guitar. I was fortunate to meet both Bullen sons and extended family after the show at the Aga Khan Museum. For more information or to check to see if Dueling Pianos is coming to your area click here http://eddiebullen.com/

Lost Somewhere Inside Your Love – Liberty Silver

A few show shots….

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Quincy and Eddie Bullen

eddies-joy

Eddie’s joy….

quincy

Quincy Bullen at the keys

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L-R – Quincy, Trey-Michael and Eddie Bullen

Around town….

around-townI was invited by Matt Lightstone of Secret Broadcast to a short and quietly advertised show on February 9 at the Handlebar. Performing brand new songs off their soon-to-be-released album for the first time, the band played an intimate set to a select and extremely appreciative audience. It was well worth the drive to Kensington. Now you be the judge. Secret Broadcast’s showcase is tomorrow night (Friday, Feb, 24) at The Supermarket. I am sooooo looking forward to this.

Following our “classical” foray, Marysia and I sashayed down to Linsmore Tavern to see Graffiti Park, Toronto-based, five- to six-piece ensemble/cover band that have become well known around the globe for playing anything from the 50’s forward. Together for 10 years, they have performed for audiences across North America, the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean, in clubs and private events. Their diverse set list appeals to all age groups and particularly to those of us who like to dance. From Michael Jackson to The Temptations, from David Bowie to Toto, funk, latin, R&B and rock…..they cover all genres of music. The Linsmore was jammed and the place was rockin’. Graffitti Park are currently in residency at the Pickled Onion in Hamilton, Bermuda for the remainder of the winter.

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Lead vocalist Susie Stephenson rocking out at the Linsmore

Promotional Video – Graffiti Park

February 16 found me at the Jazz Bistro to see Galen Weston. February 18 was full house in the back room at the Cameron House for some dancing with pop/rock group Jack The Lads. Julian (guitar), Paddy (drums) and Will (bass) make up the “The Lads”, a trio I’ve been following for just over a year. I’m always pleased to see these three talents who are currently working on their first EP of original tunes set for release this year. Jack The Lads were opening for Dirty Church who entered the club from the back, all dressed in white, singing and clapping, reminiscent of a gospel group. Apparently it’s been about a year since Dirty Church has performed so the crowd was ready. Literally cheek-to-jowl, Dirty Church had the crowd movin’ and a groovin’ for the rest of the evening.

winterfolk-2017

Winterfolk XV, Blues and Roots Festival ran over the course of three days, 150 artists on six stages on the Danforth. Black Swan Tavern, Dora Keogh’s Irish Pub, Globe Bistro (Upstairs Lounge), TerriO’s Sports Bar & Grill and Mambo Lounge were the participating venues. Beginning Friday, February 17 through to Sunday February 19, performers such as Julian Taylor, David Storey, Lawrie Ingles, Freeman Dre, Danny Marks and Mike McKenna (the list goes on) serenaded attendees, all for our listening pleasure. A mere $20 for a three-day pass allowed audiences to see and enjoy some of the best performers around in comfortable, intimate surroundings. One of the best deals going. On the final evening, I took my sister Chrissie, who was visiting from London, to see Julian Taylor at the Globe and Freeman Dre at the Black Swan. An extremely enjoyable evening.

I leave you with…..

Dangerous Eyes – Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party

Hot Heels – Julian Taylor Band

The Land Where Blues Began – Danny Marks

Cheers!

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

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