James’ Brand New Blog

Eric Stach improv music fest rawks Soho on Fridays

- August 29th, 2014

Eric Stach Londoner\

Eric Stach wailing at Studio 105 (presumably) with what looks to be a Catherine Morrisey masterpiece in the background … courtesy of londoner.ca … but JBNBlog would love to add the photographer credit

JBNBlog doesn’t know Justin Ford — but salutes JFord for this fine piece on the Eric Stach-helmed Studio 105 four-month Festival of Improvisation Music. Solidarity with QMI Agency colleagues at Londoner where the story ran earlier in the summer.

So get on down to 105 Clarence St.. Soho, #ldnont,  9 p.m. tonight (Friday) for this week’s fest marvel. We should hear Yannik Allwood (maybe Yanick Allwood?), piano,  Art Lang, bass, the Bernie Koenig/Art Pratten Duo, the Eric Stach Free Music Unit & maybe some other kewl souls.

Two questions . . . one for Eric & the organizers … when will alto sax ace Karen Ng be back? She’s great.

.., and the second for you, the general JBNBlog public, for the usual prizes … name the 2014 fest participant who will also be writer-in-residence at Western and the LPL …  & in addition be part of the big Words fall list, something else JBNBlog would love to know more about.

over to to Justin

By Justin Ford, Special to the Londoner

Residents of London will be able to experience incredible improvisation music every Friday night until they see the streets littered with trick-or-treaters.

The Festival of Improvisation Music starts July 4, at 105 Clarence St. South at Studio 105. The festival will run every single Friday at the same venue until Halloween. The shows were put together by Eric Stach.

Stach is a local musician who loves jazz. His first “band” was a 10-piece church band where he wielded the clarinet. He is now a master of the alto sax.

When Stach first came to town in 1966, his style was considered “too radical.” People didn’t care for his improvisation style, and demanded something more clear-cut.

“I was never invited in,” Stach said. “But then again I never wanted to be in, or play that way.”

Stach has an improvisation background spanning four decades. Some of the professionals he’s encountered over his illustrious career will be the musicians taking the stage at Studio 105 on Fridays.

“They’re all people that stand out over the last 45 years,” explained Stach. “All the musicians are handpicked.”

The shows will mainly consist of improvised jazz sets. Stach went on to explain about 60 per cent of what those in attendance will see and hear will be jazz.

“You get a lot of strange and different backgrounds,” said Stach of the other 40 per cent.

Each Friday you can expect two different groups on stage. They will share the stage for four hours, rotating in 20-minute improvised shifts until 1 a.m. rolls around.

Stach -with the help of his wife- doesn’t put these shows on because they’re profitable. He does it simply for the love of music. Specifically, jazz music. Stach explained that it’s extremely hard to find real jazz shows these days, and the shows that do claim to be jazz are often watered-down mainstream versions of what it used to be.

“I want to look more toward experimental music with strong personal character. I want people to reflect their personalities.”

How does one play a 20-minute set of completely improvised music? Well, talent, and lots of it. All the musicians Stach handpicked are legitimate professionals, who have been “jamming” like this for a very long time. The musicians don’t even bother to talk to each other before their set. No mention of key, time signature, or even melody is needed. They walk up there, musically blindfolded, and let it pour out.

“When you operate that way there’s more risk involved,” Stach said. “It’s like not having a life-insurance policy.”

According to Stach, there’s very little real jazz going on anymore. So come to Studio 105 for a glimpse of the real thing. Each show will start at 9 p.m. and end at 1 a.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Aeolian: Rutledge, Ross, Leeb & Tafelmusik. Yay.

- August 27th, 2014


Mira Glodeanu

Mira Glodeanu will be at Aeolian Hall with Tafelmusik on Feb. 6, 2015. Undated image courtesy of miraglodeanu.com

The hits just keep on coming over at historic Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St. … latest announcements brings Justin Rutledge, guitar heroes Don Ross and Thomas Leeb & the terrific Tafelmusik Orchestra … here are the details, but first a little quiz … what R&B/soul/pop tune did Don Ross once cover at Home County? A revisit at Aeolian would be fun . . .

here are the dates & prices . . .

Justin Rutledge

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Time: 7:00 PM (Doors Open), 8:00 PM (Show Starts)

Ticket Price: $20 Advance / $23 Door

Points of Interest:

- The album “Valleyheart” was the 2014 JUNO Award-winner for Best Solo Roots/Traditional Album.

- His new album “Daredevil” was released earlier this year and it is described as a homage to the music of The Tragically Hip.

- This is the second time that Rutledge has performed as a headliner at The Aeolian.

Don Ross & Thomas Leeb

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time: 7:00 PM (Doors Open), 8:00 PM (Show Starts)

Ticket Price: $25 Advance / $22 student or senior / $30 Door

Points of Interest:

- Don Ross is the only person to twice win the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship (1988 and 1996).

- This is the third time that Ross has performed as a headliner at The Aeolian, and Leeb is a first-time performer.


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Date: Friday, February 6, 2015

Time: 7:00 PM (Doors Open), 8:00 PM (Show Starts)

Ticket Price: $50 Advance / $55 Door

Points of Interest:

- The Aeolian presents Tafelmusik as they perform “A Baroque Feast” featuring acclaimed Romanian baroque violinist Mira Glodeanu as Guest Director and Violin Soloist. The program is scheduled to feature virtuosic works of the late baroque era, including Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann.

- Tafelmusik is an award-winning Canadian orchestra performing with period instruments.

- Reserved seating is available at this event.

#ldont kewl quiz: Shad & the Western Fair

- August 27th, 2014



Shad Piano ByCheKothari (800x533)

Shad, in an classic & undated image, at the 88s. Photo credit Che Kothari

JBNBlog is delighted #ldnont-raised Juno winner Shad is headlining at the 2014 Western Fair. Shad will be at the fair on Sept. 11 as part of a series of concerts free with your admission to the fall classic.

So here’s our quiz . . . urban myth has Shad saying a youthful visit to see X (an act on the following list) “at the fair” helped  inspire his interest in music.

So who is X … the celeb judges have just told JBNBlog it is not the M.C. on the list  . . .so who is it?

No way of proving at the moment it was the Western Fair in  the Shad myth … but let’s assume that.

So for bonus points which edition of the Western Fair boasted  this pretty remarkable lineup?

Here is the list!

Canadian Tire Auto Thrill Show

Demolition Derby (2)

The Northern Pikes

All-Canadian Super Dogs (2 plus 4 afternoons)

Ronnie Milsap

Bobby Vinton

1964 (The Beatles)

Steve Landesberg

Rick Thomas (Magician)

Paul Lennon (M.C.)

IMG Circus

Kim Mitchell

Londoner’s Chris Montanini on Liminality

- August 27th, 2014


Liminality image (2)


Liminality poster image courtesy of liminalitymovie.com

Londoner ace & QMI Agency colleague Chris Montanini has written a classy piece about a what sounds like a classy film, Liminality, made here in #ldnont . . .

Over to Chris for the tale …

Liminality — a locally produced feature-length independent film about a day in the lives of a group of twenty-somethings in London — is ready for its premiere at Hyland Cinema September 25.

Co-written by Nick J. Scott and director Darryl Callcott, the coming-of-age comedy/drama was shot in London last year. The film is a character study that explores the lives and quarter-life crises of a group of young adults as they cross paths over the course of one day in London, but the scenery likely won’t be the only thing that’s familiar to local audiences.

The film’s five storylines include a couple struggling to maintain a long distance relationship while each pursues school separately in London and Toronto. Another couple, newlyweds, are worried about the future while one deals with unemployment in London. A third pair who recently met online, struggle to make time for a second date, one working long hours as a paramedic and the other trying to find time for a child in a shared custody agreement with an ex.

Each story is raw and down to Earth in the low budget, naturalistic “mumblecore” style of indie film and relatable to real world scenarios you could find on any given day in The Forest City.

“I always liked that kind of story where you see more than one character and it’s not necessarily the good guy or the bad guy — it’s just people that you feel like you know,” Callcott said. “It was a good way to show off the city because all these characters were going about their separate lives … so we had a lot of opportunities to explore the city and give these characters a real world to live in.”

Callcott is making his feature-length debut with Liminality after beginning his indie filmmaking career with short films. The cast includes Jake Raymond, Kayla Rock, Brennan Julius, Dominique Kamras, Harrison Stewart, Megan Schroder, David Lahti, Adrienne Masseo, Damon Muma, Dan Balcaban, Kerrie Gee and Steve Gauthier.

While Callcott plans to send the film to various festivals, it will, for now, only screen in London on September 25.

Tickets and a movie trailer are available online at liminalitymovie.com.


Twitter: @LondonerChris

On the shelves at LPL: * Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman

- August 27th, 2014



Anne Hillerman and her addition to the Navajo Tribal Police mystery novel series, courtesy of onceadaymarketing.com

*An occasional series devoted to glories found at the London Public Library branches here & there.

JBNBlog is a great admirer of the late Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels . . . & was inspired to discover, while looking to see if there was a THillerman as yet unread, that his daughter Anne Hillerman had taken up the tale.

It might suffice to say that if you admired & loved Tony Hillerman, you will certainly enjoy his daughter’s first addition to the series . . . the title, Spider Woman’s Daughter,  may play off the father-to-daughter passing of the torch even as it celebrates the third great Navajo Tribal Police officer to emerge in the series … there is weather, geography, landscape, timelessness, family complexities, food & the spare, telling use of dialogue which have marked the 18 (if my math is correct) previous novels in the series.

To add a few thoughts — it seems clear Anne is going to have officer Bernadette Manuelito (the daughter in the title, apparently) have an even bigger & bolder role than this hero had in her father’s books …. granted, Bernie did say something like “then we’ll kill him” when she was dealing with a vicious, greedy psycho in an earlier book. In typical Tony H karma, that villain ended up doing himself him in  … she’s also willing to put key characters in deadly peril, some of it charged with the revenge motifs familiar in this classic series …in the manner of most Hillerman villains, the killer is cold, clever & merciless . . .  it would appear that Anne Hillerman also unlikely to let Jim Chee ever use his firearm to effect, unless JBNBlog has missed a shootout or two in the books. Like father, like daughter in this regard.

A visit to the Santa Fe area some years ago brought us close to the magical Hillermanland . . . the books really do conjure up that glorious landscape, with colours everchanging just like the famous canyon.

Go Anne, go Bernie …  bring on Vol. 20!

Here is some background on the novel from annehillerman.com . . .

Anne Hillerman continues Tony Hillerman’s popular Leaphorn and Chee series with Spider Woman’s Daughter, a Navajo Country mystery, filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich Southwestern atmosphere.

Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter.

Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key. Digging into the old investigation, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth…and closer to a killer determined to prevent justice from taking its course.

from annehillerman.com …

Here is some more on Anne Hillerman from her website:

NEWS FLASH Spider Woman’s Daughter wins prestigious 2014 Spur Award for the Best First Mystery! “Thanks, Western Writers of America. I am honored and joyful,”Anne says.

Anne Hillerman’s first novel Spider Woman’s Daughter (HarperCollins) debuted Oct. 1, 2013, and became a New York Times Bestseller in its first week on shelves! The book follows the trail of the Navajo detectives her father Tony Hillerman created. Read more about the novel and the praise it’s receiving.

Santa Fe–based author Anne Hillerman has published eight non-fiction books and won award for nearly all of them. A longtime journalist, Anne writes weekly restaurant reviews for the Albuquerque Journal. She is one of the mavens behind Wordharvest writers workshops. Learn more about Anne.

Anne and husband Don Strel have helped organize a series of trips for Road Scholar based on their award–winning book Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn.



Tony Hillerman’s obituary via news services 28/10/2008:

Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes — Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee — died Sunday of pulmonary failure. He was 83.

Hillerman’s daughter, Anne Hillerman, said her father’s health had been declining in the last couple years and that he was at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque when he died at about 3 p. m.

Hillerman lived through two heart attacks and surgeries for prostate and bladder cancer. He kept tapping at his keyboard even as his eyes began to dim, as his hearing faded, as rheumatoid arthritis turned his hands into claws. “I’m getting old,” he declared in 2002, “but I still like to write.”

Anne Hillerman said Sunday that her father was a born storyteller.

“He had such a wonderful, wonderful curiosity about the world,” she said. “He could take little details and bring them to life, not just in his books, but in conversation, too.”