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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Another amazing day with Z today. I think she has been laughing nonstop for about 3 days now. She's hilarious to be around -- she genuinely cracks us up a dozen times a day. Makes us laugh till we cry, sometimes.

I dropped her off with B at the hospital while I picked up my All Access Pass to the jazz festival and then caught a couple of amazing shows. Rémi Bolduc was first, an alto sax player from Montreal who also used to be one of my sax teachers when I was at McGill, and then Dave Liebman, the famous soprano/tenor sax player who originally rose to stardom as an early member of Elvin Jones' band in the 70s and 80s. Elvin Jones was Coltrane's famous drummer from about 1962 until 1966 (he dropped out of Trane's band only in the last year before Trane died in '67 when his music was getting wayyyy out there), and Liebman got a lot of his Coltrane chops together while he was in that band, I think. He has a totally unique sound and approach though, and when he does pull out his Coltrane alter ego, it doesn't sound at all like he's copping Coltrane licks -- it just blows you out of your seat, it's so intense. I was sitting about 10 feet in front of him and I couldn't believe how heavy it was.

Supposed to commute to the call centre tomorrow, but I think I'll forego that and work from home instead. Tomorrow night, the great Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is playing (most famous for writing and performing the score to The Mambo Kings, I'd guess). And Tuesday, a real highlight -- Toronto-based singer and expert in the Persian ghazal, Kiran Ahluwalia. You have to try and listen to her somewhere if you can. She has an amazing CD. Her voice sounds like one of those middle eastern stringed instruments -- it's haunting, achingly beautiful. Can't wait to see her in person.

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eatingart July 20th, 2003
Thanks for your journal entry. I checked out Kiran Ahluwalia's web site and I love the music. I've always been a fan of sitar and I even own one that I bought when I was 16 and have carried it and cared for it throughout the years. I'm going to get the cd, thanks.

iamom July 24th, 2003
You have a sitar? That's amazing. What about tabla? Being so into drumming, I would assume that you'd also have tabla, no?

I think if I picked up an Indian instrument, it would be the tabla.

eatingart July 25th, 2003
Unfortunately no tabla, maybe in the future, we have talked about one

hfx_ben July 20th, 2003
Wasn't Bolduc pleasant, though? (He headlined at the tent this afternoon.) Such a tasty ensemble ... though I didn't think the drummer showed his stuff very much (not shy, or even withdrawn, just the way things were arranged_ ... I /so/ love the piano/sax combination.
My #1 pick to see (for entirely personal reasons) is Karch Kale; I want to do with African hand drums what he is doing with the Indian sound, i.e. jazz/trance arrangements plus electronica. He's at the Marquis ($10, which is a buskable amount).

Isn't this festival something, I mean, given the size of the town?! And even regardless ... it's sensational. (I did sound for Charlie Austin and company at the festival when I was in Edmonton, so many years ago ... the list wasn't greater by much, if at all.)

iamom July 21st, 2003
Dave Laing, the drummer in Rémi's band yesterday, is a fairly subtle guy. The thing to watch with him is how hard he swings, and how well he interacts with the other musicians when they're soloing. Not all drummers are also good listeners, but Dave definitely is. And he has a tremendous feel. The way he plays quarter notes on his ride cymbal always makes me want to get up and dance or something.

I'm looking forward to the Karsh Kale show too. I've never heard him before, but it sounds like it'll be a good show.

So where do you hang out usually? Are you one of the guys that busks in front of the library on Spring Garden? I originally added you to my friends list because I hadn't seem many people from Halifax on LJ, but I've seen a number of posts from you about music, too.

And yeah, the festival is great this year.


hfx_ben July 21st, 2003
I play djembe ergo no playing in front of the library. ;-) There are a couple of spots on Spring Garden that work for me.

"The thing to watch with him is how hard he swings"
Or how hard he /doesn't/ swing ... I remarked to the young player I was sitting with, as you did, that he was listening, but also that he has great hands ... very dynamic without being over the top ... sensitive.

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iamom July 24th, 2003
Thanks. The journal is an S2 thing, which you may have read in a mroe recent post of mine.

Jazz recos... I could on for days, but I usually suggest starting with Miles Davis (anything from 1956 to 1962 or so -- Kind of Blue is classic and gorgeous, as are Someday My Prince Will Come and Seven Steps To Heaven). If you're into piano, definitely check out anything by Bill Evans prior to the 70s, and if you're into sax players, Sonny Rollins is a great bet (less adventurous? Stay before 1959 with him), and of course John Coltrane (straight-ahead Trane is 1956 to 1961, the more avant-garde stuff is 1961 to 1964, and the way-out wacky shit is 1964 to 1967, when he died of liver failure).

Like I said, I could go on and on, but that should get you started. Let me know if you need more specific suggestions such as song titles or something. And if you're looking for something more modern, well... IMO, jazz kind of died around 1969 or so. After that point, it transitioned to funk, then to R&B in the 80s and now to hip-hop. There are lots of us who still play the classic genres of jazz (just like there are lots of symphony musicians who are still playing Beethoven), but the idiom as it was originally developed is really no longer a live musical form anymore.

Just my $0.02.

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