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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Quatrain at The Armview

Had a great gig tonight with an old group that was reunited for the first time in many years at this summer's jazz fest. Quatrain is a jazz quartet founded by a local bassist named Pete Johnston who's working on his Ph.D. at York University in Toronto right now, and the group showcases his original compositions.

Back in the day, we always had trouble finding a good drummer, but tonight we brought in a relatively new guy on the scene named Doug Cameron. Doug is one of those rare breeds of drummer who plays well, plays inventively and creatively, doesn't bash hell out of his instrument at the fortissimo dynamic level all the time, and actually listens to the other musicians as they're playing in order to adapt his own dynamics and feel to what's actually happening in the moment. Add to that a solid sense of time (i.e. he doesn't randomly slow down or speed up throughout a given tune), and you have the makings of an excellent professional drummer, which Doug Cameron certainly is. It was a pleasure to play with him tonight, and we'll almost certainly invite him to join us for a recording session later in the spring to lay down a number of these tunes we played tonight.

The remainder of the group is similar to our AST lineup, with myself on tenor sax and Chris Elson on piano. Our AST bassist, Adam Fine, also came down to see the show, which was nice. And a few people went out of their way to mention my own playing tonight, too. That's flattering in the most delightful way -- flattering that they thought I sounded good, but even more flattering that they were listening carefully enough to notice. Most non-concert-hall gigs, people are more interested in conversation than the live music being played on stage. Tonight seemed to be an exception, though. We had an attentive audience. Most musicians I know would play for free if the audiences were always like that. If only the club owners knew that, eh? What few paying gigs are left might dry up, if they figured out how to promote the shows in just the right way to bring in those sorts of audiences.