THE OTTAWA JAZZ FESTIVAL
June 20 – july
MIKE PRIDE’S FROM BACTERIA TO BOYS
NAC 4th Stage, June 20
Unfortunate name, pretty good band though. Mike Pride’s the drummer, the composer, and the defacto leader of the group, so naturally he gets a drum solo. Good thing in jazz circles is, everyone gets a solo. And even better, there’s no smoke machine involved. The Boys lay down some nice grooves, augmented by excellent sax work up front, piano and organ fills on the side, and a velvetty smooth upright bass in the rear. Not too adventurous (not the usual room clearing skronk heard on the 4th Stage), but just enough of an edge to keep things rolling. Nice start to the series.
STEVE MARTIN AND THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS FEATURING EDIE BRICKELL
Main Stage, June 22
What is this, some kinda joke? I’m all set up here, with my Canada Day fold out lawn chair, a cold Canadian (smuggled in, natch) in the handy cup holder arm wrest, all set for nodding off to some primo jazz noodling, when this buncha bluegrass yahoos take the stage. Sure they can play, but who came to watch Deliverence style dueling banjos? Not me. That stuff’ll keep ya awake damn it! Seems like the crowd is eating it up, the Scouts or whatever they’re called, are pretty impressive pluckers and fiddlers, and that old dude up front is pretty funny. Heck he might have another career if this gig ever dries up. Hold on a minute … isn’t that Edie Brickell? Can’t tell as she’s turned sideways, wait, wait, yup that’s ger. Hoo-boy, I used to dig her and her Bohemians. Back in the day, back in the day. And you know after a couple of cold ones, these boys and girl actually hit the spot. Now where did I put that VHS copy of Deliverence?
btw: pics by the author
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