Gallic Connections @ The Patricia HotelSunday, January 06, 2019
|Oliver Gagnon at the Patricia Hotel, January 5, 2018|
3pm Saturday January 5 Jazz @ The Pat kicks off the new year - our eighth - with the wonderful Oliver Gannon 4tet. They'll be playing Wes Montgomery tunes, some Horace Silver and lots of standards.
Oliver Gannon - guitar
Nick Peck - piano
Russ Botten - bass
Craig Scott – drums
In my quieter times dictated by my waning years in this century the chance to listen to quiet jazz without reeds or horns can be a distinct pleasure. That this can be enjoyed in a smoke-free (one definite improvement of the 21st century) and clean joint (The Patricia Hotel) amongst new friends and some old ones (journalists who now sleep late without deadlines) is truly wonderful.
I will never understand why my dancer friend Noam Gagnon pronounces his names differently from Oliver Gagnon. My friend Maurice Bridge (an habitué of Jazz @ The Pat ) pronounces his name Morris. It was explained to me that Bridge’s parents did not like the French so the name’s pronunciation was modified to avoid any Gallic connections. Since I do not know Mr. Oliver Gagnon I will not enquire.
There were four tunes (why is it that in jazz they are called tunes? Is a tune once it gets lyrics called a song such as Airegin , The Work Song and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat?) that I particularly liked. I was only able to attend one set (at the Saturday Pat performances there are always three). So the tunes, Jeannine (Duke Pearson), Jingles (Wes Montgomery), Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charlie Mingus) and The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel).
Even though I was interested in works by pianist Horace Silver, which must have been played in the later sets I could not stay.
One of my new friends labeled some of the performances of the above tunes as tasteful. As a photographer with expertise in images of the undraped female I absolutely become most annoyed when they tell me how tasteful. My friend argued (with a pleasant smile) that my preferring the use of elegant was simply an exercise in semantics.
I don’t think that The Shadow of Your Smile, Lara’s Theme or Around the World in 80 Days can ever be anything but nasty/tasteful. And yet with my recent discovery that English piano player Nick Peck is an ivory wonder I could not but point out here that the quartet’s version of that tune was most elegant! And I could add that Andre Previn did wonders with I Could Have Danced All Night and Mack the Knife.
My fave version of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is in my fave Charlie Mingus album is Mingus Ah Um but I have a warm spot in my heart for Joni Mitchell’s Mingus. Russ Botten’s stand-up bass was solid in the quartet's playing (and elegant!).
I loved Jeannine because I love jazz tunes named after women. I like Paul Desmond’s Audrey (he did indeed carry a torch for Audrey Hepburn). My absolute fave is Tina composed by Duke Ellington. Can a country be a woman? Ellington must have thought so as he composed the tune for my mother land (patria in Spanish is indeed of the female gender).
All in all my short afternoon at the pat was a pleasant one and a cheerful one as drummer Craig Scott does forget about his long drive from Chilliwack with a wide grin on his face.
I called up my friend Gavin Walker and stated that Jingles, composed by Wes Montgomery sounded very much like the Work Song written by Nat Adderley. His 1960 album by that name did have Wes Montgomery on guitar. Go figure!
As for me the ultimate Work Song is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoAhHMq88PE
As a dyslexic I like to find jazz tunes such as Airegin that address to my reading woes. A week ago at The Pat I heard Miles Davis's Sivad. Tina which is in Duke Ellington's album (1972) Latin American Suite does include Oclupaca.