Strange Duos with Kurt Elling
9/17/1998 - A week after getting back from Japan I did a couple of gigs with Blue Note vocalist Kurt Elling. I've been doing less and less sideman work of late but Kurt's stuff is so different from my "immediate world" that it never seems to interfere with my other projects, so I though "what the heck". It turned out that our first gig was at Macy's (!) - a "jazz fashion show" sponsored by Jazziz and Vogue, in which various major label jazz artists performed and alternated with models showing their "wares". One artist in particular attracted my attention (and who shall remain nameless :-). Perhaps normally the procedings would not have left any particular imprint on my mind, but as I was discussing with Kurt, I am currently weighing whether to sign with a major label myself, and so I was I guess feeling particularly sensitive about the whole major label "machine". This particular artist's appearance was actually preceded by the distribution of postcards advertising the impending release of her new CD, which featured, among other cuts, a rendition of a song from an extremely successful pop album and in which she was pictured posing provocatively in an almost "sex kitten" style. This song choice struck me as a rather cynical and obvious choice of material (of course I have to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she chose the tune because she sincerely likes the tune, period :-)).The artist first brought out what appeared to be a DAT tape machine to provide an accompaniment designed, I guess, to mirror as closely as possible how her music sounds on the "smooth jazz" radio stations it probably is mostly played on. She was also accompanied by an attractive female bass player (with whom I think I actually went to school), performing in a vaguely see-thru white blouse. When it came time for her to play, the DAT machine actually was I suppose set in the wrong place, so we were treated to little snippets of the wrong rhythm tracks for presumably other cuts from her album. Finally, she found what she was looking for and proceded to "play along", literally, with the recording. I know this sounds overly-purist of me (perhaps at age 31 I'm just getting "old" and stuck in my ways :-)) but it struck me as striking that she felt the need to play with the aid of a tape for such a small, intimate event.

I mention the above not to be overly critical (too late! :-) but because it underscored some of the fears I have about the "major label" experience - the focus on quick business/market decisions instead of musically truthful ones, the over-emphasis on image and style over content, etc., etc. I was almost ready to "throw in the towel" with respect to majors right there, after her performance. Thankfully, however, when Kurt and I performed, the audience seemed to sincerely like what we were doing, and I guess this reminded me that whatever one's approach, if one is honest and truthful, one hopefully can't help but connect. So I guess I concluded that as long as I could maintain that sensibility in whatever context my music is destined to appear in, I should be ok (knocking vigorously on wood :-)...)
The next day Kurt and I performed for a "day time morning show" in Connecticut. I won't say much about this, except two things: 1) one of the other guests on the performance was a man whose name currently excapes me, but he's the Nobel-prize-winning guy who discovered the modern method of doing DNA analysis - just seemed interest to be even remotely in a context where I could run into and talk "shop" with a guy like this and 2) the comment the show's producer made to Kurt and I right before our 3 minute promo performance, after we told her we were jazz musicians, which was "Are you going to improvise? Most people are afraid to when they go on live tv." All we could say was something to the effect of "uh, well, that's what we do, but don't worry, we're trained professionals and everything should go all right", etc., etc...

So an inte
feature download
Improvisations on Bach's Goldberg Variations (tribute to Glenn Gould)
From my recent concert at the Barrie Jazz Festival, presented as a part of a concert of "Canadian Inspirations", from Neil  Young to Alanis Morisette (stream the entire second set from the "Canadian Inspirations" concert  here (D.D. Jackson Radio)).
living jazz audio & video podcasts
Organ Nation demo
Audio - Demo recording of our new collective group featuring myself on Hammond B3 organ; Alex Harding on bari sax; Walter Szymanski on trumpet; and Brandon Lewis on drums. Recorded at Dubway Studios, Feb./09.
Organ Nation at Cornelia Street Cafe
Audio - Live recording of our collective group Organ Nation at our premiere gig this past Feb./08 at the Cornelia Street Cafe featuring myself: organ; Alex Harding - baritone sax; Walter Szymanski - trumpet; and Brandon Lewis - drums.
living jazz weblog
8/23/2012 - recent activity...
4/28/2011 - Billy Bang, R.I.P.
9/1/2010 - Freeplay music and
4/15/2010 - latest activities
10/10/2009 - Manhatpro
2/28/2009 - past few months update...
7/14/2008 - "Canadian Inspirations"
3/10/2008 - hear my solo piano performances at Alanis Morissette Tribute concert in Ottawa
12/24/2007 - R.I.P., Oscar Peterson
10/27/2007 - A chat with Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies
10/4/2007 - James Carter recording, Moonfest, & other recent activities...
8/1/2007 - New Music Strategies plus MOMA concert
7/7/2007 - on Chicago City Limits and other "mini-successes" of the day...
7/1/2007 - I couldn't resist... and bought an iPhone!...
6/30/2007 - performance with Ahmed Abdullah at Sweet Rhythm
6/2/2007 - new Living Jazz Podcast is up...
12/19/2006 - gigs about town with Dean Bowman
11/29/2006 - appearance on CBC's "Fuse" program
10/14/2006 - Reflections on the birth of my new son Jarrett in Podcast #19
9/11/2006 - In Memory of 9/11
7/14/2006 - Trudeau opera news spreading fast
6/20/2006 - my Trudeau opera
6/6/2006 - John Hicks memorial
4/29/2006 - jazz opera Quebecite in New Brunswick
3/16/2006 - "Serenity Song" track from upcoming "Serenity Song" CD now available for free download
3/8/2006 - Thoughts on recent Bret Primack Seminar on Web Publicity
2/27/2006 - Chris Howes interview plus more updates
1/14/2006 - live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (1 of 2)
1/13/2006 - Live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (2 of 2)
12/6/2005 - My first Artistshare blog entry
7/5/2005 - a new Trudeau opera
3/25/2005 - Solo piano in Taiwan (part 1 of 2)
3/24/2005 - solo piano in Taiwan (part 2 of 2)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 1 of 4)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 2 of 4)
2/17/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 3 of 4)
2/16/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 4 of 4)
1/4/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 1 of 2)
1/3/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 2 of 2)
9/15/2004 - JaraSum Jazz Festival, South Korea
8/14/2002 - Bluiett/Jackson/El'Zabar mini-west coast tour
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 1 of 2)
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 2 of 2)
3/3/2002 - Thoughts on 9/11
9/9/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 1 of 2)
9/8/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 2 of 2)
9/13/2000 - D.D. Jackson Group in Japan
7/1/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 1 of 2)
6/30/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 2 of 2)
5/20/2000 - Yukon adventure
3/13/2000 - Juno Awards
3/5/2000 - Tel Aviv
3/5/2000 - My New Columbus Band
2/1/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 1 of 2)
1/31/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 2 of 2)
9/10/1999 - My first RCA CD's
9/9/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 1 of 3)
9/8/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 2 of 3)
9/7/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 3 of 3)
3/21/1999 - Thoughts on Fred Hopkins and Jaki Byard
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 1 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (Part 2 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 3 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 4 of 5)
11/27/1998 - African Journal (part 5 of 5)
10/31/1998 - "Effusion"
10/28/1998 - Hamiet Bluiett's Strange Second Set
9/18/1998 - Perilous Journey From Japan
9/18/1998 - Strange Duos with Kurt Elling
6/5/1998 - "Blood on the Keys"
2/22/1998 - Thomas Chapin
1/20/1998 - Duets with James Carter
11/13/1997 - "Ultimate" big band
7/1/1997 - 2 surreal gigs in Canada
5/26/1997 - First tour of Japan
5/5/1997 - Thoughts on James Carter
3/1/1997 - Thoughts on Don Pullen
2/20/1997 - "David Murray Week",. Columbus, Ohio
12/3/1996 - Duo Sessions
10/28/1996 - "Freedom" in East Germany
10/3/1996 - Tribute to Don Pullen session