January 2017

Al Muirhead Northern Adventures - The Canada Sessions Vol. 1

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Submitted by Gary Richardson

2016 JUNO-Nominated trumpeter Al Muirhead’s most ambitious project to date, Northern Adventures - The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 is a collection of standards pairing him with many of Canadas jazz greats!

A western Canadian jazz icon, Al recently came to wider prominence in North America with the release of his debut album Its About Time. Now at the age of 81 years old, Al is making up for lost time with his third release in just two years.

Featuring five different small ensembles of both old friends and new, Al harkens back to his youth, calling standards from the great American songbook live in the studio. Northern Adventures features jazz performed with spontaneity and joy, and with a command of the music that only players of the caliber of Al and his guests can.

“Love Me Or Leave Me” became the title of a 1955 film “Makin' Whoopee” a jazz standard and a huge hit for Billie Holiday. Guido Basso on flugelhorn is reminiscent of Kay Winding and J.J. Johnson trombone styles while guitar solos are played effortlessly in synch with smooth piano.

“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, the George and Ira Gershwin song, was made famous by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film Shall We Dance, and recorded by Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart and many others. Proof that a good song is a good song and can withstand the test of time. Muirhead’s offering is a classic 60’s style of trumpet, a trait well known in that era of jazz standards.

Denise Donlon - Can’t Stop the Girl!

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Submitted by Michael Williams

In the summer of 1980, I worked in Vancouver at Ted Thomas Quintessence Records on West 4th, home base for everything punk/ indie in Vancouver, from Doug and the Slugs first release "Too Bad" to the incredible, best band ever the Pointed Sticks.

There is freedom to the west coast that's truly Canadian, the legend of Joe Forte, the unofficial black lifeguard of English Bay ,the statue of Olympian Harry Jerome, to the Hendrix family who settled in Vancouver making Jimi's family and Al Hendrix is Canadian. (his father was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1919).

I love Canada and the west coast; so does Denise, it is where she began to shape who and what she wanted to be, could be, when she grew up.

We never met back then even though we had common friends (Doug Grover, Bryan Adams, Tom Lavin, Bob Rock.) We first met at MuchMusic on 99 Queen Street. On her first day she was given pieces of paper on an easel and told to make the rock news into a great show by John Martin. Not the last time he would challenge her; she was full of energy that jumped through the screen, as she found her way through the spontaneous combustion sometimes minefield called MuchMusic. Our job challenge by John and Moses was always to make something great out of nothing.

Denise made herself great!

MW: Why did you write the book now...is your work in the cultural industries over or taking a new turn?

BTW JP Maurice, The Red Cannons, SUSTO, Sarah Beatty, Abigail Lapell, Danny Michel

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

After dealing with some serious adversity in his life over the last few years, Vancouver musician/producer JP Maurice is working towards a prosperous 2017 with the release of some brand new music. The Ferryesque Maurice recently releaseD new EP Girls January 13th and celebrated with a release party at The Biltmore Cabaret on January 14th.

After touring across Canada and Europe, and then taking home 2nd place in the PEAK Performance Project radio contest in 2015, a loss in the family turned Maurice mostly inwards and he focused on channeling his emotions into his art. He made the decision to invest in his own studio (Blue Light Studio), which allowed for late night collaborations, producing other artists, and creating endless song ideas. The result is the Girls EP, which sweeps from cinematic pop-noir into slinky neo-soul, all tied together with Maurice's powerfully emotive vocals. It's a modern sound that capture timeless sentiments - love, loss, and the twists and turns in between.

George Michael's Ex-lover Fears Drug Liquid G Was Behind Singer's Death

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Courtesy of Natalie Evans The Mirror

A former lover of George Michael fears a sex drug may have played a part in his death , it was reported last night.Escort Paul Stag claims the tragic singer was hooked on a drug known as 'Liquid G' during their nine-year relationship. The 48-year-old alleges the star used the codeword 'champagne' for when the Wham! heartthrob wanted a delivery of the drug. According to The Sun, George equated sex with drugs and struggled to separate the two, even up until his death. Paul told the newspaper he believes it is "100 per cent [George] would have had chems on Christmas Eve before his death." Paul met the singer through a gay magazine in 2004 and the pair regularly dated on and off until 2013 when he claims the star became increasingly dependent on him for drugs. He told The Sun that George "lived fast" and that he "saw a car crash coming."

Johann Löwenberg Echoes of the Road

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Submitted by Don Graham