Sunday, September 16, 2012

Phil Dwyer at The Rex and other places

By Richard K. Barry

Why photography will never be my strong suit.
(But that is Phil Dwyer at The Rex.)

In Toronto, where I live, there seem to be fewer venues to listen to great jazz and blues. One of the marquee sites still remaining is a downtown bar called The Rex. It usually has a full slate of performances most days from late afternoon to evening.

On Friday night, I went down for a late-night performance featuring someone I've gotten to know a little bit over the years, a terrific sax and piano player, arranger, and teacher by the name of Phil Dwyer. Phil lives in British Columbia these days but lived in Toronto for quite some time previously.

Dwyer has been nominated for Juno Awards four times, the Canadian Grammy, and won Best Mainstream Jazz Album in 1994.

At The Rex, he was working with drummer Terry Clarke and bass player Pat Collins. Phil alternated on piano and sax, as he likes to do. It was an incredible night of music.

The clip below is the The Phil Dwyer Septet performing material from their curated "Canadian Songbook" live during the 2011 Vancouver Jazzfest, just so you can get a sense of what he does.

This is a cover of Karkwa's song "Moi-Leger." It features Phil Dwyer, saxes and piano; Laila Biali, vocals; Don Thompson, piano and vibes; Rob Piltch, guitar; Vince Mai, trumpet and flugelhorn; Jodi Proznick, bass; and Davide Direnzo, drums.

The information is taken from the YouTube clip. I hope it's mostly correct.

If you didn't know, Canadians make some amazing music.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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