Friday, August 07, 2009

Good review of Banjo Hockey that I found today in Exclaim Magazine:

Tim Posgate Horn Band Featuring Howard Johnson
Banjo Hockey
By David Ryshpan

Tim Posgate's Hornband are a vehicle for strong tunes and solid playing, not just a group anchored by novel instrumentation. Guitarist/banjoist Posgate surrounds himself with two of Toronto's finest players: Quinsin Nachoff on saxophone and clarinet, and Lina Allemano on trumpet, with special guest Howard Johnson providing the low end on tuba and baritone saxophone. Posgate has been collaborating with Johnson for some years now, though this is their first recorded outing, and their shared sense of propulsive levity is apparent. The blend of tuba, clarinet and banjo gives tunes like "Stolen Ice Cream Truck" and "Big Top Blues" an off-kilter, yet jolly, swing. Perhaps Posgate's greatest feat here is the compositional cohesion, effortlessly moving from the bluesy groove of "Banjo Z" to the ominous foundation of "The Big Push," with its three-part horn chorale and inspired interplay between Nachoff and Johnson, and then to the soulful tenderness of "Eco." Allemano's trumpet is a clarion call throughout these miniatures (the longest running only five-and-a-half minutes), and the band get a percussive boost courtesy of Julie and Jean Martin on the wonky rumba of "Spike's New Altitude." (Black Hen)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

What a fun night. I thought it was going to be a poetry reading (which I was looking forward to) but it turned out to be more of a public meeting of a secret cabal that I am a member of. Obviously I can't give you the details but to hint at it a bit; it deals with poetry and hockey. There was a great turnout (one member of the Order of Canada) and some poetry was read. Actually it was very exciting as there were twelve parts to the piece and twelve people in attendance so we all read a section. (does this happen often on the patio of the Cloak and Dagger?)

I even feel hesitant in naming names (usually I am quite good at dropping names but this seems like the wrong thing to do here)
but there were some great laughs, excellent hockey talk and great art presented. Beat that!!?


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