Today was great! Esther and I went to the Distillery District to hear George Grosman play, and he invited us to join in!
The Distillery is absolutely my favourite part of Toronto. Actually, it feels nothing like Toronto, and maybe that's why it's so good. Old brick warehouses and cobbled roads. Artists and artisans selling their wares outside. Beautiful galleries and shops open to the public. The lovely and delicious Balzac's cafe. And lots of live music.
George was doing a solo gig on the patio of the Boilerhouse. He asked us yesterday if we would want to join him for a few songs. Definitely. I came prepared with my favourite song - Falling in Love Again - made famous by the gorgeous Marlene Dietrich. George had never played it, but he improvised beautifully. I just love that song! And it's been so long since I've sung it. So great to return to a well-loved song. My voice knew exactly how to wrap around the notes, and the text was deeper than ever. Next we did the Cole Porter classic - I Love Paris. What a great tune. So simple, yet so awesome. We took it uptempo, and it really rocked. We took it all the way through three times. So great. I used to be terrified of jazz. I was always afraid I wouldn't know when to come back in. But I've really worked hard with the big band stuff this year, and it's showing in my confidence. It all felt really great.
Mind you, I'm not a proper jazz singer or a great improviser. And this is not false modesty. I've heard great jazz singers, and I'm just not that. But I do love a great song, and I love the camaraderie of jazz. I love the creativity and the spontaneous songwriting that occurs in its performance.
The rains came, and we headed indoors. There, we joined up with Chris Whitely on horns, and Richard Whiteman on piano- both outstanding players. And they invited us to sing as well! Lucky day! I did a song for Gerald - On the Street Where You Live. He's always wanting me to do that song uptempo and swinging, so that's what I did. I did feel a little nervous - I'm naturally such a ballad singer - but I jumped in and had fun. I'm just hoping my nerves didn't show! But I definitely held my own, and I really had a good time. Since I'm still pretty new to the genre, those are pretty good goals to attain.
It was great to hear Esther too. I'm such a fan of her voice. She's making plans for a cd, and I'm first in line to buy one.
Tonight is more planning stuff. I'm still reworking my website. I'm nagging Hilary with updates and new photos daily. Yesterday was all about putting together my songwriters package for Nashville. It was a lot of work, but now that I have it done, it's ready to go out to lots of people.
And now, to book more gigs!