Corby's Orbit

Corby's Orbit
Listening in All the High Places illustration by John Kricfalusi

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Denielle Bassels' Thoughts On Elizabeth Shepherd


Denielle Bassels will be closing the vocalist portion of the show at the Parkdale: A Reinvention concert this Sunday with Elizabeth's haunting song Next Time Round
Denielle has ths to say:

“Parkdale" is a beautiful homage to a part of town that I am so familiar with. Hearing Elizabeth Shepherd struck me in a whole new way. Never since Nina Simone have I seen a woman in Jazz so masterful in their compositions. Her rhythms and harmonies are complex without feeling contrived and her compositions are all at once intelligent, raw, and transparent. Her voice is ethereal yet approachable, she speaks to you. For me, I hear that it is alright to be vulnerable and masterful at once. She brings a whole new light to being a female in jazz today.

Beginning at 7:00 in the air-conditioned Gladstone Ballroom, the entire 2008 album will be represented live by the combined efforts of Radio Regent's Corby's Orbit show and the Gladstone Hotel. Tickets and info at Advance Tickets for Parkdale: A Reinvention


Playlist For Corby's Orbit Show Of 13 July with Wax Mannequin


Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Easy Carnivals, Stellar Inebriations & Extra Festival Perceptions)

Guest: Wax Mannequin

5-7 p.m. Fridays online http://www.radioregent.com/ and at tunein.com .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

5:00 American Peril

* Neil Young ~ Just Singing A Song ~ Fork In The Road (2009) ~ The Neil Young'Uns @ The Linsmore Saturday

Shemekiah Copeland ~ Americans ~ American Child NEW DISK

* Cowboy Junkies ~ Sing Me A Song ~ All That Reckoning NEW DISK

* Aasiva ~ Hurt Heart ~ Aasiva NEW DISK

5:20 Livication To The Great Garry Lowe (1953 - 2018)

Buju Banton ~ Excerpt from a Speech by Marcus Garvey / Friends For Life ~ Friends For Life

Bob Marley ~ I Know ~ Confrontation

5:30 Waxing Phase

* Wax Mannequin ~ Quickening / Interview / People Can Change (Live) / 1000 Years (Live) 
~ Have A New Name NEW DISK ~ @ The Rivoli Saturday

5 :45 A Circus Intense

Less Than Jake ~ You`re The One That I Want ~ Greased ~ @ Vans Warped Tour Budweiser Stage Tuesday  17 July 

Buddy Guy ~ Watch Yourself ~ I Was Walking Through The Woods  ~ @ Budweiser Stage tonight

Elvin Bishop s Big Fun Trio ~ Right Now Is The Hour ~ Something Smells Funky Round Here  NEW DISK


6:00 Reinvention Earrings 

* Raha Javanfar Take Our Time Together  ~ Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes ~ @ The Local Thursday 19 July and @ Parkdale: A Reinvention Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

* The Jessica Stuart Few ~ Without You ~ Same Girl EP ~ Parkdale: A Reinvention Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

* Collette Savard ~ My Last Cigarette ~ Collette Savard & The Savantes ~ Parkdale: A Reinvention Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom & @ The Local tonight

* Valeria Matzner ~ Broken Landscapes ~ Anima ~ Parkdale: A Reinvention Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

* Elizabeth Shepherd ~ Next Time Around ~  Parkdale NOT Parkdale: A Reinvention Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom 

6:30 Slow Biologies

The Future Sounds Of London ~ Dead Skin Cells ~ Lifeforms

* Amanda Tosoff ~ Leaves Changing ~ Looking North @ The Rex tonight

Jim Lauderdale ~ I Should Have Listened To Good Advice ~ Lost In The Lonesome Pines ~ @ Hugh`s Room Live Wednesday 18 July

* Sarah Burton ~ Grind My Teeth ~  Make Your Own Bed

6:45 Pop Propulsion

Howard Jones ~ Life In One Day ~ @ Phoenix tonight / Toronto Music Listings

* Oh Susanna ~ Into My Arms ~ Name Dropper

Janelle Monae ~ We Were Rock And Roll ~ Electric Lady ~ @ Rebel Monday 16 July














Red, Whyte & Tollar Get Personal on Parkdale


Red, Whyte & Tollar, (left to right above), will be opening the show at the Parkdale: A Reinvention concert this Sunday at 7:00 in the air-conditioned Gladstone Ballroom, presented by Radio Regent's Corby's Orbit show and the Gladstone Hotel.

Yvette Tollar is a long-established and versatile singer in her hometown of Toronto. She is currently most proud of her involvement and performances since the inception of the Kensington Jazz Festival, which she'll be doing again this year.She recalls,"I first met Elizabeth in Vancouver at the Junos in 2009. We were nominated in the same category. Best jazz vocal. Me for my album Ima. Elizabeth for Parkdale. Since then we have become friends and toured across Canada and to the States with Michael Occhipinti's project The Universe of John Lennon. We both appear on the album together. I also sang back ups for her latest CD The Signal. We did a gig together recently at the Jazz Bistro featuring music from both our projects." 

As for Parkdale, the community, "I lived in Parkdale for about 11 years in the 90's and 2000's. It's a cool neighbourhood in that you've got all the best of city life but are also 5 minutes walk from nature by the lake." Her greatest concert experience? "Miles Davis at Roy Thompson Hall, and  Brian Blade's Fellowship Band at Koerner Hall." 

Her team-mate, Carin Redman, on the other hand, loves "Gregory Porter (always) and Trombone Shorty (mind-blowing)". Her personal best gig was "the debut show the trio did at Musideum. It was small, intimate, and filled with magical harmonies, and Mark Kieswetter's beautiful arrangements." She first met Elizabeth when "she played my club Ten Feet Tall in 2007. I loved her then and still love and follow her now.." 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Orbiting with Wax Mannequin and Elizabeth Shepherd's Parkdale: A Reinvention Crew


Canadian songwriter Wax Mannequin, also known as Chris Adeney, from Hamilton, will be my guest today, as he preps for his CD release party at 10:00 Saturday evening at The Rivoli and for a summer tour which will take him to the west coast and back.

Exclaim Magazine avers that he " has found beautiful cohesion between his quirky avant-pop past and his burgeoning maturity as a thoughtful folk troubadour on his seventh album, Have A New Name." Always evolving, you can track his trajectory today on the Orbit at 5:30.
Jocelyn Barth rehearsing an Elizabeth Shepherd tune with the Parkdale Reinvention Band

And at 6:00, I will be welcoming musical guests from Parkdale: A Reinvention, this Sunday's early evening Gladstone Hotel concert, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Elizabeth Shepherd's 2008 album, and, coincidentally, the tenth anniversary of Corby's Orbit. 
                                        Be so there!



Filling You In On The Singers At Parkdale: A Reinvention

Just to give you an idea of the range and significance of the singing talent performing Elizabeth Shepherd's 2008 Parkdale album at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom this Sunday the15th at 7 p.m....


Singer
Home Town
Personal Best Gig
Best Show Ever Seen
Connection To Elizabeth Shepherd / Parkdale

Carin
Redman
 (Red, Whyte & Tollar)

Toronto
( via Denmark)
The debut show the trio did at Musideum was small, intimate and filled with magical harmonies with Mark Kieswetters beautiful arrangements.
Gregory Porter (always) and Trombone Shorty(mind-blowing)
She first played my club Ten Feet Tall in 2007, loved her then and still love and follow her now
Yvette
Tollar
(Red,
Whyte & Tollar)
Toronto

Kensington Jazz Festival which I'll be doing again this year as I have since its inception.
Miles Davis at Roy Thompson Hall, and  Brian Blade's Fellowship Band at Koerner Hall.
I met Elizabeth in Vancouver at the Junos in 2009. We were nominated in the same category. Best jazz vocal. Me for my album Ima. Elizabeth for Parkdale. Since then we have become friends and toured across Canada and to the States with Michael Occhipinti's project The Universe of John Lennon. We both appear on the album together. I also sang back ups for her latest CD The Signal. We did a gig together recently at the Jazz Bistro featuring music from both our projects.
 I lived in Parkdale for about 11 years in the 90's and 2000's. Cool neighbourhood in that you've got all the best of city life but are also 5 minutes walk from nature by the lake.
Chloe Watkinson
Toronto
My friend Kate's wedding, I was also a bridesmaid. Seconded by a song at Preservation Hall with Doc Houlind.
Fireworks over Central New York (about 10,000 ppl, playing Dark Side of the Moon under a full moon and fireworks). Best shows I've seen: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Selecter, Fishbone, Max Webster.

Lived in Parkdale for 6 years
Charmizelle Jorman (The Memberz)


Brampton
Pavilion at Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday

Stevie Wonder




My significant other lives in Parkdale
Valeria Matzner
Montevideo, Uruguay.
Vancouver International Jazz Festival at a packed David Lam Park

Astor Piazzolla’s concert in Buenos Aires

We are both women and singers and we have the same bassist.
Jessica Stuart
Vancouver
The Yokohama Jazz Promenade at the majestic Minato Mirai Concert  Hall
My first mind-bending show as a teenager was Jamiroquai - it was the first time I had seen a band complete with horn section, xtra percussion, etc playing such groovy interesting music that made me dance my butt off.

Connection to Elizabeth Shepherd - former label-mates on Do Right! Music, have shared festival stages, Elizabeth played Rhodes on The Jessica Stuart Few's last full-length album The Passage and was a guest co-lead vocalist on a tune as well.

Collette Savard
 (The SavantEs)
North Bay
A concert series at the Almonte town hall. It was a full house of appreciative folk and the space looked and sounded amazing. I dream of doing shows like that all the time

Lyle Lovett and his large band. It had it all: the best rhythm section, bluegrass players, soul singers etc. and the charming Lyle delivery great songs.

I lived at Brock and Dundas for a year and according to the boundaries from Wikipedia Roncesvales is the border so I still live in Parkdale. Who knew?!
Rebecca Campbell
(The SavantEs)
Ottawa (born in Toronto; early childhood in Sackville NB; Ottawa in ’71; university in Montreal…)

With Jane Siberry: The Wiltern in Los Angeles with The Roches; a run at OCA in London; Whelan’s in Dublin; our 3 month series at The Bottom Line in New York… in the round at the Amphitheatre; 
with Fat Man Waving: Longevity John’s dog’s wake in a tent in Duncan BC; Halloween night at The State in Ithaca NY with The Horseflies; our final shows at The Downstairs Club and Blue Skies in 1995; 
with Three Sheets To The Wind: opening up for Leo Kottke at The Kenricia Hotel in Kenora (and dinner with him before the show…)
Buffy Sainte-Marie this past Sunday night from side stage at Mariposa FF… Bob Marley at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa a year before he died; David Bowie in a relatively small bar in Queens on his tour of the Five Boroughs; Prince at Wembley Stadium; a million Rough Idea, Tranzac, Irene’s, Downstairs Club… shows…
I live on the outer reaches of Parkdale. 
I spent much of my many childhood visits to Toronto in Parkdale, where my aunt lived (above the Home Hardware on Queen) for many years, among other Parkdale locales… She worked in multiple antique stores along the strip… Margie was a true old—school Parkdale denizen.
Raha
Javanfar
I was born in Tehran, grew up in Toronto.

When I did my thesis at theatre school and played a set of original music using my piano, violin, vocals, and loop station and did the lighting design for the entire thing that included over 400 cues in 20 mins and a whole bunch of haze in the air. That was fun.
I saw a band in St Louis and I have no idea what the name of the band or the venue was but I was so blown away and I can distinctly remember the singer's face and her voice but that's about it!

I lived on Tyndall Ave for a couple of years
Jocelyn
 Barth
Toronto

Playing with my trio (Dave Restivo & Artie Roth) at The Jazz Room in Waterloo on June 16th, 2018
Private concerts of my mum practicing at home when I was a kid.
There was a beautiful photograph of Elizabeth at Jaymz Bee's old loft that I noticed every time I was there. That's my only connection.
Denielle Bassels
Toronto.

Upstairs, in Montreal with Drew Jurecka and Andy Mac 
James Brown at Ontario Place.
He was old but he could still move!
As an adult my favourite concert was Elise Legrow at the Orbit Room!


“Parkdale" is a beautiful homage to a part of town that I am so familiar with. Hearing Elizabeth Shepherd struck me in a whole new way. Never since Nina Simone have I seen a woman in Jazz so masterful in their compositions. Her rhythms and harmonies are complex without feeling contrived and her compositions are all at once intelligent, raw, and transparent. Her voice is ethereal yet approachable, she speaks to you. For me, I hear that it is alright to be vulnerable and masterful at once. She brings a whole new light to being a female in jazz today.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Orbit Is Pre-empted By Summer Vay-cay This Week


No show. Much happiness. Lots of lake.

Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, Part 50

Part 50
There is that in me—I do not know what it is—but I know it is in me.
Wrench’d and sweaty—calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep—I sleep long.
I do not know it—it is without name—it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.
Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.
Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters.
Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death—it is form, union, plan—it is eternal
life—it is Happiness.
—Walt Whitman, from LEAVES OF GRASS (1855)
From Parabola Volume 42, No. 2, “Happiness,” Summer 2017. This issue is available to purchase here.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Elizabeth Shepherd's Parkdale Album and Corby's Orbit ... Plus Ten Years



On July 13, 2008, I went into the studio at CKLN.FM and I said: "This is your last warning: You are now entering Corby's Orbit." Then I played Music Is Love by Neil Young off David Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name album. Then we were off - and on the air for the next ten years and counting.

Corby's Orbit survived the persecution and assassination of CKLN as performed by its inmates and the CRTC in 2012 by going underground, along with several other CKLN alumni, to a kinder asylum, on Radio Regent in Regent Park, which had newly opened under the direction of  Regent Park Focus Media Arts Center.


The range of talent that has visited me to chat and perform there amazes me when I look back. It is all documented on this blog and much of it is on video at YouTube's Radio Regent and Corby`s Orbit channels.

Coincidentally, also on July 13, 2008, Elizabeth Shepherd released her second album, Parkdale. After creating an international hipster smash in jazz and dance circles with her first album, Start To Move, the transplanted MontrĂ©aler settled into a basement apartment in Parkdale, and began work on a new LP, a musical love letter to the neighbourhood that provided her with a new set of responses to her humanistic musical aspirations. Parkdale was a work that expanded the spectrum of Canadian jazz, by skewing towards a more breezy and cosmopolitan lyricism while embracing exotic time signatures, hip hop syncopation and deeply personal content. 


To celebrate these two pivotal inceptions at a distance of ten years, a concert featuring the music of Parkdale and the brightest talents of the Orbital community is coming together on Sunday the 15th of July at the ballroom in the Gladstone Hotel to re-sing, to re-imagine, to re-invent the most specifically Toronto music of Elizabeth Shepherd's career.


Musical director Nick Maclean first came into the Orbit as a band leader / composer for his award-winning band Snaggle, but since then, his management of various jazz tribute nights, especially one for the excruciatingly complex music of Snarky Puppy, made him an obvious choice for coordinating the musical presentation of Parkdale. When he told me he'd secure the original Parkdale rhythm section of Colin Kingsmore and Scott Kemp, I got the cosmic tingles. His horn highness, Brownman Ali, completed the backing quartet.


As Elizabeth's former Do-Right label-mate and occasional co-fabulator of songs, Jessica Stuart was the first candidate that came to mind for the reinvention honours. Her band The Jessica Stuart Few has an international fan base and a set of fine jazz-pop albums that have received widespread airplay. Also, bearing in mind that she is the all-time favourite guest on Corby's Orbit, with four appearances over the decade, I had to recall her memorable radio moments, including the time a dreadlocks called in to keep her from trimming hers (too late), and the on-air transference of an epic virus that I had been bequeathed by Kim Churchill the week before. Music is not the only thing that is communicable.


And after that, every time that I mentioned Elizabeth Shepherd, peoples' eyes popped open. When I went to Chloe Watkinson's major Universe-al tour de force at the Opera House in January, both Tia Brazda and Denielle Bassels came on strong to me about their love of Ms. Shepherd's work. The next thing you know, Denielle was on the bill. Tia is on tour on the week of, but she had had an intense desire to participate. And now suddenly, Chloe has signed on too.


Valeria Matzner came up to the Orbit last month for her CD release party and when I asked about her favourite Canadian singers she immediately mentioned Elizabeth Shepherd. Hired! Jocelyn Barth is a former teaching colleague and a hugely influential and kinetic presence in the right-now Toronto jazz style.


And Carin Redman, on the staff at my current school, just exploded when I brought Elizabeth's name into the conversation. Her current collabo with Yvette Tollar and Thyron Lee Whyte in Red Whyte and Tollar - all Shepherd fans -  will be getting broad exposure soon. 




Rebecca Campbell is about the most called-up singer in town, and when I see her at a show, I am always confident that I'm in for a good night of music. She has been a frequent Orbital feature over the years and was especially treasured when she came down to sing Ron Hynes' magnificent A Good Dog Is Lost during Winterfolk a few years back. Only a year ago she introduced me to her colleague in the Savantes, Collette Savard, who became an instant pal, and who has, btw, put out one of the best albums of original songs that I've heard earlier this year. Along with Megan Worthy they will be performing two tunes, including one of Collette's that bears a fine comparison with Ms. Shepherd's work.

The Memberz are the performers that I am the most proud of having on the bill. I have been playing guitar with them for the last five years, and their ability to revive the quality of innovation inherent in reggae has recently been made obvious with the release of our second single, Work It Out. Our own Charmizelle will take on a Parkdale song and we should have enough energy left over to rock an after party and dance to end the night.



The music will be unique to the night and FIFA will be just finishing up that afternoon, so you may have something to celebrate yourself. It will be a potent and perfect collection of Toronto's best singers, and a great Sunday night to introduce yourself to, or to revisit the swoony and shadowy music of Elizabeth Shepherd's Parkdale, early in the evening of the dark of the moon, and to find out what Corby's Orbit is all about besides. At ten years up and flying, they are both modern Canadian classics.

Tickets are $12 in advance here Parkdale - A Reinvention and $15 at the door.
The Memberz after party will cost $5.












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