Corby's Orbit

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

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Wise Music Lesson from Charles Schultz

Corby's Orbit Playlist For Show Of 20 December

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Climate Chains, Weathering Heats & Meatier Logic)

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
AND 9-11 p.m. Tuesdays & 12-2 a.m.Thursdays on Blues &Roots Radio

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Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Tundra Enlightening

* Frank Patrick ~ Even In Darkness ~ Soul Medicine NEW DISK

* Lee Harvey Osmond ~ Magic ~ Mohawk Best of 2019

* Shannon Thunderbird & Sandy Horne ~ Horse Dreaming Of Star Bears

* James Hill & Anne Jannelle ~ New Moon ~ Many A Moon (New Moon - Thursday 26 December)

5:20 The Sound & The Flurries

* Silent Winters ~~ I Heard The Bells On Christmas Morning ~ Christmas Morning NEW DISK

* Bruce Cockburn ~ Mary Had A Baby ~ Christmas (True North 1993)

* OX ~ Christmas With The Band ~ Silent Night

* Whoop-Szo ~ Oda Man ~ Warrior Down NEW DISK

* Harpin Norm Lucien ~ Praise The Christmas Birth ~ Single

5:40 Blood Blizzards

* Local Talent ~ Higienopolis ~ Higienopolis NEW DISK

Cyrus Chestnut feat. Jerry Goodman & Tollak Ollestad ~ Skating ~ A Charlie Brown Christmas ~ A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Drum Taberna Monday 6 p.m. & @ 3030 Dundas 4 p.m. Sunday

Geoff Berner ~ O You Survivalists ~ Grand Hotel Cosmopolis NEW DISK

6:00 Soul Stitches

* Lynn Miles ~ Casino El Camino ~ Winter ~ @ Winterfolk 2020

* Aphrose ~ Gloss ~ Element Best of 2019

* Coco Love Alcorn ~ Song To Sing ~ Rebirth Best of 2019

* Bywater Call ~ Talking Backwards ~ Bywater Call NEW DISK Best of 2019

Nightmares On Wax ~ Date With Destiny ~ Mind Elevation

6:20 Composer Bin

* Corin Raymond ~ I've Been To the Well ~ Dirty Mansions NEW DISK Best of 2019

* Logan McKillop ~ The Learning Curve ~ Anchorless Best of 2019

 * Charlotte Cornfield ~ Silver Civic ~ The Shape Of Your Name Best of 2019 ~ @ Burdock Saturday for The Longest Night

James Taylor ~ Some Children See Him ~ At Christmas ~ Scotiabank Arena on April 27 2020

* Rose Cousins ~ Christmas On The Town ~  A New Kind Of Light

6:40 Adamant Evenings

* D'Arcy Wickham ~ Wingtip / Windy And Warm ~ Signal Hill Best of 2019 / Toronto Music Listings

* The New Customs ~  Song for All Seasons ~ Selling Religion On Government Street NEW DISK Best of 2019

Kitty Willow ~ Greetings From Yaad ~ Single

Paul Simon ~ Quiet ~ You're The One

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dayna Manning ~ Coming Home In The Morning Light

Dayna Manning is preparing to shed some shine worldwide with the release of her fourth record, Morning Light, which she debuted on the weekend of its release with a live hometown concert in Stratford ON at the end of October. Its first limited steps outward had the whole production moving to Hugh’s Room Live on Nov. 15, and then to London ON’s Grand Theatre on Dec. 15. Plans to take the music to England and Europe are on her inner horizons.
Dayna’s concept this time is familial, local and orchestral, and she is using the umbrella term “chamber folk” to describe the music, with no bass or drums – in fact, no electric instruments – and a piano featured on two tracks only.
The dulcet ache and crystal climbs of Dayna’s voice are lit from below by the smoothly sonorous cello of Ben Bolt-Martin, who also arranged the music with bouquets of wind, brass and strings. “The core instrumentation of this particular chamber folk album is violin, cello, flute and french horn, with invited guests,” she said. “The opportunity to do this music arose because of the community I’m from. I’m very lucky. Chamber folk is a genre I’ve enjoyed a for long time, and I’m really happy to foray into the genre.”
The musculature of the 12 songs, some new and some from Dayna’s work with Trent Severn, along with two Celtic-flavoured traditionals, has all been toned and massaged by the impeccable ears of the great mix magician John “Beetle” Bailey. Whereas her first album, Volume 1, released over 20 years ago, was patterned on Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album, this one seems more sonically reminiscent of Judy Collins’ Wildflowers.
The morning light of the title is literally derived from the revelations of the Stratford sunrise.“For me, I get a lot of inspiration from the mornings,” Dayna reveals. “I walk near the Avon River, and that’s where I start with my spark every day.”
It derives poetically from the refreshed attitude with which she is facing life these days: “I feel like I just know what I want to do now, and I’ve got the right people around me, and I feel a bit more confident than I did,” she added.
The details of the struggles and opportunities that have led her to this felicitous stage in her life are distilled in her new book, entitled Many Moons, which has arrives simultaneously with the record from Stratford’s Blue Moon Publishers. The book shares her career rise from being a teenager in Toronto’s open-mic scene through kismet encounters with Sean Lennon and Burton Cummings to the L.A. recording label jungle, to adventures in the caves of northern British Columbia, and features collaborative side-trips with Chris Hadfield and two significant Canadian artists: Bill Lishman and Brian Jungen. And, spoiler alert, there is true love and a home “on my favourite street in Stratford” at the end.
“This book was such a surprise, that it actually came out of me,” Dayna said. “It’s funny. When I produce a song, I spend so much time on every detail, but with the book, I didn’t because I knew that I would never complete it if  I approached it that way, because I don’t consider myself a ‘writer.’ It had to be a bit more stream of consciousness.”
Does the book represent a form of closure, a first step toward Volume ll?
“I guess music for me, since I started so young, was a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure,” she reflected, “and I would definitely walk through the doors as they appeared and explore them. And now I’m done exploring.”
She confides as much in her songs: in “The Same Way” she sings “I turned this around / I was homeward bound.” And she re-iterates on “I Get Closer,” “You’ve gotta dig deep in your heart / And you can find a brand new start.”
Lyrically, she celebrates mystic love in the hooky lead-off tune, “Charlie Lake,” a local historical piece re-fashioned into a love song, and surrenders to passionate romantic commitment in “When I Love You” and in the album’s standout romp, “You You You,” which cascades with the brightness of Dayna’s and Ben’s combined musicality.
She also takes time to honour hometown hero Richard Manuel, revisiting Trent Severn’s “King Of The Background.”“It’s important how people look up to him. We both learned to sing in neighbouring churches. I felt the struggles that he struggled with, the adventures of music and of not being in control of what is going on,” she explained.
Her final statement on the record is a unique defense of snow, a subject of controversy for all Canadians. “O Snow” celebrates the sudden freedom from responsibilities that accompany the arrival of an official snow day. This song, as well as several others that mark her career milestones, is unpacked within its own chapter in Many Moons.
Side note: as a unique feature of Dayna’s marketing expertise, each song on the record is “sponsored” by a particular donor.
There is such a homey spirit to Dayna’s new album that she even invited her parents to join in and play on Morning Light.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “They must feel like I’ve already had so many weddings, so many album launches and events for them to go to, and now this is a very exciting time for them and my friends. My mom’s a clarinet player, and she plays on “I Get Closer,” my Peter & The Wolf song on the album. And my dad plays trumpet on two songs and is featured on the instrumental at the end of the record. The whole sound of this album just feels like home to me.”

Originally published at Roots Music Canada
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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Playlist For Show Of 13 December

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Hall Deckers, Snow Dashers and Pear Tree Gifters )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Guest: Lazah Current

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Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Solid Cold

* Martin Tielli ~ Joni Mitchell's River ~ Back To The Garden (Intrepid 1992)

Kadri Voorand ~ Will You Make It ~ Armurupurjus

* Graham Lindsey ~ Leaving Goderich Set ~ Tradhead NEW DISK

 * Calum Graham ~ Grace ~ Thread Of Creation NEW DISK

5:20 Bright Force

* Justin Haynes (February 24, 1973 ~ March 13, 2019) ~ Child Support ~ Barnyard Drama vol 8

* Chantal Chamberland ~ Let It Snow ~ Merry Christmas   NEW DISK

* J.P. Cormier ~ Circle Of Steel ~ The Long River: A Personal Tribute To Gordon Lightfoot

* Jason Wilson ~ K.H.A.Q.Q. ~ Sumach Roots NEW DISK

Gilberto Gil ~ Jubiaba ~ Soy Loco Por Ti America

* Lazah Current feat. Luciano~ Power To The People ~ NEW SINGLE

Michael Doucet ~ We Three Kings ~ Christmas Around The World 

5:45 Miscellaneous-Toe

* Silent Winters ~ Christmas Morning ~ Christmas Morning NEW DISK

* Andrew Vivona ~ Painting Over A Masterpiece ~ 10 Other Times

Velvet Underground ~ Waiting For The Man (live) ~ Venus In Furs (Sire / Germany) ~ for Santa Claus

* PUP live on CBC Kids ~ I Wanna Be With You This Christmas

* Broadsway ~ It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Maybe ~  @ Jazz Bistro Monday 16 December

* Sam Broverman feat. Whitney Ross - Barris ~ Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis ~ A Jewish Boy's Christmas ~ @ Jazz Bistro  Sunday

* Boreal ~ So Much Snow ~ Winter's Welcome ~ @ Hugh's Room Live Sunday

* Lynn Miles ~ Little Snowflake ~ Winter ~ @ Kingston Road United Church Sunday for Christmas Caravan

6:30 Anxiety Society

* Q&A ~ Crabby Christmas ~ Christmas Dream NEW DISK ~ @ Tranzac Saturday 6:30 

La Mystere des Voix Bulgaires ~ Polegnala E Todora ~ La Mystere des Voix Bulgaires 

* Kith & Kin ~ Bright Morning Stars ~ Yet Will I Be Merry ~ @ Glad Day Bookstore Thursday 19 December 7:30

* James Brown ~ Sevendays ~ Sevendaze ~ James Brown Trio @ The Rex tonight

* Jon Brooks & The Outskirts Of Approval ~ In The Alleys ~ Moth Nor Rust ll ~ @ La Revolucion Thursday 19 December

* The O'Pears ~ Ring The Bells ~ Stay Warm

Arnold Lobel ~ Christmas Eve ~ Frog And Toad

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Most Vivid Aviva & La Serena

Aviva Chernick has a long history of singing passionate, praiseful music – in her own career, as a cantor in synagogues, and with the progressive jazz/world collabo known as Jaffa Road. She has been especially savouring the exotic flavour of Sephardic music for 13 years now, since an epiphany moment at Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival when she first heard the melody that provides the title for her newest disc, La Serena, available since Sept. 16 at The La Serena Home Page.
The Jews of the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century were the original authors and guardians of the Sephardic canon, sung in Ladino (a hybrid of Hebrew and Castilian Spanish), so rich in lyrical and melodic sweetness that it became orally airborne, managing to achieve popularity even back in far Jerusalem. But, as history would have it, beginning in 1492, this community was forced to swear allegiance to the Pope. The portion of the dissenting populace that could evade reprisal was then forcibly expelled from Spain and Portugal, dispersing worldwide. Like the Acadians of Canada, they carried their cultural treasure with them, spreading its unique sound all over the globe.
From 13 years of shivers over a mystic melody that was written out for her on a paper napkin by South American artist Marcello Modeleski, this record has evolved slowly. In it, Aviva revivifies the spectrum of Sephardic song by selecting favourite classics of melancholy longing, praise and celebration.
It’s an unusual listen. We are presenting feelings of exile and exploration and the fear of being lost at sea, calling out and not being heard, all in the time capsules of each song, in a language that could have easily vanished, ” Aviva confides. ”But I think the beauty of it comes from the heart, and that feeling will leach through the vessels of the compositions to touch the heart of the listener.”
Throughout the record, the bold and elegant curvature of Aviva’s voice stands unadorned and vulnerable. “The reverb on the voice is dialed way back. We debated about that quite a bit. I was trying to see how close I could get to the listener. We made an effort to bring the voice super close, like I was singing in your ear – it’s okay, I’m right here.”
It emerges vividly amidst the subtle architecture of layered and reverberant instrumentation constructed by guitarist and co-producer Joel Schwartz.
We were originally just a duo. We actually did a duet concert in 2015, and then I just veered into other things. But a degree of that one-on-one intimacy still remains on the record. And the guitar is just ‘LISH’.”
The construction of an organic ensemble to enhance the personal nature of the tunes was deliberately pursued. The next elemental alloy was Justin Gray’s bass webbing, which brings a bounce and a visceral empathy to the intent of each lyric, comforting or coaxing the vocals.
Justin and his riches are just so spacious. And his bass veena, which he designed himself, is just goooorgeous. When we perform live with it, he and Joel perform an intro to ‘Arvoles’ that brings tears,” Aviva said.
Justin also signed on as co-producer. The final jewel in forming a quartet was the “spectacular master Persian percussionist,” Naghmeh Faramand, whose virtuosic fingertips support many of the more adventurous ensembles in town, including Al Qahwa and Tafelmusik.
All the selections chosen for this record take their inner fire from Aviva’s gregarious and adventurous spirit.
Singing Ladino comes from a different part of my body,” she said. “There are also three Hebrew tunes that play really well with the others and bring a different kind of groove.”
The key title track, “La Serena,” “resists the ironic notion of The Siren, the female voice, as an instrument of seduction and destruction,” she said. “In fact it is liberating and full of joy and ferociousness. The final verse, which I sing in English, says, ‘If I could only create a sea of compassion, then I could accomplish the work I need to do.’”
There is drama and mystery in the awakening and unwinding of each melody. In the absence of any keyboards, wind or brass, the voice becomes the sustaining chain, linking the music’s gemstones to an ethereal current of breath. As in John Simon’s restrained production values on the first Leonard Cohen album, the players remain a respectful distance from each tune until they are drawn into the gentle waves of the lyrics, suggesting images of mountains and gardens emerging from the luxurious damask texture of each song with moody soloing or chanting.

Aviva has an intensely personalized demographic for an audience: fans who consider themselves friends, focused by her charisma and empathetic delicacy as much as by her music. Other singers and musicians are drawn to the intimate purity of her expressiveness as well. They all showed up to pack the album launch in the temple-hushed A-frame at 918 Bathurst in the waning of the harvest moon. Aviva appeared out of the darkness on the floor in front of the stage, beginning the show with a tribute to her nona, Nona Flory, who appeared briefly in a video projected above the stage. The musicians became intent upon giving each song an instantaneous rebirth, expanding upon the frameworks established on the record to extrapolate new dimensions of expression. Furthering the intricate embellishments, guests Ernie and Maryem Hassan Tollar joined the quartet at certain peaks of the program to invigorate the harmonic and spiritual fabric of the night. And that intro to ‘Arvoles!’ My goodness!
It’s the most beautiful and joyous recording I’ve ever done,” Aviva avers. “This is our antidote, this is our revolution: putting out songs that come from legacy and honour. This is our way of putting up the middle finger to hate.”
Originally published at Roots Music Canada
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Monday, December 9, 2019

Listening Up ~ These Are My 50 Most Favourite Records of 2019

Those who humble themselves to the lifetime discipline of musical communication have brought so much into my life this year, but these fifty are the special ones that have found room to grow between my ears, and to roam about on my personal astral terrain. Keep listening up. Carry the fire.

Karin Plato      This Could Be The One

Jim Brennan Eleven    Eleven Eleven

Waahli                         Black Soap

Abigail Lapell             Getaway

Dave Gunning            Up Against The Sky

Logan McKillop          Anchorless

D’arcy Wickham         Signal Hill

Patrice Jégou              If It Ain’t Love

Tom Wilson                Mohawk

Meg Tennant             Echoed Light

Shari Ulrich   Back To Shore

T. Nile   Beachfires

Nomadic Massive     Times

James Gordon    The Heritage Hall Sessions

Al Qahwa  Cairo Moon

Jon Brooks     Moth Nor Rust ll

OKAN     Sombras

Corin Raymond      Dirty Mansions

J.P. Mortier   Nation Of Iron

Dayna Manning     Morning Light

Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School    Aftermath

Mike Janzen    Lent  

Jason Wilson       Sumach Roots

Bywater Call       Bywater Call

April Verch     Once A Day

Sam Wilson  Groundless 

Dominique Fils-Aimé    
Stay Tuned

West My Friend    
In Constellation

Charlotte Cornfield  The 
Shape Of Your Name

Chain Mail    
The Psychedelic Suite

Alex Fournier    Triio

Tara Kannangara   It’s 
Not Mine Anymore

Alex Cuba    Sublime

Coco Love Alcorn      

Aviva Chernick    
La Serena

Big Little Lions     
Inside Voice

Aaron Dolman Nostalgia 
 & Other Fantasies

The New Customs     
Selling Religion on 
Government Street

Graham Lindsey 

Aphrose        Element

Sarah Jane Scouten   

Jerry Leger Time Out 
For Tomorrow

Silla + Rise 
Galactic Gala

Ariana Gillis   The Maze

Tertio  La Mince Ligne

Christine Bougie  
Love Songs 
With The Queer 
Songbook Orchestra

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats  Contemporary

Valérie Ékoumè  Kwin Na Kinguè

Cinematic Orchestra  To Believe

Dawn Drake        Nightshade