Mercoledi Musicale

Most Thursday nights we head over to Baba’s Lounge – a small, at times cramped, bar/restaurant on the second floor above Cedars, a really good Lebanese restaurant. We have our favourite seats at the bar, Tommy and JD the bartenders/waiters pretty much know what we’ll be having for dinner and in the way of adult beverages. We chat with friends, other regulars, and many of the musicians then settle back to enjoy an evening of Island Jazz. Dan Roswell, a really fine sax player, has been producing jazz evening there for sometime now – as well as our annual summer PEI Jazz & Blues Festival.

Our friends Marlee and Evan setting up for a Thursday night session at Island Jazz last fall.

Last week was a tribute to lyricist, songwriter, and singer Johnny Mercer. Looking at his list of what have become standards it would be easier to list the composers and media he didn’t write for. I thought I knew the bulk of them but I don’t honestly ever think I’d heard this number he wrote in 1962 with Doris Tauber. And I’m surprised I’d never heard this incredible version by Dinah Washington.

Mercer and Judy Garland had an off and on again relationship for many years and he claimed she was his inspiration for more than one song. He once said that the song the most reflected his feelings for her was I Remember You.

March 6 is National Crown Roast of Pork Day. Apparently it is the butt of many jokes here on the internet.

Mercoledi Musicale

As well as having a way with a patter song Noel Coward knew how to sell – and write – a ballad. He constantly plays around the beat of the song, sometimes holding back and at other times anticipating. He had no formal music training although he did take singing lessons to work on his technique. He was a self-taught pianist and if I remember correctly from one of his biographies, would work out his music on the piano then have someone else copy the notes down.

23 aprile – San Giorgio