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Last night at the Merc....


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Well??? Where were all of you? It's been a very long time since I've been to a show where I didn't bump into a phriendly face.

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was pretty damn good. You missed a true jazz show. This three piece from Chicago had all the bells, whistles, whirly birds and a bigger bag of tricks than Billy Martin. There was a full drum kit, bongos, 3 saxes, a clarinet, keyboard and anything that would make a sound was brought up to the mic. It was a slow hypnotic groove all night with improvised vocal chants and the sweet, sweet song of the sax. I wish I had that show CD...perfect make out music!

It's just not the same without you all there. Next time....

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Guest Low Roller

The show was indeed quite awesome. The third jam (I believe it was called For Albert or Dear Albert) was mind f'n blowing.

I was there, but nobody knows who I am. The price I pay for anonymity I guess.

I unfortunately had to leave after the first set, so can anybody fill me in on the wackiness of the second set? Did the dijiridoo make an appearance? I looked for it on stage and didn't see it.

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You are all excused for your absences... a big part of me would rather have been watching hockey too. At least the show was worth the total lack of patriotism on my part.

Last night was one of those nights where you knew you were watching a very special band. As they took the stage a sweet jazz piano standard accompanied a very mellow sax intro... the 2 players were joined by the percussionist who played a few beats, then stood. He walked to the front of the stage and began reciting some deep emotional, almost angry poetry... He had no mic but rather spoke forcefully into the open air... Being a small room and the background groove so mellow it worked perfectly to create the mood ant the perfect intro for the night to come... Powerful, emotional and SEXY as all hell.

All the players in this band were outstanding, but the all-star was clearly the percussionist.. He delivered allot of vocals without microphones, from well sung lyrics to screaming chants... his presence was awe inspiring. The bongo action commanded people to their feet and I don't know what he was playing with his thumbs but the grooves he generated were incredible. I was convinced that something must have been sampled over top from somewhere, but no it was all done with his thumbs... what the fuck?

The second set seemed to match the mood of the room, allot of people went for a setbreak walk and were feeling mellow and relaxed.... This set seemed to flow from start to finish with very few breaks (if any). No didgeridoo, but the bag of toys was explored further, I don't pretend to know what all those noises and sounds were but I was completely hypnotized by the percussions.

Low Rider... who are you man..??

Don't miss next Wednesday's Jazz dose.....

Wednesday February 27.2002.

Nugget Promotions w/ Nujazz Productions presents


Monica Freire, Brazilian singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist has been living in Montreal and touring the world for years. She has played all over the world - as the Monica Freire Trio, with the famous Blaco Pinel, and as part of groups such as the Juno Award-winning Africa do Brazil. She has released several records in Japan, in addition to domestic releases and a live CD with Paulo Ramos Group at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

"Monica, with her beautiful voice, contagious swing and powerful on-stage presence assures us that her star will shine brightly and will bring Brazilian music to the four corners of the world." - International Press, Tokyo, Japan


Mercury Lounge


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Guest Low Roller

I looked it up, and the little piano that the percussionist from Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was playing is called a Kalimba.

The following web page has a nice history of the instrument, and also has a virtual kalimba for all of us to fuck around on.


I dare anybody to remember what that guy played last night and reproduce it.

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