These sketches were done in clubs and bistros that feature jazz musicians in our
city. Toronto is fortunate to have many talented players practising this art form. I
became a fan in public school during the big band period when orchestras came to
play at the old tent at the “Ex”, the Palace Pier (lost in a fire years later) and Maple
Later, the Town Tavern, the Colonial Tavern and Massey Hall were the places
where I thrilled to the sounds of the giants of jazz, including Duke, Louis, Basie,
Dizzy, Bird and Billy Holiday.
I’ve always felt an affinity with musicians. They're out there, on their own, always
outsiders a bit, on the line to perform well or not. The act of improvising is very
much like painting. You're open to comment and criticism from all quarters.
Painters invite it with their shows once in a while. Jazz musicians cope with it
every night. But, what joy they bring us!