A Look Back at

Laila Boulos
Reminiscing about all the wonderful live music performances that made my ears gleefully spin in 2007 was a very enjoyable experience. But, having to choose only a few as favourites was very painful. Now with a pile of innumerable lists crumpled on the floor, here is my version of the musical best of 2007, listed chronologically.

Chris Bottomley and Brainfudge @ E-Bar, Guelph (Apr. 11)
Brainfudge could easily be a musical version of Dr. Seuss's The Cat In The Hat — the adult edition. Unafraid to ignore boundaries, play off each other and experiment musically, they are a colourful, fun-filled Mardis Gras of a street party.
> LMR report

The John Alcorn Trio @ The Savoy, Toronto (Jun. 28)
John's trio is the whole package. While he sings, entertains and storytells, Steve Wallace and Richard Whiteman hold down the musical fortress. The John Alcorn Trio: unequivocally the perfect swoon-inducing musical date!
> LMR report

High Plains Drifter @ Silver Dollar Room, Toronto (Jun. 30)
Originating in Nova Scotia, High Plains Drifter has, thankfully, never lost their wonderful, East Coast if-it-ain't-burning-don't-panic sensibility yet consistently stir up their audience with an amazing repertoire from upbeat to low down.

Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra @ Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (Jul. 5)
The eternally perfect music produced by this Malian prince of the kora and his Symmetric Orchestra was exquisite! This, combined with the energy and sound system of Harbourfront's Sirius Satellite Radio Stage equalled pure bliss! Opening act, Katenen Dioubaté was also an unexpected prize.
> LMR report

Deanna Bogart Band @ Distillery District, Toronto (Jul. 21)
This pianist, singer and saxophonist, along with her band, is musically a nitroglycerin-induced tempest in a bottle.

Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick @ Distillery District, Toronto (Jul. 22)
Warm (homemade!) oatmeal cookies and apple cider for the soul — after a snow storm.

Jayme Stone, Mansa Sissoko, Jah Youssouf @ Hugh's Room, Toronto (Aug. 1)
Listening to these virtuosos is like being drenched in the warm rain of a tropical sunshower.
> LMR report

Quintessential Boys and Four80East @ The Docks, Toronto (Aug. 9)
Quintessential Boys possess an unbelievable mix of youth in their presence and wisdom in their playing. Four80East maintain a mesmerizing groove that is, at once, smooth and textured compliments of the breath-taking percussion of Tony Grace and the exciting keyboarding talents of Rob DeBoer.
> LMR report

Marcel Khalifé @ George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto (Sep. 30)
Lebanese master of the oud (Arabic lute), Marcel Khalifé had the audience swimming in tears and laughter. If Shakespeare's works were to be transformed into music, this is how they would sound!
> LMR report

Tinariwen @ The Mod Club, Toronto (Nov. 20)
A veritable musical feast for the senses spinning the audience into a hypnotic Zen-like reverie.
> LMR report

We welcome your comments and feedback
Laila Boulos
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