A Look Back at

Mike Colyer
Where to begin? How to winnow the many fine shows I’ve seen in 2007 to a mere handful? Well, here goes. The following shows are listed in no particular order. They do not form a ‘best of’ compendium, but rather a collection of some of the events that I thoroughly enjoyed last year. Here’s to more in ’08!

Afrikan Millennium and Cultural Arts Feastival @ Trane Studio, Toronto
Congratulations, Frank, on a brilliant idea beautifully executed. 3 months of music and more. Of the many highlights, the Tribute to Nina Simone, featuring the outstanding Tiki Mercury Clark, was unforgettable.

David Fathead Newman @ the Pilot Tavern, Toronto
Like many of my generation, I grew up on Fathead. Hearing this legend perform in the intimacy of the Pilot, brilliantly accompanied by Mark Eisenman, Archie Alleyne and Steve Wallace was a rare treat and a highlight of my year.
> LMR report

Claire Jenkins @ Supermarket, Toronto
This young lady has talent. Believe it! Performing her tour de force Crow’s Nest/Nid de Pie, Claire Jenkins made me want to set down the camera and just listen. Bravo, Claire!
> LMR report

Jayme Stone @ Hugh’s Room, Toronto
With a stunning combination of jazz, world, folk and whatever influences cross his creative mind, Jayme Stone redefines the banjo. Forget Deliverance, this is the real thing.
> LMR report

Mavis Staples @ The Toronto Jazz Festival, Main Stage
Power, power, power! Power with a unique blend of subtlety and genuine emotion. Mavis Staples opened jaded ears that evening.
> LMR report

Gale/Rodrigues @ the Rex, Toronto
Chris Gale seems to turn up everywhere lately, from Saturday Night Fish Fry to Brandi Disterheft’s fine Debut CD. His powerhouse collaboration with Montreal B-3 player Vanessa Rodrigues, guitarist Mike Rud and drummer Davide DiRenzo brought the room to their feet.

Roberta Gambarini @ Courthouse, Toronto
What a lovely evening. The beautiful and talented Ms. Gambarini, fronting a quartet anchored by legendary drummer Jake Hanna, deftly wove a sensuous tapestry of sound perfect for the room. More, please.
> LMR report

Autorickshaw @ Lula Lounge, Toronto
A few years ago, a friend rushed into my place, a copy of Autorickshaw’s debut CD in his hand, and said, ‘you’ve gotta hear this!’ At Lula, celebrating the release of So the Journey Goes, Autorickshaw were at their best, firmly establishing themselves as premier performers with their unique fusion of traditional Indian rhythms and North American jazz.

Jef Kearns Culmination @ Harlem, Toronto
Have you ever heard soul played on a flute? Well, you should. Watch out for this creative, energetic, talented young man, you’ll be happy you did.

Soweto Gospel Choir @ Hummingbird Centre, Toronto
After photographing the choir in rehearsal, I was fortunate enough to acquire a ticket for their performance. Absolutely stunning! What else can I say?
> LMR report

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Mike Colyer
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