John Haysom looked over the capacity crowd in the Arrow & Loon on Sunday evening, as the Glebop Jazz Trio opened their final show in that space.
“What a thrill to see you all here tonight! Thanks to all of you for coming out to help us to, I'm not sure 'celebrate' is the right word.”
But the mood – and the music – was still upbeat as the trio commemorated their 16 years playing at the neighbourhood restaurant and pub in the Glebe. There were hugs and laughter, as long-time jazz listeners showed their appreciation. Several made photos and captured video of the band's opening set.
The Arrow & Loon's current location will be demolished in September, as part of The Minto Group's redevelopment of 99 Fifth Avenue into a seven-story condominium behind the current Bank Street store frontage. The pub is still looking for a new space, but no news about that was announced during the show.
Saxophonist Rick Moxley and drummer Lu Frattaroli (dashing in from another gig) joined the trio – Haysom on trumpet, flugelhorn, and valve trombone, Bert Waslander on keyboards, and Howard Tweddle on double bass – as they performed a vibrant opening set of classic jazz, mostly from the 1950s and 60s, plus one original.
The featured vocalist was Floyd Hutchinson. Before he started singing, Hutchinson asked the crowd to “give a great hand to the Glebop Trio. Not many groups have a 16 year-gig. For myself I've always had a lot of appreciation for this group because they hired me for one of my very first professional gigs. So whenever they called me, I came running!”
At Glebop's monthly shows, the vocalist traditionally chose the tunes they sung. Hutchinson said he had “a hard time deciding what to sing tonight”, but chose songs that “will showcase the ability of the band as well”. He relocated “All Blues” to be at the Arrow & Loon, and followed that with “Comes Love”, with his vocals, Tweddle's bass, and Haysom's trumpet adding to the full-bodied bluesy feel. For “Song for My Father” by Horace Silver, he gave a deeply heartfelt rendition of the lyrics, which are much less commonly heard than its grooving melody.
It was a family occasion as well, with Haysom's granddaughter Sydney singing “Over the Rainbow” with the band. Haysom dedicated Horace Silver's “The Jody Grind” to his daughter “who's at the back there. It's her favourite one in the Glebop repertoire because it comes closest to rock!”
Many of the vocalists whom Glebop had featured over the years came out for the show, including Helen Glover, Caroline Cook, Karen Oxorn, Sandra Clarke, Betty Ann Bryanton, Lindsay McLeod, Deborah Clarke, and Patricia Balfour (who arrived by bike from Gatineau). Cook acted as master of ceremonies for the jam as well as performing. Other local musicians who showed up included Al Short, Neil Sealy, Dan Quinlan, Peter Woods, Gavin McLintock, Karl Nerenberg, Ivan Matte, Bob Clarke, and David Miller.
Glebop's manager, Odile Waslander, brought a large decorated 16th anniversary cake, and handed out pieces to everyone there after the opening set. Haysom publicly thanked her for arranging this gig for the group, 16 years before.
Throughout there was a casual, friendly vibe, with lots of socializing and chat. OttawaJazzScene.ca left at 8 p.m. after the first two hours, but the jam was still going strong. Haysom said they finally closed it down about 10 p.m.
Opening Set List
- Secret Love [Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster]
- All Blues [Miles Davis]
- The Jody Grind [Horace Silver]
- Comes Love [Sam H. Stept, Lew Brown and Charles Tobias]
- Over the Rainbow [Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg]
- GM [John Haysom]
- Song for My Father [Horace Silver]
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