Update September, 2015: The Beeched Wailers jam has moved.
A cozy and unpretentious pub in Centretown West was packed for Ottawa's newest jazz jam on Tuesday, March 4.
Trumpeter Nicholas Dyson brought his new quintet, The Beeched Wailers, to host the jam at the Rochester Pub & Eatery. For the jam's first night, they opened with a varied repertoire: pieces by well-known jazz instrumentalists including Steve Kuhn and Thelonious Monk, and two originals by Dyson and pianist Steve Boudreau.
The notes of the opening piece, Joe Henderson's “Recorda Me”, were only heard by a sparse audience, but by 10 p.m. the bar had started to fill, mostly with local professional and amateur jazz musicians, including some students. The pub's kitchen was open late, allowing hungry participants to fill their stomachs with burgers and fries as well as their ears with music.
The jam in the second set featured many musicians circling on and off the stage. Highlights included an intimate and expressive version of Duke Ellington's “In a Sentimental Mood” by vocalist Marcie Campbell, and Tariq Amery's intense flute solos and duets with Dyson on “Oleo”. The jam closed at 12:30 a.m. with the quintet (which also includes drummer Michel Delage, saxophonist Tyler Harris, and bassist Dave Schroeder) up again playing a propulsive and tight version of “Sticks” by Cannonball Adderley.
Dyson said the jam will be on every Tuesday night for the next few months. But it will only continue past early June, he said, if jazz listeners and musicians consistently attend.
And why “Beeched Wailers”? The nearest cross street on Rochester Street to the pub is Beech Street. And the quintet decided that “Beeched Whales” didn't have quite the positive vibe they were after.
– Alayne McGregor, Brett Delmage