Wes Montgomery

By Wes Montgomery (1923-1968) I have over 2 mp3 collections Finger Pickin’ (1996) live December 1957, Movin’ Along (1960), Boss Guitar (1963), Guitar on the Go (1966) includes tracks recorded in 1959 and October and November 1963, Bumpin’ (1965), Dynamic Duo with Jimmy Smith (1966), Further Adventures with Jimmy Smith (1966), California Dreaming (1966), A Day In The Life (1967). As stand alone: Impressions; The Verve Jazz Sides 1995 2cd compilation.

My introduction to Wes was late in his career by A Day In The Life by which time he was on the A&M label with producer Chip Taylor. I loved his mellow electric-elastic guitar tone & was amazed by his covering of pop songs like Windy & A Day In The Life. Listening to them now they are a bit too reverent & verge on muzak. But this was the Chip Taylor style.

Many jazz players enlivened their careers by working with contemporary pop material to appeal to younger  listeners. His earlier work is much jazzier in a tradition way – his playing is always precise & tasteful. I love the two lps he recorded with organist Jimmy Smith & they are well worth having. The Verve sides are a delight too. 

Rounding out the mp3 cds are: Herbie Mann and Dave Valentin: Two Amigos (1990); Herbie Mann and Phil Woods: Beyond Brooklyn (2004) – two fun jazzy sets with Herbie Mann. Good solid work that verges on easy listening.

Art Pepper (1925 –1982): The Return of Art Pepper (1956), Artworks (recorded 1979 released in 1984). His career was repeatedly interrupted by several prison stints stemming from his addiction to heroin. His sax is slightly aggressive, propulsive & adventurous but rarely becomes squawky. He covers jazz standards & originals.

Chico Hamilton (drummer): Man From Two Worlds (1963) Gábor Szabó, The Further Adventures of El Chico (1966). Gábor Szabó is another of my favourite easy to enjoy jazz guitarists. I picked up a double lp while I was living in Cape Breton & loved it. Another jazz player who did excellent covers of pop music. On the hits lp were tracks he recorded with Chico, so I eventually added some Chico to my collection. Solid, sometimes intellectual jazz, old-school & fun to listen to.

Here too is Wilbert Longmire’s Revolution (1969) – another jazz guitarist in the Montgomery mold in a fun funky set of mostly covers – including the Beatles’ Revolution. Finally Art Farmer (Trumpet): Crawl Space (1977) – a fine, moody, romantic set of excellent jazz that is a good introduction to jazz in a more exploratory & relaxed style.

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Jazz Hams

I didn’t realize how much Chico Hamilton I had in my mp3 collection. Scattered over various complications I have The Dealer; El Chico; Man From Two Worlds; The Further Adventures of El Chico; Easy Livin’; A Different Journey; and as stand-alone the Quintet Complete.

Chico was a much sought master percussionist who recorded thousands of tracks with too many jazz greats to list. Mostly notably (to me) Gabor Szabo. He also led various groups of his own. He could be understated or dominating depending on what he was called to do. Latin, swing, modern, experimental – he did it all. His group recordings are solid bop work, his many recordings with Szabo are worth seeking out.

Close to him on the shelf is the BlueNote compilation: Heros of The Hammond. Tracks selected from their immense back catalogue of work by Jimmy McGriff, ‘Bother’ Jack McDuff & others, this is an excellent introduction to jazz organ. Some in the Jimmy Smith mode, others Booker T. I love this organ sound that lead to the fun farfisa sound of garage rock & the progressive rock of ELP.

Next is an lp to cd transfer of Lionel Hampton’s Steppin’ Out. He played a very swinging jazz vibraphone and his recordings are endless as band leader & sideman. Equally at home in big and or small combos his playing is lively & tasteful. Steppin’ Out is no exception & makes a good start if you are unfamiliar with this subgenera or if you’ve only heard Gary Burton’s more modern/experimental work.


The boots had been the the back of the closet. I hadn’t cleaned here is some time, at least that’s what the layer of dust accused me of not doing. I recognized the boots instantly.

Calf-high cowboy boots. Tan leather with some deep red scroll fan-like inserts. Heels well worn, one toe scuffed. Dave had worn these daily for months. How could he have left these when he moved out? How could I have missed them till now?

I brushed the dust off them. My cleaning stopped dead in its tracks. I took them into the kitchen to clean them better. The leather was stiff and dry but a little dubbin could bring it back to life. 

Dave. Dave. Dave. Where are you now? I never really understood what went wrong. At the moment I saw the sense but now, looking back, it made no sense at all.

Impulsively I pulled the boots on. His feet were a size smaller than mine, but these were always big on him. Maybe that’s why he left them behind. The calf of the boot was tight, the ankle tighter, but I forced my toes past instep and they were on. Tight. My baby toes pained.

Dave’s boots! He never would have let me wear them when he was around. I took a few unsteady steps. The heels made me inches taller and the smooth soles slid on the floor. I could walk in them, but not far, unless I wanted to have my big toe and little toe surgically removed.

I went to the study and found the photo album of our trip through the desert and the dude ranch we stayed at for a couple of weeks. The first summer. God, Dave you were a gorgeous man. Ah, there are those boots, too. You were so proud of them. City boy gets his first cowboy boots.

There we are at the waterfall outside of Pikesville. Sex there was wild. Afraid some tourist family would pull up. Mom, Pop, Sis and Junior would catch these buck naked bare-ass guys in a frenzy under the crashing water. No one caught us though.

That summer was so sweet.

I tottered back the the kitchen.

‘Boots, you are heading the way of all trash.’

I sat on a kitchen chair and began to pull. It was as if the boot was glued to my foot. I first tried one then the other. Permanently attached to my feet. I yanked and struggled but neither would budge more than a scant nano-inch and ripped at the skin on the back of my ankle. I’d need to have my heel removed to get them off. Scissors? Cut them off? 

What a fool I was to let you go, Dave. What a fool. 


every Tuesday 2019


17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible


7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA


23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

This Book Cooks

I discovered Booker Ervin in the late 80’s when I picked up a double lp of his at Cheapies. It was a compilation of tracks from other lps. I’d never heard of him or even heard him until then. He falls into the  Sonny Rollins, Pharaoh Saunders school of sax. His work is more hard-bop but gradually expanded but always remained firmly in the ‘real’ jazz mode. No easy listening.

His sound, to me, isn’t particularly distinctive, but his is always inventive & rarely harsh – say as Coltrane gets at time – even his free jazz work isn’t overly aggressive. In my collection I have The Book Cooks; Space Book; Back From The Gig; Structurally Sound; n’Brass; Cracklin.’ I really like his solid, timeless sound. These could be recorded yesterday unlike a lot of jazz from the 50s/60s/70s. One of the rewards of keeping it ‘acoustic’ – there are no washes of strings, or busy electronic keyboards to date his playing.

Tucked in with this mp3 collection is Chico Hamilton’s Easy Living: this in an lp to mp3 dupe. I’ve never found this Pacific Jazz compilation in digital form. Chico was a percussionist & the music here is held down by his tasteful drums & great sidemen (Gabor Szabo on some tracks). Just for the heck of it I also included the soundtrack for Social Network! I love this soundtrack & the music doesn’t need the movie to work. I have seen the movie but don’t have any images from it to put with the music.


If you’re looking to start into to jazz, Chico Hamilton is an excellent performer to explore. If you want somewhat more serious, Booker Ervin is a fine, less-known, sax player to start with – try Structurally Sound.




Dave rolled over to his right shoulder. The left was stiff, tingling from sleeping on it for too long. The bed was warm comfortable. He liked his bed. It hadn’t taken too long to get its valleys in just the right spots for his hips.

The alarm went off.

He reached for it.

Cool grey light filtered into the room around the edges of his blinds. He stretched out under the covers and then thrust them off in a quick motion. He knew if he wrapped himself in them now he’d sleep for another half an hour. Time he didn’t have to spare.

A quick morning prayer at the side of bed and then off to obey the call of nature.

Breakfast in the little nook by the kitchen. Not quite a dining room. Listening to classical music. Keeps the day from taking over too fast. Cereal. Toast with jam. Apple orange banana. Healthy meal.

Shower, shave. Clothes laid out the night before. Anything to save his brain from making decisions in the morning.

Plain white t-shirt, black boxers, black socks, blue shirt, red tie, black pants, black suede shoes, charcoal sports coat and he was ready to face the day.

Elevator fast for a change. Yesterday it had stopped on every floor going up and down. Some kids must have been screwing around. Good thing he was never in a hurry in the morning. He’d get there in time. Familiar faces on the elevator. Same ones he saw most mornings. Same ones with no names just small friendly smiles.

‘Looks to be a nice day.’


‘Didn’t get much rain this summer though.’


Quick glance at his mail box but empty. Mail never arrived this early but he always checked, just in case something was slipped in over night. Never was.

Crisp walk to the subway. More of the familiar faces on the street. Familiar nameless faces. He could almost tell what day it was by what certain people wore. A comfortable routine that allowed the fabric of his time to remain intact.

Down the steps  into the station. Flash his pass and to the platform. Crowded. Train pulled in and they crowed on. He never tried for a seat. Standing was good for the circulation, wore off a few more calories and one less worry.


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)

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DeJohnette DeGenius 

Jackie DeJohnette is a jazz master genius. I’m not up on jazz critical literature so I can’t say if he is under-rated but I can say he is certainly not under-recorded. In addition to his own solo & group work he has played with with nearly every jazz musician of note. His work with Keith Jarrett is sublime.

As a percussionist, drummer he is equally at home in combos, big band, solo, chamber, free jazz & experimental. When I was buying cds if I saw he was a part of the line up I knew it was going to be worth listening to even I had never heard of any of the other players.

Like many jazz players at one time he was a mainstay of the ECM label. I can’t list all the releases of theirs that he appears on. As a sideman he was inventive, supporting but rarely called attention to himself. He knew how to make others shine.

I have stand alone Pictures. A suite of impressionist pieces in which he plays piano, organ as well as various percussion. Amazing. In an mp3 collection I have his New Rags; Special Edition; Standards: New York Session with Keith Jarrett – all replacements for vinyl versions I had at one time. This is adult thinking jazz but with strong emotional pull – never so abstract as to distance the listener. To round the mp3 collection I have some of his work with Chico Hamilton: El Chico; Kenny Wheeler: It Takes Two!; Wynton Marsalis: Think of One.

If you are, as I once as, just starting to enjoy jazz or want to explore deeper than easy listening I’d recommend anything that includes DeJonnette in the line up.


Mike stepped out of the shower. He cursed himself for not opening the room window so the thick steam could escape but at the same time enjoyed the feel of it on his warm skin, the slick of it on the walls.

He left the shower running while he stood in front of the mirror. The day had been hot and dry and his body longed for this damp. He attempted to wipe the mirror clean to shave but the beads reformed too fast.

Reluctantly he turned off the shower. He half expected the smoke alarm to go off in his room.

Yes it was going to be a good trip after all. He rubbed himself dry twice. His skin tingled from the heat of the shower, from the heat of the day, from the rough of the towel. He could still feel Robert’s embrace. How long ago was that? Two hours? Three? He couldn’t believe it. He, Mike had met a strange man, in a strange city, and made that contact!

Not just any man but a handsome exotic dark skinned man. The kind he frequently fantasized about but felt that with his humdrum looks would never get to meet or if he did meet wouldn’t get more than a condescending smile from.

Robertino De Saint-Zexpris. He repeated the name several times. Rolling the R’s and squeezing the X. Such a name. Such a man. Such a man whom he would be meeting with shortly.

What should he wear? Nothing. Ha Ha. Now that’s the best part. Naked would they get naked this night, this first time, or would that be held out, put off till neither of them could wait.

Naked. Ha! There’s my mind running wild. So he hugged me. So we had a great time at the museum and he’s asked me to sup with him tonight.

Where does naked fit into that? Just a guy who wants someone to eat with. Simple. Yes, he had to keep it that simple, so that if that was all it turned out to be he wouldn’t be disappointed. He didn’t want another disappointment after the bomb-shell Jack dropped on him.

Yes, let’s just keep this as an opportunity to dine out not eat out. Mike laughed at his little joke.

What to wear? What would come off the fastest? What would wrinkle the least? Wrinkle! Who gave a fuck if it wrinkled. If it was coming off it would come off whether it was Hugo Boss or Goodwill.

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident


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Airto Moreira

Airto Moreira first came to my attention thanks to Chick Corea’s Light As A Feather. Airto was everywhere at one time: from Miles Davis, Bitches Brew, to work with Weather Report, John McLaughin & Keith Jarrett. I have lots of his work with these jazz icons. In fact he is one of those icons himself.

trunk03 who saw you?

He’s recorded extensively with his wife Flora Purim and also has many releases under his own name. On one of my mp3 compilations I have Virgin Land, In Concert w/Deodato, Fingers & Identity. All dupes from Lp or direct downloads. I can remember buying the original Lps, some from Cheapies on Yonge Street.

trunk01 how old am I?

Brazilian rhythms ground his music which runs from almost traditional folk to jazz fusion to pure jazz. His tracks on the Deodato concert are amazing (too bad Deodato is such a snooze).


stumped again

Also on this cd is Chico Hamilton: The Dealer – which features more Latin rhythms with the amazing Gabor Szabo on guitar. Al Hirt: Music To Watch Girls By – a sixties radio throwback; Jimmy Smith: Peter & The Wolf – yes, this a jazz version of the classical suite – fun & funky; Joe Pass: The Stones Jazz – yes, instrumental versions of the Rolling Stones – some of which work; Tough Young Tenors: Alone Together – more contemporary than the rest of the compilation – great hot playing by a handful of excellent, young sax players. You know they must have amazing tongue control 🙂


Unfolding The Map

As the last of Jill’s clothes fell to the carpet Jack felt he finally stood on the border of manhood. The blue-pink light from the television in the corner of the hotel room rippled on the wall, danced on Jill’s bare skin.

‘Like what you see?’ she stepped towards him and undid the top button of his shirt.

He didn’t know how to convey the confusion of this moment, to tell her that he wanted to look, to stare but to have a real woman there made him feel embarrassed, ashamed of his need to look.

‘Uh … yes.’ He wished that the news announcer would tell him just what to do next, that the weather map would show which highs and lows his hands were to reach for first.

His skin was cool and then warm once his shirt had dropped to the ground. He resisted the temptation to pick it up, to fold it neatly on a chair. Jill’s breasts were hot against him. His arms moved around her of their own volition.

‘Mmmm.’ Jill’s mouth opened to his.

He’d imagined many times what this would be like, he’d watched enough adult videos to know what was supposed to happen, but now that it was happening to him, he was unsure, unscripted. He felt watched by the news announcer, now the sports announcer, soon to be a talk show host telling jokes.

Should he turn off the TV? No. The light was fine but perhaps he should turn it down.

The Leafs had scored, a race was run, he moved towards the bed with Jill. It seemed she was doing as much of the lean to the bed as he was.

‘There. There,’ she moaned as his hands moved slowly along her sides. ‘Why don’t you get out of … ’ she gave his belt buckle a gentle tug.

‘Yes yes.’ He sat and pulled at his shoes laces, knotting one of them. He stood to slide his jeans off, the shadow of his erection sprung across the wall.

My what a big shadow you cast, he though.

‘Come on Jack. We don’t have all night you know.’ Jill patted the bed beside her.

He turned to her. The pink-blue flicker made strange dark areas across her stomach, between her legs. He wanted more light so he could really see, to explore. He knew this wasn’t the body of his favorite adult actress. He’d know that body anywhere; that body never looked back at him, didn’t blush to avoid his gaze to make him feel dirty for looking.

‘What are you looking at?’ she giggled.

He closed his eyes to kiss her. As he stretched beside Jill he regretted that he wouldn’t be able to rewind to inspect and savour each moment of discovery.

As his passion was accepted, responded to, he wondered if his memory could ever be as crisp, as accurate in it’s replay, as those favorite video moments he was about to recreate for real.

map map to summer

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