Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hey! Now you can listen to my third CD; Jazzstory for free, right here:

Please share with everyone you know that likes music. (does anyone not like music?)

Review by 

The Canadian co-op quartet Jazzstory consists of guitarist Tim Posgate (who wrote all but one of the six originals performed on this disc), trumpeter Lina Allemano, bassist Rob Clutton, and drummer Jean Martin. They perform adventurous post-bop, music that leaves space and is not without melodies but is quite unpredictable. At timesAllemano's playing is a little reminiscent of Dave Douglas, while Posgate ranges from Jim Hall to rockish in tone;Clutton and Martin are very alert is support of the lead voices throughout this intriguing set. This is the type of music that grows in interest with each listen, because even after a few times, there is still more to discover. Recommended.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The sideman life!

I spent so many years (decades!) playing my own music and leading my own bands almost exclusively. These were great times, I learned a lot and made 7 CDs.

As of late I am really enjoying being a sideman. Part of the reason is because I am fortunate to work with great musicians; most of who are my good friends. This phase is also allowing me to play all my new instruments that I am working on too. In the next four days I have gigs where I play guitar (acoustic and electric), mandolin, banjo and fiddle.

Oddly enough, the Thursdays (830-930pm) I am doing with Ronley Teper at the Painted Lady on Ossington is allowing me to get back to playing some electric guitar. (yes, it has been a while) She is such a fun person to work with. She is very talented as a singer, songwriter and performer (almost in the performance art category).

Here is a  of our first week at the club:

Tonight I am playing with the Earthtones at the Rex at 930. Super fun band that brings together folk, jazz, bluegrass and more. I am playing mando and banjo. (excited about trying out my new LR Baggs mando pickup!)

I am playing a Jazz Ceilidh with Heather Bambrick on Sunday at McMichael art gallery at 130pm. I am playing acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle on this one.

Exciting times! All I have to do now is figure out how the Olympic hockey schedule works around all this musical excitement.

No worries; I do have some of my own projects (or collectives) still. Watch for upcoming Oolong 7 shows in March!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Banjo Hockey on Youtube

I am slowly uploading all my CDs to youtube so you can listen to them. Hopefully purchase them too!

You can listen to Banjo Hockey here.

If you didn't already know; it features the great jazz tuba legend Mr. Howard Johnson. He is also a killer baritone sax player and shows it on this CD.

The two other member of the hornband are amazing too and bothing making big waves these days. Lina Allemano is a great trumpet player that has released many CDs of her own. Lately she is getting lots of invites and attention in New York and Europe.

Quinsin Nachoff is a tenor player and composer with a unique voice. He is living in New York these days and making an impact on the scene there. (My old pal Andy Milne and Quinsin have been making a bunch of music together lately!)

Please share the Banjo Hockey link with others. The more that hear it the better!


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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday Residency at the Rex

I have a fun residency this month at the Rex Hotel on Queen St. W. Every Sunday in December from 7-9pm. Each week will be a little different and I have included the details below. This is extra special for me as it has been a long time since I performed at the Rex. Hope to see you there. tp

Dec 1
Andrew Downing: cello
Rob Clutton: bass
Tim Posgate: banjo, fiddle

Dec 8
Anthony Michelli: drums
Chris Pruden: piano
Tim Posgate: guitar

Dec 15
The Oolong 7
Neil Hendry: guitar
Jaimie McClyment: violin
Ravi Naimpally: tabla
Tim Posgate: banjo

Dec 22
Rob Clutton: bass
Anthony Michelli: drums
Tim Posgate: banjo, fiddle
Emilyn Stam: piano

The Oolong 7
Neil Hendry: guitar
Jaimie McClyment: violin
Ravi Naimpally: tabla
Tim Posgate: banjo


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hoser City: 20 Years Later

I am sitting and listening to my first CD; Hoser City. This is not something I do very often. As a matter of fact, most jazz musicians rarely listen to their own records. I suppose this is mostly because we hope that immediately after we record we get even better by continuing to work hard at our music.

The reason I am listening is that it was 20 years ago today that I released my first CD; Hoser City on my label Guildwood Records. Some will remember it as the night the Blue Jays won the world series but I remember it as my first ever CD release party. (on Yonge St. no less!!) The manager of the restaurant across from the Eaton's Centre asked us not to play once the game started, but we still got paid.

I still really like many things about this record. The opening track, Hoser City is still a fun tune to play (it even works on banjo) with an interesting form and phrasing. I remember how much I had to stick to my guns to get the guys to play some of these parts. Most memorable was Kevin Dempsey on the drums as he had never made a record before where most of the drum parts were written out for him. In the end, he took what I wrote home, worked on it and always went way beyond it as the tunes progressed. I still do the occasional gig with Kevin but you should watch for him at Toronto jazz clubs like The Rex Hotel.

Andy Milne was (and still is) one of my best pals and I was happy to have him onboard playing piano, keyboards and producing with me. I remember we spent a major part of our first day looking for a different bass drum for Kevin as Andy was just not going to have the old, floppy sound of Kevin's jazz bass drum he had brought to the session. Telephone Song, the third tune has some pretty great Andy Milne and Kevin Dempsey interplay. It too is an interesting form and composition. (if I do say so myself!)

Terminator is the next tune. It is a strange and intense track. It reminded me at the time of the music from the Terminator movies. When I listen to it now it reminds me more of Rush. (ha!) Dempsey certainly plays some Neil Peart-like fills in his drum solo near the end of this tune. However, Victor Bateman really holds this one together on the electric bass. I remember the funny faces he would make playing this relentless bass part. Victor is a great guy and still making lots of great music here in Toronto.

Some of my guitar sounds are pretty odd. I played a Strat that I borrowed from my oldest pal Steve Szigeti who also did the design for this disc. I was very influenced at the time by David Gilmore who was the guitarist in Steve Coleman's Five Elements. Steve Coleman was a big influence on this record as Milne and I had gone to Banff and hung out with Steve and Andy was starting to play gigs with Steve in New York. Of Course, he went on to join that band and travel the world with them for almost a decade.

Tippy n' Stretch was named after a couple dogs in the house where Milne and I were working on the pre-production of this record. I remember now that I was trying to have some less regimented, looser melodies, guitar playing etc. to go along with the complex, overly accurate vibe that permeates most of the record. This tune is an example of that. It is fun to hear Brent Bodrug playing a synth solo while Andy comps for him on the piano. Although Brent was already a good young piano player (having been recognized early on by Oscar Peterson) he had a great interest and nice touch with synths. Brent has gone on to be a very successful producer/engineer and studio owner. This is a fun tune to listen to loud as it turns into a crunchy jam on the way out.

Ha! Track 6, Too Much Music is a pretty funny response to the last track. It is kind of a smooth jazz vibe. (however there are some interesting rhythmic subtleties to it)

The engineer on the session was a guy that "came with" the Cherry Beach studio and his name is Brian Nevin. My memory of Brian is of him being very friendly and quick at what he did. Whenever we needed an opinion he was tuned in and ready to offer up his thoughts. We have recently been re-aqquainted as we play a regular Sunday night shinny hockey game together. (he is a great player!) Don't blink or you might miss She Danced For Gordie Howe. I think I had to put that little excerpt on there just because I loved the title so much.

I wish we recorded the plastic woodblock differently on the next track; The Real Thing. I think it should have been more present or up front. When I wrote this drum part Kevin hated it and said it couldn't be done. He did it eve
ntually. Some of my playing on tunes like this one make me cringe. Maybe I should go back and re-record all the guitar tracks but on the banjo. (I have threatened to do this and still have the original two inch tapes!)

Steve Szigeti was a great pal in designing the CD cover and package for me. He was always drawing as we grew up. It was fun hanging out and choosing these old images from old Sears catalogues. The inside pictures are fun. Good memories. The photo of me, taken by Bruce Zinger is quite a classic mullet.

Squirrels can Fly, is probably the tune from this record that I have played the most since then. We really played it fast back then. It brings back memories of some of the little run-out weekend gigs this band would do in Quebec City. I miss those days. We did a national tour too. Vial Rail gave us all passes and we took the train for a big part of the travel. Thanks to the Canada Council touring office (as it was called back then) it was quite a success.

This record is dedicated to the loving memory of my Mom; Isobel Posgate. She died before I made this record but she was with me for the whole thing and I feel her presence with me still today. I am tearing up writing this as I was when I recorded Mom's Birds for her. In her last days, she enjoyed the life and vitality of the birds feeding by her bedroom window in Burlington, Ontario.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


I never think of being central to my life but it really is. Just now I biked home from watching my son play hockey. Not only did I save $6 of ttc fares but I got exercise, had fun and interacted with other people on bikes. Tonight (if the weather permits) I will bike to my own hockey game.

Yesterday, I met for lunch with two of my oldest pals; Rob and Kenny. Kenny suggested a Thai restaurant on Bloor and we met there. On the way there on my bike I was thinking how happy I was to be out and about on my bike. I thought that I wanted to impart my happiness to my pals during lunch so they too could enjoy that type of happiness in their lives. It turns out there was no need as all three of us converged at Bloor and Spadina from different parts of the city by bike power. After all these years, we have turned out quite similar in that way. We bike.

It is something that makes you different; being a biker. It is fun to talk to other bikers on the road, at parties etc. Today a biker thanked me for my signals after making a stop and turn signal. Felt good.

Yesterday I had to pick up our other son and have him back home in 30 minutes. Bit of a panic, should I taxi, autoshare or what? No way. So many silly people driving their cars downtown there is a traffic jam on every street between here and Landsdowne. I jumped on my bike and was there and back with the boy in 20 minutes. Biking is the answer.

Biking is my freedom. It immediately makes me happy to head out on a bike journey, even if I am going somewhere I don't really want to go. Enjoy the journey, isn't that what they say?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Actors are freaks too!

These cast mates of mine in The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw really are incredible. I don't mean just in their abilities to sing, act and dance but their commitment and passion. 

Yesterday we had a 9pm show which meant that we hadn't performed the show for more than 72 hours so...even though we have rehearsed for well over a month and already performed the show three times, they wanted to get together and run the whole 90 minute show right before the show. Seemed like not one of us was against the idea. Although, I didn't speak up because everyone else liked the idea. 

Well, it turned out was a great idea because we had a great run through (lots of laughs) and went downstairs and had one of our best shows to a full, enthusiastic house. (they even applauded my song!)

I know of three actors yesterday who did a show as well as seeing at least two, if not three other plays in the same day. (Courtney!) The festival vibe and spirit that is in Toronto's acting community is a fun thing to behold. I see a a lot of mutual respect and interest in each other's work, positivity and sincere interest in art. 

Also I have noticed that the youth movement in theatre and the arts is alive and well in a Fringe-type festival like Summerworks. It seems to me that the audience is a lot younger than what you would find at a jazz club these days or even at some of the more expensive,  plays in town. 

It is fun to visit another planet and find out how things work there. 

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