Josh Grossman's blog

You kids get off my lawn!

I've been enjoying, these past few weeks, being out and about more frequently to hear live music. I've been able to hear lots of good stuff - Avi Granite at The Rex, Tara Davidson's CD release at the Jazz Bistro, Boom Crane at The Rex, and even Opera Atelier's Alcina at the Elgin Theatre. This past Monday night, I was one of many musicians (as it turns out) in the audience for the Dirty Loops show at the Opera House.

I need to process this show with you.

My Anaconda what?!

Alright, let's get into something here. Some salty language coming, so watch out.

This summer, I decided to watch the video to the Nicki Minaj song "Anaconda." I came away from the experience amazed - amazed that this is what passes for "good" in mainstream pop; amazed that an "artist" decided this was the best use of her talents; amazed that the lyrics and accompanying video were even deemed fit for public display.

Helpful hints from the interwebs

There is a small rotation of books I turn to when practicing trumpet or composing - books which remind me of fundamentals, steer me in new directions, or reconnect me with the basic enjoyment I derive from making music. When I need input on a particular topic like voicings or orchestration, or am looking for a new study to play through, I'm always grateful for the well-leafed tomes on my bookshelf. Of course, technology has opened up a whole new wealth of resources. If I'm ever really stumped, or if I'm looking for a particular recording, I can quickly look things up online.

A quick recap

This is why I don't make New Year's resolutions. It's been, um, a little longer than I had hoped since my last blog post. So - rather than launch into some long diatribe on some contentious issue, I figured I'd give a quick recap of what's been going on in the world of Josh over these past few months.

Summer brain

Ah the lazy, hazy days of summer. With festival post-mortems completed, final reports underway, and reconciliations in progress, these few quiet weeks provide a welcome opportunity to catch up on reading, listening, watching and percolating which the busy planning months don't always allow.

And then suddenly, real life

It's always a bit strange to wake up the day after the festival ends and return to normal life. Nowhere in particular to go, no shows in particular to see, no media interviews to be done. I do find the end of the festival bittersweet: I can now return to a regular sleep schedule and hang out with my family; but I miss the musical wonderland that is the jazz festival and the great people - my fellow TDJ staff, musicians, jazz fans - that go with it. Here's my recap of the final day of the 2014 TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Benny, Broads, Bebop and more

A logistical complication (i.e. my computer was locked in the media trailer overnight) means that this is an afternoon post rather than my usual morning post - so it will cover the past 36 or so hours at the festival.

As I wrote in yesterday's post, day 9 started bright and early - I had to be on the square at 7:30 am for a Weather Network segment. Despite the early wakeup, the spots were fun, and local musician Brownman played along nicely. Around 9 am I retreated to a local coffee shop for breakfast and wrote the post you have all, of course, already read intently.

Such glorious sound

I woke up at 6 am this morning. On purpose. (For an appearance on The Weather Network.) So I'm still waking up. But I have fond memories of yesterday - day 8 at the festival, already.

Suzie Vinnick and her bandmates (Roly Platt, harmonica; Victor Bateman, bass; Dave Clark, drums) put on a fantastic show at noon on the mainstage. Lots of blues with some rock and folk mixed in, excellent playing, a full audience - a great way to start off the day.

Less is more

Okay. So. Are we done with the rain? 'Cause yesterday's deluge wasn't so fun. The music was good, though…Here's my report.

Dear rain…

Obviously, someone didn't get the memo: there is to be no rain at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Happily, some fantastic music carried us through the day despite the elements. Here's how my day went down.

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