Jazz Guitar Life thanks JGL contributor Norm Marier for this review and for all his support and encouragement.
A Jazz Guitar Master Comes To Town: Lorne Lofsky Trio at Diese Onze, Montreal June 10, 2022
A who’s who of Canadian jazz guitar would be incomplete without a mention of Toronto maestro Lorne Lofsky who met Oscar Peterson back in 1980 at the tender age of 26 and would go on to record and tour with the jazz giant. What a way to begin a career that has spanned over forty years.
The first set began with the standard “Alone Together” which set the tone for the evening as Lofsky kept the rhythm section on its toes playing fast and loose with the time. This wasn’t going to be a typical “play it as it’s usually played” evening.
Lofsky took the time to introduce each tune with a short explanation of what was to come. It was a night where a swing tune was played in Bossa Nova form and time signatures were altered (not sure when I last heard a tune played “in 7”). Lofsky’s humorous comments were not only useful but entertaining. His humble reflections on his mentor Ed Bickert were authentic and moving to me. Although Bickert’s influence on Lofsky is clear with his mastery of chord harmony, he clearly “moved on”, as he explained, developing his own distinctive voice.
Among the standards played was the hauntingly gorgeous “But Beautiful” introduced in solo chord melody format which evolved into a duo interplay of guitar/bass. The very expressive Vedady was clearly enjoying this session. Doxas joined in while making use of an unusual (at least to me) chest-worn percussion instrument described by Lorne as being “armed and dangerous”!
The very challenging “Tones for Joan’s Bones”, by jazz pianist Chick Corea, provided a more recent platform where Lofsky and crew explored the harmonic possibilities of the guitar/bass/drum format. I was struck by the concentration of Vedady and Doxas who followed the frontman with such intensity. These guys were clearly up to the task of playing with a legend.
A jazz trio evening would not be complete without a blues. The band settled in on an interpretation of the Miles Davis classic “All Blues” which metamorphosed into a regular 12 bar blues.
The Trio format of guitar/bass/drum is one that brought us such classic albums as Jim Hall’s 1975 Live At Bourbon Street Toronto and Jimmy Raney’s Live In Tokyo (1976). Suffice it to say, this evening had all the elements of a jazz performance of the highest order and was truly magical.
Thank you Lorne, Adrian and Jim!
Norm Marier has been a jazz guitar aficionado since he discovered the art as a teenager growing up in Montreal in the nineteen-eighties. He was admitted to Vanier College’s music program as a guitar major in 1982, studied with local jazz guitar veterans and played in small venues. Despite having become a CPA, he remains a lover and student of the art, almost 40 years later.
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