Beyond the compelling song list and Welsman’s unique interpretations, another fascinating element of this Journey is the fact that every tune was recorded in one or two takes, with the band recording 16 tracks in four days. Welsman prepared for the sessions with pre-production demos and, embodying the true essence of jazz, was open to changing course and improvising when the spirit of the song led the band in a different direction during the rehearsal session before recording. Her idea to drop the drums from “Route 66,” for instance, happened during the first run through the song in the recording studio.
“That’s the great thing about jazz, being open to making last-minute changes to make every song and arrangement flow just right,” says Welsman in a news release. “I wanted to play with the intimacy of the music, which means there could be a sudden change of attitude, as in ‘Never Make Your Move too Soon,’ which started out as a straight blues but seemed too forced that way. The result was that we were able to have a nice palette of colors with which to present this special array of songs. One of the key things was vibe. I didn’t want to be too over the top, but more on the quiet side so that you could put it on during dinner and then later it would lend itself to more detailed listening. Because we were drawing from so many sources and influences, I was amazed at the end that everything had an organic feel and was totally cohesive. All the themes connected as if we had somehow planned it that way. Dropping an instrument here and there definitely was part of the balanced approach we took.”
|Long Beach Lodge Resort
With more than 270,000 votes tallied and 10,000 resorts, destinations, airlines and cruises reviewed, the results for the 24th annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are finally in. And named in the top three for Canada’s Best Resort is Vancouver Island’s own Long Beach Lodge Resort.
Rising high above the same Pacific Ocean waterfront, across from the famous Victoria Golf Club, the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel pays homage to its original 1920s, Tudor-style grandeur. The $52 million hotel combines luxury hotel rooms, year-round residences and vacation rental suites into its seven stories and is set to reopen in May 2012.
“After being a much-loved fixture of our city for the better part of a century, seeing the original hotel come down was tough for Victoria residents and visitors alike,” said Kevin Walker, co-owner and developer of the project, in a news release. “Before my wife and I took ownership in ’95, I worked at the hotel, under my dad, since the ’70s – a lot of history there. I’d see the same weekly regulars at the Snug Pub and the same visitors year after year.”
And while the essence of the original Oak Bay Beach Hotel has been captured by Kevin and Shawna Walker, a number of modern amenities and live-in suites have been added, making the property Victoria’s first luxury hotel and spa with private residences. Hotel guests will have use of the seaside, therapeutic mineral pools, fitness centre and spa; services from an on-staff sommelier and fine dining at The Discovery restaurant; and 24-hour room service, butler, and concierge. Kate’s Café will provide casual dining.
Thanks to its prime, oceanfront location, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel will also offer its guests a range of adventure opportunities, including kayak rentals and tours, whale-watching expeditions, out-island hikes, fishing and sailing charters and more.
Nightly room rates at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel will range between $172 and $1,100. Guests can book their visit to the new hotel today by visiting www.oakbaybeachhotel.com or calling 1-800-668-7758. Vacation hotel suites and private residences are also available for sale. To learn more, visit the Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s presentation centre located at 1111 Wharf St., in downtown Victoria, or the on-site real estate offices at 1175 Beach Drive.
Canadian jazz vocalist Alex Pangman will make her Justin Time Records debut in the United States with a new disc, appropriately titled, 33, on July 12, 2011.
The vocalist explains the meaning behind the title in a recent news release: “as a longtime devotee of music from the classic genre, I find something of a kinship with the music that buoyed nations through the ‘dirty thirties.’ The initial concept of this record was to honor that kind of spirit with songs popular in 1933; indeed the bulk of the material (save for one self-penned number) are songs that were popular in the year 1933 – recorded while I was 33.”
Along with her longtime band the Alleycats and featuring guest vocalists Ron Sexsmith and Denzal Sinclaire – the music is presented with all the love, fun and respect it deserves.
A compelling talent in her own right, Pangman’s voice can be regarded as even more impressive, knowing she received a double lung transplant just a few years ago. The smoke-filled venues where Pangman often frequented finally caught up to the singer, who was battling lung disease at the time. She reluctantly took a break to recoup; her interest in singing and playing music never waning.
A bit of background: After discovering a songbook of classics at an early age, Pangman quickly began delving deeper into the sophisticated shellac of the 20s and 30s, which eventually led to a fortuitous connection with the late guitar great Jeff Healey, who knew a rare talent when he heard it. In very short order, Healey produced her impressive 1999 debut ‘They Say’ (Sensation Records) as well as the 2001 follow-up, ‘You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming.’ While facets of Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Boswell and Ruth Etting could be discerned in Pangman’s zesty delivery, that crisp clear voice was unequivocally her own.
After receiving a Songwriter of the Year nod from the National Jazz Awards in 2001 and a slew of other nominations shortly after, Pangman quickly became busy scheduling collaborations with everyone from Grammy-nominated trumpeter Kevin Clark and the dashing Denzal Sinclaire to pianist Tyler Yarema and even Jim Galloway’s All-Stars.