Monday, November 12, 2007

Court Is Adjourned

Another reminder that Toronto isn't New York City after all.

Closed ("temporarily") just five months after opening to much fanfare, Live@Courthouse is now officially dead — leaving Toronto once again without a full-time jazz club that books touring artists over multi-night stands. According to Ashante Infantry's article in the Toronto Star, Nick Di Donato pulled his support from the project. The posh 150-seat club, which operated out of a building owned by Di Donato's Liberty Entertainment Group, was meant to showcase top-flight artists, but never scored a loyal audience.

Coming on the heels of failures by the Bermuda Onion, George's Spaghetti House, the Top o' the Senator and the Montreal Bistro, it raises the question if Toronto has what it takes to support jazz beyond what goes on at the rough-and-tumble Rex and the occasional other local venue. If the rumours prove true, and Toronto fails to draw U.S. attendees in sizable numbers to next January's International Association of Jazz Education conference (the event regularly attracts upwards of 4,500 delegates when it's in New York) the city is likely to develop a real complex.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tick, Tick, Tick

Awww, mama! Can it really be that time again?

Yes, it's top 10 time, and though there's still so much to hear from 2007 — including some teetering stacks of review copies that I haven't cracked yet — I can't put off the editor's call for THE LIST.

Okay, here goes, keeping in mind that I know there must be even better stuff out there, just waiting to be heard.

They're in alphabetical order:

John Abercrombie Quartet – The Third Quartet (ECM)
Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake – From The River To The Ocean (Thrill Jockey)
Michael Brecker – Pilgrimage (Heads Up)
Miles Davis – The Complete On The Corner Sessions (Columbia/Legacy)
Dave Douglas Quintet – Live At The Jazz Standard (Greenleaf)
Paul Motian – Time And Time Again (ECM)
Michael Musillami Trio w/Mark Feldman – The Treatment (Playscape)
Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner – Ojos Negros (ECM)
Maria Schneider Orchestra – Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
Trio M – Big Picture (Cryptogramophone)

Recording Profits Up? Only In Canada

New figures from the Canadian government's official statistics department show that the Canadian recording industry turned a healthy profit in 2005, and that revenue from the sale of sound recordings increased 3.3 percent over 2003. That bucks the trend seen around the world.

There's no breakdown currently shown by musical genre, but a previous Statistics Canada study shows jazz revenues declining from 2002 to 2003.

Results from the new study are available here.