For those of you sad to see that we are suddenly in September, no worries, there is lots of good music coming out. First, a few bits of news…
Diamond certified Ontarian rocker Avril Lavigne is back in good spirits after her battle with enervating Lyme disease and is working feverishly on her sixth studio album. The seven-time JUNO award winner issued a statement thanking fans for their patience, explaining she wants the music to be perfect, and promising the album will be done “before you know it”.
Rapper Drake has donated 200 thousand dollars to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund in Houston.
The Biebs is playing catchup to Katy Perry. The latter became the first to surpass 100 million followers on Twitter; Justin Bieber has now achieved the milestone.
Skip Prokop, Hamilton drummer and co-founder of group Lighthouse has died at age 74. Skip saw success in early 60s group The Paupers which dissolved and left him as a studio musician for such A-listers as Carlos Santana; Janis Joplin; and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Prokop envisioned rock music backed by an orchestra and was assisted in realizing its creation through meeting jazz pianist and soundtrack composer Paul Hoffert. The two co-founded Lighthouse in 1968 adding guitarist Ralph Cole and drawing 10 other musicians from the jazz, rock, and classical fields. Lighthouse is best known for hits “One Fine Morning” (#30 of 1971), “Hats Off” (#88 of 1971), and “Pretty Lady” (#60 of 1973).
A torrent of new releases is set to come out September 8. This week, there are just a few to talk about.
Jean-Fernand Girard of Jonquière, QC contributes a fine instrumental jazz album entitled Jazz Waves. Perky, brisk, and alert, the album is set to add some sparkle to any atmosphere.
Jason Bajada is a wonder. The man has a handsome voice on him and is never short of ideas, as evidenced by the volume of music he is making. He follows up 2016’s excellent Volcano with Blondie & the Backstabberz, a 20-track singer-songwriter sequel to his 2008 album.
From Montreal, we swing over to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, hometown of multi-talent Alexz Johnson. A Stranger Time veers over to the singer-songwriter genre a little and is as engaging as one would expect from the expert songstress.
Fans of folk ought to be very impressed with Topaz, the new set from Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke: captivating poetry sung clearly with clever playing and nice writing.
More jazz as we head back to Canada’s capital of jazz—Montreal. Rachel Therrien Quintet presents the rollicking Why Don’t You Try, a blast for lovers of the genre.
This week’s pleasant surprise is the self-titled EP from Toronto’s Joseph of Mercury. This ace in the hole will have fans of alternative music done right dancing and drooling: theatrical vocal delivery, catchy beats, and some unexpected twists.