Jazzing it up for the winter season
The truth is, a lot of us simply want to curl up in a blanket cave and hibernate this time of year
Now in its eighth year, the Winterjazz concert series keeps music fans cozy during the colder weather with monthly concerts. Freelance columnist Todd MacLean warmed up to the music of special guest Erin Costello, as well as The Glen Strickey Quartet, on a recent Saturday night.
And while we may find it hard to venture out any further from the living room couch than maybe the kitchen to get a yummy snack on these winter weekend nights, it may help to know that there are still some cool things happening out and about (you actually do at least have a choice in the matter, that is.)
And last Saturday night, the people who crowded around the filled tables up in The Pourhouse chose to say bye-bye to their couches and hello to a fun winter’s night on the town, for 2016’s first presentation of Winterjazz.
Now in its eighth year, Winterjazz is the jazz concert series brought to life each month during the colder seasons by its host band, The Glen Strickey Quartet.
Featuring Strickey on saxophones, Alan Dowling on drums, Ian Toms on guitar and Deryl Gallant on bass, the quartet routinely presents a different artist each month as its featured Winterjazz guest. This month’s special guest was Nova Scotia jazz singer/songwriter/pianist Erin Costelo.
As the 2014 ECMA winner for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for her album “We Can Get Over”, the Halifax-based Costelo has stormed on to the Atlantic music scene over the past few years, making waves with her evocative voice and her songwriting that has one foot rooted in ‘60s soul and R& B and the other foot on her own creative path.
An intro of jazz instrumental music by the Glen Strickey Quartet set the tone for the evening, highlighted by songs like Time After Time, Bird on a Wire and St. Thomas (which featured an ensemble of ignited solos by all four players), as Costelo took the stage shortly after 8 p.m.
Seated at her piano and facing a full-yet-quiet room enveloped around her, Costelo began her solo set with a sweetly-delivered song from her album Fire and Fuss called The Birds That Wake the Day.
More originals like Down, Down and Is it Real followed, as Costelo then sang a well-received version of Carole King’s Will You Love Me Tomorrow - powered through with her heartily-warm, vibrato-tinged voice that certainly bears ele- ments of King’s voice within it.
“I’m gonna be releasing a new CD at the end of March,” Erin Costelo told the room in between songs within her solo set. “This is a song called Fighter, and I think this might be the first song I release,” she added, as she then treated The Pourhouse crowd to a sneak peak of the sultry sounds that will be released on this anticipated upcoming album.
As Costelo was then joined by The Glen Strickey Quartet, the night grew to a finale on a series of collaborative high notes - most notably in Costelo’s tunes such as Give a Little and Oh Me Oh My.
“I just want to tell you that you guys are the best listening audience we’ve had all year,” said Glen Strickey near the end of the night, to the crowd that was indeed hanging upon every note that was delivered.
Clearly, it was a roomful of lured-out-on-the-town musiclovers who were extremely glad they made the choice for live entertainment instead of cozycouch hibernation entertainment that night.
The next Winterjazz concert you can get out to will be on Feb. 6 with special guest John MacPhee of Paper Lions. On March 9, the series presents Charlie A’Court, and Kim Dunn will be the Winterjazz special guest on April 9.
Next week: Pie-Off and Musical Extravaganza with The Eastern Belles at The Dunk tomorrow night...