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  #1  
Old Apr 26, 2006, 02:20 PM
John Korsrud John Korsrud is offline
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Phil Dwyer/ Hard Rubber Orchestra - Saturday

Hi all
Just a reminder that The Hard Rubber Orchestra is presenting an evening with Phil Dwyer, all music by Phil, including the premier of his Concerto for Saxophone and Jazz Orchestra commissioned by The HRO.

This Saturday, April 29 at The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 8pm
Tickets just $16 & $12


Paul Baron, Ross Gregory, Migelito Valdes, John Korsrud, trumpets
Dennis Esson, Rod Murray, John van Deurson, Brad Muirhead, trombones
Saul Berson, Jon Bentley, Chris Startup, Chad Makela, saxophones
Jesse Zubot, violin
Ron Samworth, guitar
Andre Lachance, bass
Bernie Arai, drums
Jack Duncan, percussion
plus a few extra guests....
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  #2  
Old Apr 27, 2006, 10:54 AM
John Doheny John Doheny is offline
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Green with envy from afar.

Anybody in Vancouver who doesn't catch this (barring mondo legitimate excuses like a gig or terminally ill family member etc.) is an utter cement head, in my humble and oft-discredited opinion.

John, tell Ross I still have an earplug named after him from when we played in the Douglas College rehearsal band.:-)
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  #3  
Old Apr 30, 2006, 01:03 PM
Steve Steve is offline
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Congrats to Phil and John for another great HRO show. The 'Hard Rubber Idol' bit was nice but I was hoping for more heckling from the audience (of course I was quiet along with everyone else!) I think there's an entire concert bit in there somewhere.... win a chance to play a solo with hard rubber.... who would the panel be?
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  #4  
Old Apr 30, 2006, 03:55 PM
Steve Bagnell Steve Bagnell is offline
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Dwyerized with HRO

And hey, did anybody check out that Dwyer guy? Up close, he is UGLY. Our dear what's-his-name (now departed from this forum) was right!!! Like, he's OK on that trumpet-thingy he plays, but he's no rap artist. :>)
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  #5  
Old May 3, 2006, 01:08 PM
John Korsrud John Korsrud is offline
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Hi all
Just a quick note to say thank you for all who came out on Saturday to the Dwyer, HRO show. I thought it was one of our best shows. Phil played his ASS off and I really loved his big commission. It was really a very inspiring and satisfying show. My head was swimming afterwards.
Oddly and very surpising, though, was a poor review by The Sun's Greg Buium of Monday. It had me thinking "Was he at the same concert I was was?". And even though I am rarely affected one way or another by reviews, it really caught me by surprise, and it put me in a surprisingly drab mood for the next few days.
I know tthere were lots of vjazz.com-ers there (Morgan, Cahill, Nation, Steve, Steve, etc...)
Am I totally out to lunch here?
John
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  #6  
Old May 3, 2006, 02:42 PM
Morgan Childs Morgan Childs is offline
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John, you are of course correct... the show was burning... one of the best Hard Rubber shows I've ever seen. The music was no cake walk, and like I told you afterwards, I think Phil did a great job of elevating the band to very close to a perfect performance of the music. It was incredibly inspiring.
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  #7  
Old May 3, 2006, 02:43 PM
Steve Steve is offline
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I Don't think you're out to lunch here John. I was clearly at the same show you were, as were a lot of the people I've talked to about the show! I haven't read the review although talked to some people about it later that night. I thought that hearing Phil play was worth the trip out to see the show regardless of the writing (and the playing from the band members!).

I don't think I could ever review shows because too many other factors (whether the show responates with me, what kind of day I'm having, whather I'm hungry, whether I'm drunk) often cloud what I think of the show (try as I might). On the show saturday there were parts that resonated with more then others. But that does not qualify those parts as bad no more then it does good.

As you said in your introduction to the show John, the show was perhaps more 'jazz' then a lot of other ones that HRO has put out there. (just as the last show with the concertos was more 'classical' then other shows.) While I find this the beauty of the orchestra if people come to the show with preconceptions of what they are going to see the possibility exists for them to be dissappointed.

I've read bad reviews of great shows and great reviews of shows I thought were bad. The more I see and the more I play I try not to lay weight to the opinion of people I do not know.

Once again, great show to forum members John and Phil! (plus any other lurkers hanging around out there!)
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  #8  
Old May 3, 2006, 04:04 PM
Steve Bagnell Steve Bagnell is offline
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I must admit I didn't see the article, but I spoke with Diane Kadota about it Monday night at the Cellar. I got the sense from her that the review was generally favourable and that you may have focussed on the negative parts when you spoke with her about it, which is a normal thing to do.

I can comment about the show. Phil's playing was transcendant - he is really up there with the great saxophonists of our day. For me, other standouts were Ron Samworth, Bernie Arai and Jesse Zubot (when isn't Jesse great?). Chad had a nice bari solo, too short for my liking, but I'm biased. My recollection was that Phil had tons of solo space, Tron had some chances to show his range, but there wasn't a lot of solo space to go around, but that's just the way the music was.

From a compositional viewpoint, my favourite was the Bertolucci-inspired tango. I particularly liked the instrumentation.

I wasn't as taken with with Phil's suite. There were some wonderful sections - the part where Tron and Jesse provided atmospheric backgrounds to Phil's playing was memorable. Not all of the sections worked as well for me - the second line New Orleans section felt more like a token visit to that city rather than saying anything significant. The breadth of the suite was admirable, it just wasn't my fave.

Please bear in mind my tastes. John, as you know, I prefer much more adventuresome and risky music, stuff that really pushes the envelope. Phil's an extremely competent and versatile writer and left to his own devices, and if so inclined, I think he could really write some really heavy shit. The thing is, as he mentioned in his introduction to the suite, he very rarely has the chance to write exactly what he wants.

For me, the Canadian Idol bit wasn't fully realized. If you'd been able to score a couple of nasty Simon Cowell-types, it could have been a scream. Some of the people you mentioned later on at your place would have killed, but I guess the lead time really wasn't there. Phil's arrrangements of those standards sounded very stock to me, but that's EXACTLY what he was paid to come up with for the TV show. Without the full schtick in place, and if you you ignored the entertaining singing, then those arrangements were very compentently rendered but not particularly outstanding. Probably Gil Evans wouldn't have had much of a career on that show.

I mean really, you could walk into any Holiday Inn in any suburb in America and hear stuff like that at a wedding reception. Seriously, you could turn on any top-rated American singing contest and hear young kids from Bugtussle, Tennessee butcher jazz standards to that same sort arrangement. But they'll have great hair. And that arranger?? Ugly!

OK, the Simon Cowell impression doesn't work in print, especially if you can't hear the snide accent. (Phil, please forgive my "ugly" jabs - I'm a cheap shot artist, and no pretty boy myself. Maybe I'll get work at the Georgia Straight.)

I think people hold the HRO to a certain standard, where the bar is set very high based on the body of your work. Just like with the NOW Orchestra, people go your shows always expecting to hear something totally new and to be blown away by the experience. It's not good enough to just hit the ball out of the park any more, which you arguably did Saturday night, but you have to set a new record in the process. If a reviewer comes in with that sort of expection, he will rarely be pleased.
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  #9  
Old May 3, 2006, 04:34 PM
Morgan Childs Morgan Childs is offline
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Does anybody subscribe to the Sun? Can you get the review online and copy and paste it here? I mean... I can't really comment on the review without having seen it.
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  #10  
Old May 3, 2006, 05:08 PM
Steve Bagnell Steve Bagnell is offline
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I must add that I thought the overall level of musicianship of the entire band was exceptional. I understand that the Suite had never been played in its entirety in rehearsal - that is one hell of a feat to pull it off so successfully in concert.
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  #11  
Old May 4, 2006, 04:38 AM
Jack Jarmush Jack Jarmush is offline
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John, You gave me this advice once and I took it to heart, maybe you should take your own advice:

Code:
 " Never take a review too seriously, good or bad."
I'm sure the show was killing, wish I could have been there.
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  #12  
Old May 4, 2006, 10:41 AM
John Korsrud John Korsrud is offline
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I agree, Jack, that you should never take a positive or negative review with any seriousness.

I guess my mood was affected because I stuggle to get an audience to these shows because Vancouver is a very difficult city. Because of this review, and despite the instant standing ovation after the last note, there are now about 10,000 Sun readers who thought this was a poor show. It just makes our job of developing audiences that much more difficult.
It's not that the review was a poor one that upset me. If anything this only reconfirmed my thoughts about art and subjectivity, and how expectation affects perception, etc..

Furthermore, I like Greg's writing and always read his articles (there was a nice one on Bill Coon last week). He has been supportive of me and HRO in the past, and I enjoy his criticisms. I love that he is writing articles for the Sun these days. I don't necessarily believe a critics job is to be a rah rah supporter, but to invite critical thinking into the arts.

That being saiid, we ARE in a challenged situation these days in Vancouver with brilliant creative artists - but a dwindling audience is competing w/ ipods, internet, Rogers Video, 9 screen theatres, 100 channel television, and Playstations for their attention.

Unless anyone out there has tried to create and promote a show from scratch, they have no idea how much work goes into these ventures.
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  #13  
Old May 4, 2006, 11:12 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorsrud
I agree, Jack, that you should never take a positive or negative review with any seriousness.
Without any seriousness? Are you sure? If at least part of the intention of creating art is to express or communicate something, how do we judge how well we succeeded? You try to remain true to your own vision - whatever anyone thinks - but educated, informed critical feedback never hurts and often is vital. People coming up at the end of your gig saying, "hey you sounded great, man" is not enough.

I've felt for years that a big problem in Vancouver is that jazz and jazz-related music wasn't getting enough media attention - it's why i started this site. Having the Vancouver Sun publishing profiles, reviews, etc., by a critic of Greg Buium's caliber on a regular basis is amazing and we should all be writing the Sun editors to thank them because who knows how long this will last?

Unfavourable comments are disappointing, sure - but I thought Buium's review was fair and balanced. And in the long run even a moderately negative review does more to raise an artist's profile, and the profile of the scene in general, than no attention at all. The next time a Sun reader sees mention of an upcoming concert by Hard Rubber they'll remember that the band was important enough to merit a quarter-page review - most won't remember what it said, most likely.
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  #14  
Old May 4, 2006, 11:21 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan Childs
Does anybody subscribe to the Sun? Can you get the review online and copy and paste it here? I mean... I can't really comment on the review without having seen it.
If you've got a VPL library card, go to http://www.vpl.ca, look for "Electronic Resources" and log in with your card number and password (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number). You can access Sun articles either through "Press Display" or "Canadian Newsstand". Other libraries probably also provide this service.
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  #15  
Old May 4, 2006, 03:55 PM
phildwyer phildwyer is offline
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There is no such thing as bad press. Greg's review was well written, and while it would be fairly easy to argue a strong case against many of his criticisms I think he made a lot of valid points. Regular mention in the major mainstream press was one of the best aspects of the Toronto jazz scene while I was living there, and it is a very positive sign that Greg is able to get his writing published in the Sun on a regular basis. I'll certainly agree with John K on his point that unless you have done it you have no idea just how much work goes into putting on a musical event such as this. And it's always a lot easier to criticize something than to do it, but I was just as bummed about someone calling my Cdn Idol charts 'stock'. For one thing, they're supposed to be, for another I only have about 3 hours per chart, including all the string and woodwind parts that didn't get played at the Cultch. To even achieve 'stock' under those kind of timelines takes some doing. The best part of the experience for me was seeing and hearing the music assume shape and form in a short period of time, and the fact that the best we played was at the gig. That is all you want, if the writing could have been better I'll make sure it is next time in fact I am going for a lesson with my composition teacher in a couple of weeks! Thanks again John for the opportunity, and also to Greg for keeping me humble (an impressive achievment).
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