Walking the dog

If you read John Berendt’s fascinating book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you may recall Mr. Glover, the eccentric Savannah man who walked an imaginary dog — on a real leash. The movie version of the book (directed by Clint Eastwood) included a brief appearance by Glover walking “Patrick” the dog owned by his late employer.What you may not have known is that the role Glover was performed by James Moody, the saxophonist/composer who worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Al Cohn and many other jazz artists.

Moody, now in his 70s, is still playing quite well. His most recent CD (on Warner Brothers) features ten tunes written by the late Henry Mancini, who was a Moody fan. Included are The Pink Panther and Moon River.

Super soprano
No less a connoisseur of fine singing than the late Clyde Gilmour once described Jean Edwards’ voice as “one of effortless range, float and purity.”

The Calgary-born soprano moved east at an early age to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has lived in or around Toronto ever since. She has sung in concert, opera, oratorio and as a church soloist. Jean has toured throuout North America and Europe and has appeared as soloist with symphony orchestras in Montréal, Calgary and Germany.

“As the years go by,” says Jean, “my most meaningful memories return to the formative years of my childhood and the old songs I grew up with. It was a simpler, gentler time. Everyone in my family played a musical instrument. We often entertained ourselves and friends at our home during musical evenings — playing and singing around the old piano. What fun it all was!”

Jean recorded two albums with the Toronto Consort, one of which was nominated for a Juno Award. Her latest CD, entitled Do You Remember, offers an appealing selection of Irish and Scottish songs, what she calls “Parlour Songs” (such as Long, Long Ago and Smilin’ Through) and even a couple of operatic duets, one with soprano Barbara Collier, the other with mezzo soprano Joan Hall. The second of these, the Letter Duet from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, is an absolute joy to the ear.

The excellent piano accompaniment for the entire CD is provided by Brahm Goldhammer, who has taught at the Banff Centre, George Brown College and York University. This fine CD was recorded at Humbercrest United Church last spring and is distributed through Cantabile Music Productions, P.O. Box 611, Station B, Willowdale, Ont. M2K 2P9

Down East notes
Cheers to Music East, the Halifax-based magazine that spreads the word about Maritime entertainers. The most recent issue I’ve seen has a profile of Julian Austin, the Saint John, New Brunswick-born country music singer who is gaining an international reputation. There’s also a piece about Kenny Driscoll of Summerside, P.E.I., whose debut CD — entitled If You Believe Me — is on a label called GenMac, in honour of the late Gene MacLellan, and it can’t be sheer coincidence that Driscoll’s CD was co-produced by Jackie Rae, of Spitfire Band fame, who was a good friend of MacLellan’s.

Another Maritime country music artist featured is Denise Murray, who lives in Moncton, N.B., and does much of her work in that region. Her career got a big boost a few seasons back when she was booked as a last-minute opening act for a big concert called Atlantic Jam, which featured such names as Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis and Charlie Major.

Oh, and if you’re ever in Halifax, there’s a spot that features jazz on Monday nights. You’re not going to believe this, but the place is called Economy Shoe Shop Cafe & Bar.

Broadfoot’s burden
Dave Broadfoot, the Vancouver-born humorist who is one of the biggest draws in concert halls across Canada, came from a straight-laced family who never approved of his show biz ambitions. Despite their opposition, he went on with his “nonsense.” And he’s still going strong.

Once in the mid-1960s, when Ed Sullivan hosted the big grandstand show at Toronto’s CNE, Dave was on the bill and obviously impressed Sullivan. A couple of weeks later, Sullivan’s television producer called Dave and invited him to go to New York to appear on the Sullivan Show that Sunday night. Dave was thrilled at the opportunity.

Just before boarding the plane for New York the day before the show, he thought he should phone his parents in Vancouver to suggest to them that they watch the Sullivan program on upcoming Sunday night, because he was going to be on it.

Dave’s mother listened to her son’s news impressively. And then he heard her disapproving reaction: “You have to work on Sunday?”