This previously unreleased live recording from May of 2006 is now available in a special Limited Edition pressing. The inadvertent destruction of recordings from the first night meant there could be no source material for alternate takes, and so we held the recording back. Nonetheless, we\'ve chosen now to bring it to you in recognition of a remarkable west-coast night in the midst of the \"Bewitched\" album tour. Recorded live at the Cellar in Vancouver, this highly swinging program consists of traditional pop standards, played with few restrictions before a very live audience. Since only this recording exists, what you\'ll hear is exactly what went down in the second set, at 10:30 pm on Saturday, May 13th, 2006. Almost as good as being there, but with no cover, no minimum, and no hangover!
“Go West, Young Man”
For those who’ve not traveled westward past the Rockies, Vancouver isn’t merely Canada’s third largest city, but it’s also a community of great cultural riches, whose citizens live out their days among stunning vistas of unimaginable beauty.
My first visit to the city was during the Vancouver Jazz Festival in 2002 for a series of dates at the venerable O’Doull’s. Getting off the plane it was clear I’d stumbled upon something special: a crystalline day of cinematic proportions, both lovely and temperate. Driving into town, I was nearly stricken dumb by the imposing sight of the Rocky Mountains towering above the skyline, snowcaps glinting in the distance.
After checking in to a guesthouse downtown, I began to experience the blend of cultures that coexist within this tranquil urban bubble. At the end of the day as the sun set in Technicolor over the horizon, I half considered calling Toronto for my things; possibly never to leave this Northwest paradise again.
The next day however, brought rain… and in true Northwest fashion, it rained and rained, and rained. As I explored further, I discovered the qualities and contrasts that distinguish the city. And at a concert that very night I became fast friends with two respected vocalists, Kate and Karin and their circle of fabulous friends, all longtime residents. I learned that among the things that make the city special for artists and laypeople alike is a greater sense of community. Even though these were largely transplants from other parts of Canada, this seemed to be a place one could call home, and mean it.
I’ve returned to Vancouver many times in the years since, playing different clubs and concert halls, and each visit has been special, generating memories I cherish. On my third return to The Cellar in May of 2006, I jumped at the chance of having the weekend’s business recorded in front of a live audience. Guest performers were invited to appear, and The Cellar’s proprietor Cory Weeds was asked to sit in to fill out the band. That he managed to play while simultaneously engineering the recording from the back of the room was no mean feat, and he accomplished this with skill and grace. The challenge of recording may have raised the stress-level on stage, but it also forced us all to “up our game.” For two consecutive nights we did exactly that, playing to a packed house, with some making the trip from as far away as Seattle to hear us play.
Touring as a soloist, I’ve had the expert assistance of many wonderful sidemen who’ve brought skills to the table that have elevated the work. On this occasion the Cellar’s house trio was on hand; Tilden Webb, Jodi Proznick, and Jesse Cahill, whom I’d worked with years before in Montréal. Now mature and respected jazz players, their relaxed blend of west-coast cool and east-coast swing made them appropriate musical companions, our personal histories adding to the music we made together.
Though it may come as a shock to music fans more aware of Vancouver’s reputation for “new music” and “free jazz”, that weekend I basked in the support of audiences who took this straight-ahead Toronto warbler straight to their hearts. Again the city surprised me with delights beyond those apparent to the naked eye, and I cannot tell you how valued I was made to feel on that Cellar stage. This time, however, I left not only with memories to treasure, but a recording to sweeten the deal… and really, who could ask for anything more? - George Evans, 2008
Recorded live on Saturday, May 13, 2006, at The Cellar in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Cellar house trio:
Tilden Webb – piano
Jodi Proznick – bass
Jesse Cahill – drums
featuring Cory Weeds – alto sax
Produced by George Evans
Live recording engineered by Cory Weeds
Mixed and mastered by Michael Jack
Additional engineering by M-Swing
Available in a Limited Edition compact disc (100 copies pressed) as well as in digital formats.