It’s been busy training day with 85k accomplished on the road this morning with a very fast paced group of riders and then another 14.49k of pavement pounding accomplished this evening. So, yeah, just smidgen shy of a 100k in less than 13 hours. Not bad for an old fart, eh? Needless to say, I’m pretty whooped. And tomorrow – yay! – I’m up early again to get some even faster-paced time-trialing done. So before bed tonight as I woof down my homemade burgers and mac salad, I have just about enough time for maybe a chapter or two of my book (‘The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in Equatorial Pacific‘ by Maarten Troost) and this ‘North of the Border In Canada‘ album by Duke Ellington.
This another cool find from this past weekend’s Record Fair in St. Catharines and it’s extra special cool because, it’s recorded in Canada which also qualifies it in these online pages as Canadiana worth.
And it was only $5.00 which was pretty sweet.
This album is an oddity in the Duke’s huge discography (I know seeing as how I’m doing my damndest best to collect them all). The pianist is heard only as a guest soloist with the Ron Collier Orchestra here in Canada (Toronto actually) performing six numbers on the 24th and 25th of July, 1967 and composed and arranged by either Collier, Norman Symonds or Gordon Delamont. In addition to Ellington, the other soloists include flugelhornist Fred Stone, guitarist Ed Bickert and trombonist Butch Watanabe.
And, really, how often do you get to hear a flugelhorn solo?
That’s some cool hip Jazz Boner shit right there.
When Duke finally arrived in Toronto, between concerts in Chicago and Kalamazoo, he explained in his his presence with typical wit and charm at a well-attended press conference:
“I’m always partial to Canada and Canadians. The public shows a keen ear and a spirit of independence, Canadians are hard people to brainwash en masse: they listen with sensitivity and are a good audience to play to”.
Man after my own heart.
However, none of the complex “suite-like” originals are particularly memorable and the arrangements for the orchestra (two of the pieces utilize a string section) are reasonably colorful, but not too distinctive. Purely for Duke Ellington completists which, as fate would have it, I am so I liked it fine because, apparently, I have keen ear and a spirit of independence.