Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Day In the Life of PETER HUM

We are all able to think creatively... to see things outside the box, but because of life's oppression we are not always able to remember that. Well artists and musicians (among many other professions) have taken on the burden of thinking creatively for a living.

I thought it would be interesting to ask a few artists what their ideal "day in the life of". 

Peter Hum is an Ottawa based jazz pianist, journalist and blogger. He keeps busy as a strong voice in the world of jazz, in fact I hear his name in Brooklyn and New York all the time... people are listening! Peter also has very cool new CD that came out recently entitled A BOY'S JOURNEY with a killer band that he will tell you about below. You will most likely see Peter in the park these upcoming ten days as he will be covering a lot of the festival. Here is how you can check out all things Peter Hum:

A Day in the Life of PETER HUM

My ideal day, unfortunately, would be impossible, given the rules of space, time, and my day job. But here goes.

First, let me rule out some things. The day would involve absolutely no blogging, no editing, no interviewing, no e-mailing and no time spent in the newsroom -- not that I have anything against these excellent activities.

I'd like a very big chunk of the day to be spent with my wife and boy in some spectacular yet relaxing setting. We would be loll on a pristine beach in the Seychelles, or kayak on the Nahanni, or be awestruck by the vistas afforded on a mountain pass in the Bernese Oberland. Or all three. I know -- I'd like us to be popped right into one of those Chinese landscapes that gets idealized and romanticized into the scenery in Kung Fu Panda 2.

I would like some excellent food during my ideal day, but I don't want to have to cook it. I would like to have lunch at a hawker centre in Singapore, and then dinner at Arzak in San Sebastian or The Fat Duck in Bray -- although I hope they would have a kid's menu for my boy.

Because my ideal day would also be longer than 24 hours, and because I would not need to sleep, I would want to spend a night out with friends catching some music -- I'm sure that on any given night, a few clubs in New York would do just the trick. If I could pick one band to see, it would be drummer Adam Cruz's new band.

I often work on my own music when my wife's gone to sleep, and I wouldn't change that during my ideal day. What I would swap, though, is my road-weary keyboard in the basement for, say, a Fazioli, because that's the piano that Herbie Hancock plays. Preferably a 10-feet, two-inch Fazioli, but I would be OK with the entry-level baby grand.

Finally, I would want to make some music with people. My ideal choices would be saxophonists Nathan Cepelinski and Kenji Omae, bassist Alec Walkington and drummer Ted Warren, who play on my CD. I'd would add guitarist Mike Rud too because he makes everything sound better. 

My five jazz festival picks:

Christian McBride and Inside Straight, NAC Studio, June 28: I like meat and potatoes. Do you like meat and potatoes? When it comes to jazz, you need your meat and potatoes. McBride makes the tastiest, most sustaining meat and potatoes at the jazz festival.

Pilc Moutin Hoenig, NAC Fourth Stage, June 28: The jazz-piano-trio sparks will fly. I can't think of a group that plays with more imagination, spontaneity, dynamism and humour.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, OLG tent, June 28:  Two years later, the guy's CD still gives me goosebumps. Who knew a big band could sound like this?

APEX: Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green, NAC Studio, June 30: "Duty Now! For the Future!" Devo used to say. It applies as well to these great alto players, playing with a monstrous, cutting-edge rhythm section.

Kenny Wheeler, Myra Melford, Jon Irabagon, Diana Torto, NAC Studio, July 2: Kenny Wheeler's too modest to think it, but he's the godfather of Canadian jazz, the source of so many defining sounds. I'll go see this show and give thanks.     

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