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05.26.07 Cancellation/Postponement of the Dustin Good KCVI Jazz Project

It's not certain if we will still be doing this, but if we do it won't be for some time.

That said, looks like we're getting together v2.0 of Basic Black with Jay Jantz, Matt Aylsworth, myself, and drummer Graham Wise replacing Andrew Wales. Sydney Dunitz is no longer in the area, so we are singer-less for some time. You can hopefully see us playing around the area with an updated and expanded repertoire.

03.19.07 The Dustin Good KCVI Jazz Project

With the weeks left at school dwindling, we're soon approaching a series of performances of a group lead by Kingston-born guitarist Dustin Good. Dustin has spent the year at Concordia University in their music program and wants to promote jazz in his old high school.

The shows should happen in late May/early June at the KCVI high school in Kingston, ON. Music will span a variety of jazz styles, as well as including some brazillian tinges.

10.25.06 Humber College

I've now spent just over two months here in residence. Couldn't be more thrilled with the program.

Basic Black, which has been on hiatus since August, is playing again on November 4th for the NDSS Commencement.

After that, we may have some winter gigs, hopefully playing at the Smiling Wilderness again.

07.13.06 Off to school, recordings

I'm moving in 10 short days to the residence at Humber College! Two weeks after that, I'll be starting in their Intro to Commercial/Jazz Music program, which lasts for one year. After that, I'll (hopefully) be doing their Bachelor's in Contemporary Music, with a focus on composition and arranging.

Also, the quintet -- Basic Black -- recorded a demo. I put up two of the songs (Fly Me To The Moon and Must Be Dreaming) so check 'em out.

01.28.06 New bass!

Finished paying off my new bass -- Yamaha TRB-4II. Check it out over in the Gear section.

01.21.06 Recording of "Body and Soul" is up

Got together with Doug Rooks, Andy Love, and Mike Perlin to record this for the McGill University audition screening process. It's up in the recordings section now. Might end up putting another tune or two done with Jay Jantz in a duo-setting sometime in the next month or two as well.

11.26.05 New updates!

I'm doing a big update on the site, as things have been changing a lot around here lately.

Our quartet expanded into a quintet with the addition of Jay Jantz, a very talented alto and tenor saxophonist. We have played a few more gigs since then, and you can check the band's site for more details.

Other news -- I'm applying to the music programs at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Humber College.

More serious jazz pursuits has taken my playing on some pretty hard turns away from where I was originally going. Almost every bit of my practice is focused specifically on upright, although I'd like to get out the electric a little bit more than I can afford to lately.

Looking forward to actually getting recordings up soon.

07.13.05 It's been a while!

Well, it's been an incredibly long time since I updated this, so I thought I might do that. Stalin stayed together for another month, but broke up due to laziness around the end of January.

The school jazz did well at Kiwanis and MusicFest -- concert band...kinda. C'est la vie.

I started playing upright in February, got a teacher in March, and have been making a lot of progress. My time on electric has dropped off significantly because of it. I kicked my upright practice into overdrive recently because of...

My first jazz gig! It was today -- went extremely well. It was in a quartet setup with Sydney on vocals, Matt on guitar, and Andrew Wales on drums. It was pretty impromptu -- we got the call on Friday, got together on Monday, then again on Tuesday and today (without Andrew) and played the gig tonight. A few standards, a couple bossas, and a couple Matt and Syd originals later and we were done. It was a fundraiser, and we got another gig out of it -- next Saturday (July 23rd) at the South Fred Hall. We're going to try and make this a long-term group, and talked about adding Jay Jantz (alto player from Regi) to the lineup.

Also considering talking to Andrew, Jay, and Dustin Good about possibly starting a bop quartet. My favourite part about the gig today was the uptempo swinging stuff, and vocals-oriented groups do not lend themselves to that as well as bop does. Also, McGill -- my first choice university -- is basically "bop school," so it'd be some good preparation.

I'll be spending the next while pushing myself as hard as I can with practicing -- transcribing is definitely going to play a huge part, including Christian McBride's bass solo in "Honeysuckle Rose." Wish me luck, the guy's a technical wizard on the instrument!

This August I'll be attending the JazzWorks summer camp with John Geggie teaching bass alongside guest teacher Kieran Overs. Very exciting. I can't wait and am working hard in preparation for it. Just hope it doesn't interfere with any future gigs...;)

11.12.04 Battle of the Bands, Kiwanis, the End of an Era

Today, Stalin had a several hour practice where we ran through all of our songs and wrote a new one -- very cool, very breathes. Hard to explain, so I guess you'll just have to buy our demo.

The reason for today's practice was for tonight's Battle of the Bands at the Napanee Legion, as hosted by the Youth Advisory Committee. We played a pretty rockin' set, tighter than we've ever been, but still only placed third, next to Yourself Alone and the eventually-to-be-famous Hopefully So, NDSS's premier punk band -- and the only one I've ever enjoyed!

The quartet, minus Greg Runions, will be entering the Kiwanis music competition as a jazz trio. Should be very interesting -- it takes place in February, so we've got plenty of time to practice for it.

Last but not least, my amp came in almost two weeks ago. I love it a lot -- and trust me, there's a lot of it to love. It's a bit of a clunker to move around (and even more so when I get the 2x10 extension cabinet!) but it sounds phenomenal. Extensive EQ options, compression, limiter, real tube overdrive, etc. -- a whole bundle of fun.

Finally, some sad news. Graham and I are both quitting Stalin and the Rainbows at the end of this semester. Apparently Luke, Matt, and Syd are staying together and they've got two prospective drummers (Andrew Wales, the drummer for the trio, and Andrew Phillips of "Undetermined") and are looking for a bassist. It's been a great time, but I'd like to put more focus on jazz and solo pursuits. We've made some great music and had some great times, and we'll always have our demo to remember it by! :)

15.11.04 Recordings coming soon!

Mr. Andrew Wales and I had a jam at the last Coffee House to exciting success. Good times were had by all, except for the last 45 minutes of the Coffee House, where it was just open mike -- now that's a failed concept.

About those recordings -- I was in the studio and got some stuff done, including a latin jazz jam that I'll later be arranging some horns for to add overtop (trumpet, two trombones, maybe a second trumpet). I also got a few small clips of me playing various riffs and whatnot so I can upload. As a result...all is well in the world.

Bad news? My amp is on backorder until at least the 19th, which isn't so terrible. Life will continue, and I'll be causing earthquakes with a groundshattering 400 watts soon enough!

19.10.04 Recording and Gigs

Stalin's got two originals finished -- a funk song (as previously mentioned, and, strangely enough, an epic metal song. A ska one and a groovy contemporary jazz one are both in the works, and there's talk of a metalized version of moonlight sonata (description sounds stupid, but the execution sounds great), and a blues tune.

We were also in the studio and got our first two originals -- Turtle Lovin' and Ancient Rabbi Strategist -- recorded. I'll be in the studio on Thursday, doing some solo recording and some soundscapes for the MacPherson House Haunting. Great news -- I picked up a copy of Vegas 5.0 and Nuendo 2, so I can do all of my mixing at home.

MORE great news! I might be doing some live blues gigs soon with Josh Devlin, Dan Chalmers, and Dustin Good from KCVI at the Merchant, Toucan, and/or the Scherezo. I'll update when I get further information, but I hope they aren't until after November 10th or so when I get the new amp.

Good news -- I gave the name of the method book to Mrs. Barstow, so she'll be buying it. Soon, I'll be rocking out on the upright bass. Should be an interesting (and bumpy) ride, but hopefully look forward to hearing it on my demo CD.

Last but most certainly not least, Runions is in fact starting up the quartet again, only this time with himself, Cavan Carson, Andrew Wales, and yours truely. Various songs are under consideration, and it looks like we'll have Dustin Good come in and we'll do Pat Metheny - Bright Size Life. Should be interesting!

18.09.04 CD, Stalin and Demo updates

Stalin and the Rainbows has a new original and we performed it yesterday for our section of "Performance Day". I also did two blues jams with Josh (guitar), Chris (guitar and vocals), and Dan Chalmers (drums). It was grooveful and gave me a few ideas for my demo CD. Speaking of which, I put some information on the CD in the My Music section, so make sure to check that out. Keep checking the site in the next few weeks, too, there might be a few surprises!

08.09.04 First days of demo

Myself and the rest of Stalin started the demo program yesterday. Yesterday was kind of an introduction thing, a bit of an attempt at an icebreaker, but today was rockin' cool. We all had our instruments today and did some tech stuff. We all jammed out at lunch and I talked to the various bass players -- one of whom very clearly listens to Victor Wooten (he recognized the parts I'd used for that in my own arrangement of Amazing Grace I played during a break). Very cool. There's a Morgan fellow who really knows his tech, he's a cool guy, and he's a spankin' good guitarist. Everyone kind of settled in and started hanging out more with each other and people from the other schools after this crazy class-wide percussion jam session. Absolutely wild. Excellent program, and it's going to be exactly what I hoped for -- a creative environment with boundless opportunities for musical partnership. It's all good, all good.

Also, I'll finally be adding the upright bass to my arsenal. There was this whole story that I'm not going to go into it, but suffice it to say I wasn't able to have it over the summer, but since we get off demo an hour and fifteen minutes before school ends, I'll have plenty of time to jam out on the ol' washtub. It'll be a while before I play it in concert/jazz band, but I'll probably be able to at least make a go of it by the middle of second semester, and hopefully get a respectable arco tone/technique by the end of the year.

Speaking of concert/jazz band, they're both starting next Wednesday. Very, very exciting. I'll actually probably be one of the only people going there for bass, and Runions and I are cool, so I'll hopefully be "kickin' the jams" in jazz band and...well, droning on in a boring fashion in concert band -- except for Enter the Storm. But that's a while off, it's full of crazy arco playing and arco playing isn't something you just jump into headfirst and can do the next day, but it's all good. Wales and I were talking today during fifth period, and from our conversation, I can say with a small degree of confidence that there should be no problem starting up a small quartet/quintet or even a trio with him and someone else.

03.09.04 First Appearance of the News Section

Just added the news section, as I finally have some news! I'm opening a setup and minor repair shop for basses and guitars out of my house. I've been doing full setups on my own basses and my brother's guitar for some time, and, having acquired a certain "knack" for it, I decided to make a little money on it. More info on how to do these setups yourself at the setup page. To get me to do one for you, contact me through e-mail or in person.

All photographs, art, and textual content are Aaron Saunders, 2004 unless otherwise noted.