Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Super Sunday 2010 Mardi Gras Indian Parade Pics.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jasper Clarke RIP. April 11th 1961-March 22 2010

Not New Orleans related, but important nonetheless. Here's a cut and paste of the obit I put up on Vancouverjazz.com for bassist Jasper Clarke, one of my closest friends and musical collaborators.

April 11th 1961-March 22 2010Yesterday afternoon, peacefully and surrounded by his family, bassist Jasper Clarke lost his two year battle with brain cancer at his home in Squamish. He was only 48. Jasper hadn't been on the Vancouver scene much the past ten years since he moved up to Whistler with his family in 2000, but he was a very active player in the 90s.

We met when we were both students at VCC in 1991, when Jasper approached me about forming a quartet to play some recitals at the college. That first group included drummer Ian Brown (who went on to fame and considerably more fortune with the Mattew Goode Band) and faculty member Alan Matheson on piano. We recorded some demos with my then-girlfriend Linda Nessel on piano and the late Al Wiertz on drums (now that Jasper's gone, half that band is dead) and then Jasper scored us a tuesday night gig at Murphy's Pub downtown, where we held forth for almost five years.

I basically owe Jasper my introduction to the Vancouver scene, since almost every player I subsequently worked with in town I met and played with first at Murphy's, including bassists Danny Parker, Al Johnston, Chris Tarry and Darren Radke, drummers Stan Taylor, Al Wiertz, Claude Ranger, Paul Townsend, Bruce Neilsen, and George Ursan, trumpeters Brad Turner, Jeff Mahoney, Bill Clark, Alan Matheson and Norm Quinn, guitarists Budge Schacte, Jon Roper and Ronnie Thompson, and saxophonists Max Murphy, Mike Allen, and the late Al Clooten. All of these players could be found at Murphy's over the course of that run, and you could hear them for the price of a glass of draft.

I recorded all kinds of demos with Jasper and worked all kinds of gigs. Sometimes we played as a duo (we did this for a couple of months every wednesday at the old Blue Note at Broadway and Cambie and sometimes just for laughs on the street at Granville Island). When Jeff Mahoney had his quartet at the Note with Clint Sargent on guitar and Sarah Maclaughlin's drummer Ash Sood, Jasper was his first and only choice on bass.

Jasper was on my quintet for my first ever gig at the Vancouver jazzfest, in 1997. It was at his suggestion that we played Mingus's multi-key multi meter opus "Sue's Changes," and it was Jasper who powered us through every one of those difficult metric modulations on bass, just as Mingus had done.

Jasper was a Mingus freak, and made a serious study of his music from both a compositional and a playing perspective. He played the same super-heavy gauge strings Mingus did (I've seen other players try to play Jasper's bass at jam sessions and have to give up mid tune) and loved to move meters back and forth between 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures, as did Mingus. I've been a great advocate of this sort of thing ever since.

His wife Michiko tells me he played a gig as recently as last february, so, you know...he went down swingin, as we all would like to. I spoke to him on the phone about a week ago and he recognized my voice, but could only get out about six words. I took the opportunity to tell him how much his friendship and support meant to me, and I told him I loved him. It's important to do these things while people are still around to hear it.Next to my wife, Jasper was the best friend I had in this world. I miss him already and wish I'd kept in touch more than I did.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clapp Quintet w/Ellis.

Very nice gig with Geoff Clapp's Quintet last night. Interesting how, after a certain point, you stop looking over and thinking "holy crap! That's Ellis Marsalis sitting there" and realize he's just another piano player. A really great piano player and the patriarch of a jazz dynasty, but still, just a piano player on just another gig, really.

My apologies for the blurry group shot, but it's the only one I have of all of us together. Left to right it's Ellis, vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, me, bassist David Pulphus, and leader/drummer Geoff Clapp.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Geoff Clapp Quintet w/Ellis Marsalis.

This coming wednesday (March 17th) at 7:oop.m. in the Dixon Theater on the Tulane campus, I'll be appearing with Tulane drum instructor Geoff Clapp's quintet. Geoff on drums, Ellis Marsalis on piano (yikes), David Pulphus on bass, and Johnaye Kendrick on vocals.

One of the big perks of living in New Orleans is the opportunity to work with players of this caliber on a regular basis. David Pulphus I first saw with Stanley Turrentine's band back in 1999. Johnaye I know from her tenure in the Monk Institute band at Loyola, and her longrunning thursday night gig at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse on Bourbon Street. Geoff has been drum instructor here for about two years now and we've worked all kinds of gigs together, but I first saw him play in the same theater we're playing together two nights from now, with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet, back before Katrina in 2004.

Now supposedly Mr. Marsalis is just the piano player on this gig, but Geoff has programmed some very difficult music, a fair bit of it composed by Ellis himself. So, you know...I'd rather not screw it up.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Real Cool Killers on Artisan Radio.

My good friend Gregg Simpson has a show, the Gregg Simpson Jazz Hour, every Thursday at 4:00p.m. PST (that's 6:00p.m. here in New Orleans) on Artisan Radio. Gregg is a very interesting cat in his own right; in addition to being a visual artist of some renown, he was the drummer in pianist Al Neill's legendary mid 60's trio. Al started out as a be-bopper after WWII, but eventually morphed into an avant guardist so "out" he makes Cecil Taylor sound like Art Hodes.

But I digress. This coming Thursday, Gregg will be playing selections from my new record with bassist Rob Kohler and drummer Geoff Clapp, "In The Hive." We recorded this in one monster session a couple of months back, under the monicker "The Real Cool Killers."

Click the link to listen: