It’a almost March but it was cold tonight… -15oC. I hoped I could warm it up by enjoying jazz night with N and S at The Rex. People call it The Rex, but their full name is The Rex Hotel. (It’s not a hotel though.)
I used to frequent this jazz and blues bar in downtown Toronto couple years ago. I stopped because I couldn’t stand the smoke anymore… also work and absence of good companies were other factors that held me back from jazz outing at The Rex.
N and S were already there when I arrived. I guessed they had just finished their previous jazz session because there were not many people inside. While we’re waiting for Jesse Capon’s Guitar Trio series, we’re talking about herbal remedies, things in our lives, and work, work, work. *smile*
To my surprise, I didn’t smell any smoke… I thought it’s only restaurants that banned smokers. Well, the regulation applies to bars too. I’m glad. A packed bar with full-blown smoke has always overwhelmed me. N told me that she has seen mothers with baby and children in the bars now ~ a good sign that parents can listen to live music with their little children and teach them to appreciate music from tender age.
People started to coming in and we started to order our ‘stuffs.’ My ‘stuff’ was Stella Artois… in a big Stella’s unique beer glass. (Now it costs $6. Couple years back it cost less than $5. So, you know.) The menu is good too ~ they offer variety of food and beverages choices including for health-conscious individuals.
S’s partner knows the long-haired guitarist. N thought she met him somewhere as an activist. Tonight Jesse Capon’s Guitar Trio consisted of drum, bass, and guitar, of course. I enjoyed it very much especially the guitar and bass.
The 9:30PM program was a group from New York: Manuel Vallera and Mark McLean with Roberto Occhinti Trio. (The Rex charged $8 for this program.) I was told by N that they’re from Cuba… hm, you know Cubans are good jazz music players. Oh, they’re really good! The trio are in their early twenties and yet they play piano, sax and drum like a pro. Probably they’ve learnt music since they’re in their mothers’ wombs. *smile* The group played “French Song” and their jazz interpretation of Puccini’s Tosca. *smile*
The Rex always has program for students in music (usually on Monday’s nights), for example the U. of T. Student Jazz Ensembles, Humber College Student Jazz Ensembles, etc. I think it’s good for the students and public ~ at least the students have real-life venue to channel and test their talents, and the public has the chance to appreciate them.
We went home when they’d just started their second session. It’s already 11:30PM… the program could end around one past midnight. I needed to catch my TTC and I had to get up early in the morning for my mandarin class.
I hope the weather’s getting much better in the following weeks so I can enjoy this jazz night again.
Please check their March 2005 program at The Rex Hotel website.
The following is website for Jazz in Toronto: The Rex Hotel, Top O’ The Senator, Montreal Bistro.