To repeat: I have no intention of Rifftides becoming an obituary service, but as James Moody says his grandmother told him, “Folks is dyin’ what ain’t never died before,” and some passings demand to be observed.
John Norris died yesterday in Toronto at the age of 76. He was the founder of the Canadian jazz magazine Coda, and of Sackville Records. Norris was a benevolent and resolutely independent spirit in music north of the border. He steadfastly resisted technological demands of not only the 21st century but also many of the 20th. To the frequent frustration of his correspondents, he eschewed both computers and fax machines, but he somehow managed to keep up with music and produce valuable recordings. His roster of Sackville artists was varied. It included Ed Bickert, Don Thompson, Benny Carter, Terry Clarke, Julius Hemphill, Ben Webster, Dick Wellstood, Archie Shepp, Ralph Sutton, Jay McShann, Ronnie Matthews, Geoff Keezer and Junior Mance, to name a very few. According to longtime Toronto broacaster Ted O’Reilly, Norris’s wife Sandy will schedule a memorial service. For more about John Norris, click here.
Thanks to Tony Emmerson’s blog Prague Jazz, I learned of a young band called the Infinite Quintet. Based on their videos, it seems that they are nurturing the modern jazz legacy established by such predecessors as Karel VelebnÃ½, George Mraz, Emil ViklickÃ½ and Karel RÅ¯Å¾iÄka.
The band is Petr Kalfus, alto and soprano saxophones; Miroslav Hloucal, fluegelhorn; Viliam Beres; piano; Petr Dvorsky, bass; and Martin Novak, drums. Here they are in a video from Czech television.
For other videos of the Infinite Quintet, go here.