By Chad Ingram
Published July 26 2016
The Haliburton Highlands Museum could have been a 1920s American speak-easy on Saturday night.
Well minus the booze.
Toronto-based jazz songstress Tia Brazda and her quintet breezed into Haliburton on a summer wind July 23 treating a sold-out crowd to a show that summoned the golden age of jazz.
While much of Brazda’s repertoire consists of original songs those songs are written in vintage style that gives the impression they came straight from the ’20s ’30s or ’40s. Draped in bright green a coral-coloured flower tucked behind one ear Brazda was wearing shades of Judy Garland. The Andrews Sisters. Her voice itself has a vintage quality a Billie Holiday-esque warble that could have been flowing from a radio in the window sill of a 1930s kitchen.
Everything from the chrome ribbon microphone into which Brazda sang to drummer Morgan Childs’s black suit added to the illusion the musicians had stepped out of a time capsule.
Childs was joined by Chris Gale on sax Chris Adriaanse on upright bass Chris Graham on keys (yes three Chrises) and Mike Freedman on guitar.
The show interlaced originals such as Cabin Fever – which gets airplay on the BBC and CBC along with Jazz FM 91.1 – and Bandshell – an homage to Brazda’s upbringing in New Westminster B.C. – with jazz standards such as George Gershwin’s Summertime and Arthur Johnston’s Pennies from Heaven made famous by Bing Crosby. The latter was performed accompanied only by Freedman’s virtuosic work on a nylon-stringed guitar.
The result was a musical tapestry fit for the wall of a Havana barroom. The night cap was a soothing rendition of Blue Moon.
The concert was part of Canoe FM’s Jazz at the Museum series.