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Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1: James Danderfer & Joe Poole

Jazz musicians on a show about comedy? Say what? It's not as strange a notion as you might think. Especially if you've ever seen James Danderfer in action. Not only is he one of the best jazz musicians in the country (and, I daresay, the best clarinetist), he's also a very funny dude in his own understated way. Half the fun of going to one of his shows is listening to him talk between tunes. But James is also a huge comedy fan. And, as such, has decided to marry the two art forms. Again. There's a bit of a tradition going back years and years. I remember Jimmie Walker told me that he used to open for Miles Davis at the Cellar Door in Washington, DC. And that's just one example. But it's a rarity these days.

Now we've got two of Danderfer's favourite local comics, Graham Clark and Ivan Decker, supplying the professional jokes while Danderfer's trio (featuring Joe Poole on drums) will supply the swinging tunes at the Jazz Cellar on Broadway, near Alma, on May 6 & 7. I can't wait. Comedy and jazz? What's not to love about that?! (By the way, if you think you don't like jazz, I bet you really do. You just need to experience it live.)

Both Danderfer and Poole have played cruise ships and have some stories about that experience. One of them involved Bill Burr's brief stint as a cruise ship comic. So we'll share some stories and also play some music-related comedy, from Paul F. Tompkins' hilarious take on jazz to Martin Mull talking about the blues to the 2000-Year-Old Man explaining music. And a whole lot more. So tune in tonight at 11 PST on CFRO, 102.7 FM or livestream it at If you want to hear/read more of James' thoughts on music and life, read his most excellent blog. And for even more, read an in-depth interview I did with him in 2009 for We even talk a bit about comedy.

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