My first Time Warp memory
is actually a Barry Elmes memory. At the
Moe Koffman Quintet gig
where I first heard Ed Bickert live,
I was also quite taken with the performance of the quintet's
drummer. [Who, as it turns out, was Barry, whom I'd never heard of before.]
This guy was, quite simply, great: his breaks were short but frequent,
and he consistently displayed the taste, imagination, impeccable time and
sheer musicality that one normally associates with an Art Blakey or
Max Roach -- while sounding derivative of no one, and appearing
to toss off these tempos with an effortless relaxation worthy of
Months went by as they do.
Bravo was showing the
Jazzman series: ten half-hour
profiles of less-famous, experienced, dedicated Canadian jazz artists. I
caught a glimpse of one episode and saw a guy booking a hotel over the phone
while seated at his PC looking up something on the Web. And I thought,
"Hey, a jazz guy who ain't a technophobe! He's online -- cool!"
Then I went, "Wait a sec, I
know that guy! It's.... it's, uh... the drummer at that Moe gig!"
So, since I "knew" this guy, I sat around for the rest of the show... and
was introduced to the existence and music of Time Warp at long last.
Now, not everyone on Jazzman
blew me away necessarily, although most were pretty good [overall, it's a
really interesting series]. But Time Warp immediately struck me:
not just as uncommonly good, but there was something different about them,
something special. I taped that episode [eventually I taped 'em all]
and re-watched it a lot, amazed that something like this could be happening
"in my back yard" without me ever hearing anything about it.
Bravo also promoted a
special mail-order CD
showcasing the Jazzman artists, and I
had to get it. Lots of good tracks, a few great ones, and the greatest one
IMHO was Time Warp's Bad Back Blues.
After that, it was simply a question of keeping my eyes and ears peeled for
anything Time Warp-ish that came my way.
Finally, on a rare shopping trip
Toronto, I lucked upon
The Time Warp Collection and got a
mega-taste of the band. And at last I was able to put my finger on that
"something special" -- which I already regaled you
with on the TW home page...