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Or: how I came to dig them...

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 Ed himself!

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 to 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...

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