Bob George - headers page  

Canadian Jazz Pianist

Biographical info.
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Thoughts and Memories


Gate 403 | The Rex | Rex Reprise |
After Bob George left us, pretty much the first thought everyone had ws that they wanted to play in his memory.  There had been some playing at the funeral, which was really nice, and a lot of really beautiful memories were shared, but still, some wanted to do more.

Bob had played at Gate 403, and the folks at Gate 403 - Jean and Young - were keen to host a little event..... So, with their cooperation and that of our friend, Ron Davis......we arranged a Sunday afternoon that would slide into and tie in with the Ron Davis Sunday night Jam.

The first Memorial for Bob George was a sort of a quick, mini one at Gate 403 on March 2, 2003.

We started early in the afternoon and there was music from 3:00 til midnight. the first musician to show up was Anthony Terpstra of the Starlight Orchestra. Anthony came in about 2:30 to set up his drum kit which he was loaning for the event. Soon after that, Jack McCaffrey and his boys arrived.   Tony Laviola got his bass and amp set up, John O'Donahue set up his personal snare and they were off and playing.  Jack said they were going to play all of Bob's favorite tunes...and the afternoon had begun.

Others drifted in as the afternoon progressed. Michael Morse,(seen here with JackMcCaffrey) Michael Morse also played with some of his friends that showed up later
Jack McFadden (with Tony Terpstra on drums), .............
Chris Ellis,
 and later on after Ron Davis arrived, we were joined by Tony Quarrington and a host of others.  
Bob's daughter, Heloise came in sometime after 6 and enjoyed hearing the music and being with friends.
Jack McCaffrey Trio

It was a really nice event...very cosy and intimate, great music and lots of fun.

If anyone who was there has something to add, please email! (

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Gate 403 | The Rex | Rex Reprise |
July 20 - Memorial for Bob at The Rex

Bob's favorite jazz hangout in Toronto was the Rex Jazz Bar and Hotel  on Queen Street. After the mini event at Gate 403, it was decided that a bigger and more formal event was needed and that it should be at a bigger venue ...some options were discussed and finally it was decided that the Rex would be the most appropriate......

Tom Tytle at the Rex was really nice about finding us a good date - we wanted a Sunday afternoon, thinking that would accommodate the most people - so he gave us the July 20/03 date.

Little did any of us know at the time that Glenn Anderson would book the same date in the evening for the release of his Swinging the Blues CD, which includes Bob George playing, in fact the very last thing Bob ever recorded......

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Gate 403 | The Rex | Rex Reprise |
Review of the day at the Rex -
 | Dick Felix Quartet |  Jack McCaffrey Trio "Rough Jazz" | Tony Quarrington Sextet | Anthony Terpstra's Seventet |
 All photos show here are by Doug Watson (Copyright July 2003)

A reprise of the Memorial for Canadian Jazz Pianist Bob George
On Sunday July 20/03, from 3:00 p.m. til 6:40 p.m at The Rex Hotel & Jazz and Blues Bar.

The guest MC for the event was Mr. Doug Watson, of Jazz FM
The event started bang on time with The Jack McCaffrey Trio "Rough Jazz" featuring Jack McCaffrey on Piano, Tony Laviola on Upright Bass and John O'Donahue on Drums.The Jack McCaffreyTrio - photo by Doug Watson

They played a lively set consisting of:
What is this thing called love
Monk’s Dream
Funji Mama
Embraceable You
New York Attitude
It was a really nice set and it was great to hear the trio again.

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Next was the Anthony Terpstra Seventet, with a very short delay while they got set-up. It is a credit to both the participants and to the Rex’s soundman, how quickly and smoothly the transition went. While we were waiting, Doug Watson talked about the previous band, described the day’s events and welcomed the audience.
The Anthony Terpstra Seventet  features Anthony Terpstra on Drums and vocals; Michael Morse on Bass; Richard Whitehouse on Piano; Steve McDonald on tenor  Sax:   Tom Skublics on baritone  Sax; Mike Malone on Trumpet;  and Jules Estrin on Trombone.
The Anthony Terpstra seven-tet - photo by Doug Watson Anthony Terbstra on drums
The Seventet’s set list was
Night and Day
Jumpin' On the Merry Go Round
East of the Sun,
Early Autumn
Eager Beaver
Stompin' at the Savoy.
It was a great set and it’s amazing how much “big band” sound just seven guys can get. It’s always a pleasure to hear Anthony Terpstra’s smooth vocals.

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The Seventet was followed by The Tony Quarrington Sextet
Once again, the transition between the two bands was smooth and quick. One major boon is that the Rex has its own drum set which means far less set-up time for all concerned. And what small delay was experienced was made negligible by our gracious MC.

Tony Quarrington’s band is made up of  Tony Quarrington on guitar; Michael Morse on bass; Mike McClelland, drums; Mike Malone, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Jaan Koel, tenor and soprano sax, and flute and Chris Robinson, tenor sax

Tony Quarrington Sextet - photo by Doug Watson
They played
1. Unfathomable (written/arranged Tony Quarrington, a new line on chords of HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN)
2. Ravelesque (written Bob George, arranged by Mike Morse)
3. Pick Yourself Up (Jerome Kern, arranged by Mike Morse)
4. Stars Fell on Alabama (an old standard, arranged by Tony Quarrington - Bob loved to play this one)
5. Torremolino (written Bob George, arranged by Tony Quarrington)
At the end of this set, Tony Quarrington invited Melissa Stylianou and drummer Glenn Anderson to join him on stage to perform Moonglow. A most enjoyable set and a lovely conclusion to experience the delightful and honey toned vocal performance by Mellissa - can that girl sing!

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We were now running about 20 minutes behind schedule, but just before we were ready for our last band, Anthony Terpstra was elected to get up on stage and present our MC, Doug Watson with an 11x17 framed picture of Bob George as a gesture of gratitude for his participation in the he event.  Doug tried to get Anthony to tell a few Bob George anecdotes, but for once the big guy was short on words and so we moved on to the program’s conclusion with The Dick Felix Quartet. This band featured Dick Felix on Bass; Dan Ionescu on Guitar; Jeff King on Sax and Mike McClelland on Drums. Their set list was comprised solely of Bob George compositions.
The Dick Felix Quartet - Photo by Doug Watson

1..Sweeping Changes
2. Ravelesque
3. What is That
4. Torremolino

It was lovely to hear more Bob George material - he sure was a wonderful composer. It was a really great set and was enjoyed by all.

Their set completed the “official” part of the program and since we still had a little time left, it was possible to get a couple of guests up to play at the end.

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Jack McCaffrey, Anthony Terpstra and also John O’Donahue pitched in to back up jazz violinist Ed Vokurka (old colleague of Bob’s) and bassist Alfred Gertler (long time friend of Bob’s) for a couple of numbers.

It was a wonderful, magical day. It was a truly lovely tribute to a wonderful jazz performer/composer ...... I think Bob would have loved it.
Later that evening at the Rex, Bob’s good friend and colleague, Glenn Anderson, held the release for his new album “Swinging The Blues” which prominently features Bob George, and which was the last recording of Bob playing. (The CD is a really good listen and it’s great to hear Bob George’s sweet playing .....)

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Page updated  November 18/05

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