“It’s something I do completely for fun and it’s the most fun of all I have on stage.” – Jeff Healey

This latest installment of our Essential series, Beautiful Noise, was recorded live at the Berkeley Church in Toronto in January of 2006 and was produced as part of a television series bearing the same name (it was released on DVD by Stony Plain in 2010).

This is the best representation of Jeff Healey and his Jazz Wizards tearing it up live. The set brilliantly showcases all the virtuosity, all the genuine fun and exuberance of Jeff’s hand-picked band at the top of their game.

And what a band… Jesse Barksdale on Guitar, Colin Bray on Bass, Jeff on Guitar, Vocals and Trumpet, Drew Jurecka on Violin and Saxophone, Reide Kaiser on Piano, Christopher Plock on Saxophones, Gary Scriven on Drums, Ross Woolridge on Clarinet and Terra Hazelton (lending her bluesy vocals to three tunes)… a tight mix of veterans and fresh faces on the Toronto Jazz scene. The performance in this show is so solid, you’d think they’d been playing together as a unit for decades instead of just several (sporadic) years…

“You know we get up there and give it everything we’ve got… What I try to do with this band is to present an all around entertaining show…”

Since back in the JHB days, Jeff had been performing the Jazz he loved so much whenever he had a chance. Following in the footsteps of one of his musical heroes, Louis Armstrong, Jeff taught himself trumpet and threw himself at the task relentlessly, playing anywhere and any time the opportunity presented itself.

In 2002, he recorded his first Jazz album ‘Among Friends’ and began hosting regular Saturday afternoon sessions at his club in Toronto, appropriately called, ‘Healey’s’. (…where, in addition to the Saturday jazz matinee, Jeff would appear most Thursdays performing with the ‘Healey’s House Band’ – aka ‘Jeff Healey’s Blues Band’- and a litany of special guests… but that’s another story)

“It’s great to have a, you know, audience interaction and so forth… I mean even here tonight with some people that maybe hadn’t a clue what it was that they were coming down to hear (laughter). “

Not only does this fantastic DVD contain a killer live show, it is also punctuated with brief interviews giving Jeff an opportunity to share some insight into his deep love of traditional Jazz.

There are so many highlights on this disc, it was hard to just pick two, but here they are…

Jeff and the incredible Drew Jurecka ripping it up on the Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti tune, ‘Wild Cat‘ (aka ‘War Cat’)

…and the full band cookin’ on the Jazz classic, ‘I Would Do Anything For You

Track List:
1. I Would Do Anything For You
2. Bugle Call Rag
3. If I Had You
4. Darktown Strutters Ball
5. Wild Cat (aka ‘War Cat’)
6. I’m Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key
7. Sugar Blues
8. Sing You Sinners
9. Sweet Georgia Brown
10. You Go To My Head (bonus)
11. Long John Blues (bonus)

Beautiful Noise‘ is a stunning show that definitely rates as Essential Jeff Healey. Dig!