Sounds of a booming city: Joani Taylor

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      To call Joani Taylor a jazz singer doesn’t do her justice. Over her long career, she’s sung funk, R&B, and hundreds of jingles. She even had a hit pop song in the ’70s called “You Y’Look Good”. It’s no surprise, then, that Taylor invited rapper Jaykin to perform a hip-hoppified version of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” on her latest album, In My Own Voice.

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      “I can’t remember the title, but it’s Jaykin’s new album [On the Humble]. I just really feel his passion in his work. When he came and did his bit for us, he had never been in a real recording studio before. He had done two recordings on this little handheld stupid thing he carried around. I just like when somebody is committed to their own beliefs and what they do and how they do it.”

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      “The concert that I saw that blew me away was Don Thompson at Cap [Capilano Performing Arts Theatre] with Phil Dwyer and Jim Vivian and Terry Clarke [October 25]. The whole band together was just incredible. I expected greatness, but this was way over the top. It was stunning.”

      We just found Bruce Allen’s platinum card. Where are we eating?
      “Morton’s [The Steakhouse, 750 West Cordova Street], because I’ve never been there. My favourite place to eat in town is Le Crocodile [100–909 Burrard Street], but if I had somebody else’s money I think I would go to Morton’s. And I’d invite all my friends.”

      With apologies to Katy Perry, who would you like to wake up in Vegas with?
      “I’d be too drunk to remember, and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But Ross Taggart. First of all, I love his playing. That goes unsaid. But we’re great friends, and I can vision him putting on a white suit and cape and doing Elvis and I would be Bette Midler.”

      We’re going to a desertisland. What record are you bringing?
      “Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace. I wore out three albums and I now have it on disc and it still makes me cry. If I heard it tonight, I would be crying again. She just outdoes herself on it.”

      The city has given you a blank cheque. Where are we opening a live-music venue?
      “The Pantages [152 East Hastings Street]. It’s in the worst part of town. But inside, it’s a beautiful old theatre. It’s desperately needed that we have a centre in the area for live entertainment in Vancouver. I think it would be ideal not only for soft-seat performances but late-night jazz.”

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