David Blake - The First Tangent Café Era

David Blake pays tribute with me to the first 7-year run of jazz at the Tangent Café in Vancouver.

David Blake - The First Tangent Café Era
David Blake contributed the original photo for this episode. Vincent Lim is the photographer.

On the Rhythm Changes Podcast, David Blake pays tribute with me to the first 7-year run of jazz at the Tangent Café in Vancouver, where he was the main booking agent.

We talked about:

  • The first time David and I performed together
  • David reveals how musical his family is
  • Folk music dances we’ve been part of (for me, North Shore Celtic Ensemble with Kirin Lamb)
  • Andrew Millar getting David into the Tangent booking
  • Whether or not we think our city has too few music venues
  • The first gig David booked at the Tangent: Ihor Kukurudza on guitar, Eli Davidovici on bass, Mili Hong on drums
  • Other highlights from the early days: Meghan Gilhespy, Bill Coon & Oliver Gannon, Thad Bailey-Mai, and more
  • Interprovincial performers like Allison Au, Simon Millerd, Mike Bjella, Kai Basanta, and Ted Crosby coming to BC and playing at the Tangent
  • The best things about the venue for our generation and how it got going
  • The establishment joins in: Steve Kaldestad, Cory Weeds, Jodi Proznick, John Gross, Brad Turner, and more
  • Ted Crosby’s band that David loves: Braveheart (featuring James Meger and Omar Amlani)
  • My reductionist view about Cory, Cole Schmidt, and David’s influence on the scene
  • Our formative visits to the Cellar jazz club in Kitsilano, which closed the year that the Tangent took off as a jazz venue (2014); mine involved Chris Davis on trumpet, when Bob Rebagliati took the Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive there; David’s was with Sandro Dominelli playing drums
  • David’s mother took piano lessons with the late Bob Murphy (also a big influence on Jenny Xu)
  • David studied with woodwinds player Mariusz Kwiatkowski and learned Charlie Parker solos without knowing their significance
  • How David got from there to Capilano University
  • Another jazz guitar David he admires (David Occhipinti)

Even more topics

  • I talk about my introduction to Cap, right back to when Ihor and Jared Burrows auditioned me in 2012
  • The biggest challenges we’ve had navigating music school
  • A solution practiced by younger musicians like Ilhan Saferali, who go out and collaborate across high schools as teenagers to get more comfortable socially
  • Struggling with asking for help when you need it
  • What André Lachance told me about music reeling you back in
  • A quick Jonny Tobin love-fest
  • David’s sabbatical from the jazz life to make stop-motion animation
  • How instruments motivate us, as explained by Jasper Sloan Yip on Justice McLellan’s podcast, The JPod
  • The dark side of friends’ advice to never quit music
  • Our bare-bones instrument purchase histories, with an assist from Madeleine Elkins and family regarding my double bass
  • My peers whose gear wisdom I trust most often: Chad Galpin & Brad Pearson
  • The danger of depression getting intertwined with your identity
  • Avoiding the urge to over-practice your non-music hobbies that can come from a music career
  • A fast telling of my Bill Frisell / Aim to Stay / Europe / Gabriel Dubreuil story (roughly 2015-16)
  • David’s own playing at the Tangent and the bassists (Eli, Conrad Good) and drummers (Mili, Joe Poole, Miles Wong, Bernie Arai) he played with
  • My classmates who came down often and also played: Ben Frost, Parker Woods, the late Natasha D’Agostino, Chris Fraser
  • Even more guitarists playing: Tony Wilson, Alvaro Rojas, Tom Wherrett, David Sikula
  • Even bluegrass, from the Lonesome Town Painters
  • The Tangent staff’s key role in making it a great venue