The unsinkable Alex Pangman releasing New album tonight
\ TORONTO WEST \
Anyone even passingly familiar with the music industry knows that one of the qualities you’ve got to have a lot of in order to make a living in the business is persistence coupled with an iron will. It’s an industry in which those who expect to soar to success without setbacks and obstacles usually don’t last very long.
But even within a marketplace filled with never-say-die tough nuts, surely Alex Pangman (aka Alex Parker these days) stands alone as the epitome of stick-with-it-ness and unbreakable resolve.
That was already the case when I last wrote about her on June 4, 2012, as she did a vinyl re-release of her album 33, and previously on October 28 of 2009 on the occasion of her launch of a disc with her Lickin’ Good Fried combo. Both of those releases came after she had resumed her career while seeming to make a full recovery from a double-lung transplant she’d had in November of 2008.
Hers was by then already an incredible story. Born with cystic fibrosis, prior to the transplant Alex’s health had deteriorated to the point where the risky operation was the only thing that could save her life. Which would have been plenty enough for most folks.
How many people, after all, bounce back to live fully normal lives following such an invasive surgery, let alone to resume a singing career that’s so reliant on the ability of the new organs to function reliably?!
For five years the surgery seemed to be doing just that, however, and she was starting to regain her role as “Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing”, as she’d been affectionately dubbed by critics in awe of her easy command of lyric and expression on 1930s-era Swing-Blues-Jazz classics from the bygone era after her 1999 debut.
But in 2013 that all changed again as ongoing issues had gradually arisen with the transplanted lungs, which were starting to progressively weaken. By the time she opened for Willie Nelson at Massey Hall in June of last year, she was barely able to function normally. But instead of quitting the business and resigning herself to a quiescent, slow decline, she brazenly asked for another new set of breathers!
Her doctors agreed and, incredibly, just seven months after a second full double-lung transplant last summer, she was back in the studio recording the album that is being released tonight at Hugh’s Room.
She’s calling the disc New because, according to her publicist, she says that’s how she now feels with her third set of lungs, a new co-producer and studio (it was recorded in New Orleans) and utilizing musicians from the area who were new to her. The result, she’s quoted as saying, is a slightly different soundscape, and I think it’s groovy and very swinging.” In addition to the Tin Pan Alley tunes, the album also includes a new original song she wrote, “It’s Never Enough”.
Two of the New Orleans players (Matt Rhody on violin and Tom Saunders on bass sax) will be joining her for the 8:30 show at which she’ll be accompanied by her regular TO band, The Alleycats, which includes piano wiz Peter Hill; Brigham Phillips on trumpet; Ross Woolridge on clarinet; Chris Banks on bass; and Glenn Anderson on the kit.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, November 03, 2021:
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
5-8> Mike Daley Jazz Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
*5> The Cosmotones @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Rockabilly
5-9> Hailee-Rose Duo @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore E., Port Credit ~acoustic Pop
6> Joy Phillips & The Rude Gentlemen @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
*6-9> Calliope’s Nest open stage/jam for women @ Lola Pub, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*7> Hard Time Mondays with Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
**7:30> M Factor Mondays with host Elana Harte & features tba @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East
7:30> Advocats Big Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road, TO North ~R&B/Swing
8> Graydon James & The Young Novelists @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
8-11> Songwriters open stage with Samantha Martin @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~
8> John K & The Outfit @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Rock
**8-1> open stage with host Michael Burton @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO
*8-11> open stage @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Mimico Bill @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
*8-12> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
8:30> Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats album release for New (feat. Peter Hill on keys) @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Jazz; $25/-
**9-1:30> jam with No Band Required @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Bluegrass
9> blueVenus @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~original Pop
9-1> Blues & Troubles @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West
*9-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> John Cheesman Jazz Orchestra @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~R&B/Blues
*10> open mic (2 songs; signup starts 8p.m.) @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10> The Bad Apples @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
*10-2> Danckosmith Duo (Michael Danckert-Rainey Smith) @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
10:30> tba @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
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