Deck Blue Note with Cole of Holly.

Falalalala, lalalalaa.
I've been incognito of late, mainly due to a brief sojourn to Tokyo. It was a last-minute decision; I wrangled a ticket & booked a Hotel room* on Wednesday, and convinced my coworker, Dan to be my copilot. (*He actually booked the Hotel room and though the bed was slightly uncomfortable, overall it was cheap and sufficient.)

I didn't buy much loot but I did visit several pals, details of which I'll describe later. For now, let me tell you about Holly Cole, who I saw at Blue Note.
Holly and I go way back. I first saw her in the late 80s at Clintons and then at Ontario Place and a few other gigs over the next decade. I never quite made it to stalker status, though I did miss an opportunity to chat her up once. Big City Improv held a Star Trek parody. They'd take classic TOS episodes and then perform them live to a studio audience. I recall seeing Amok Time and maybe one other. Every show, they had a different "Celebrity Red Shirt" who would have the honour of dying on stage. I heard through the grapevine that Holly would be that night's casualty so I promptly booked a ticket to see her. While waiting in the wings at half-time, she was right in front of me ... our eyes met ... I opened my mouth to speak ... and then wimped out and said nothing. (Worst stalker ever.)

In an alternate universe somewhere, I engaged her in witty repartee and we now have several kids together.

The last time I was hoping to see her was in March 2011 but that didn't occur thanks to the Quake/ Tsunami/ Meltdown triumvirate. From what I hear, she was so devastated by the catastrophe that she hadn't performed for months afterwards. I'm glad she chose to return!

The first thing that struck me upon entering Blue Note is how tiny it is from the outside and how huge it is inside.

She has a new album out entitled, "Night" and performed most of the tunes from it. (Click for track listings.)

The musicians walked in singing "Walk Away" and she blasted out a sultry version of the Tom Waits tune.

Next up was "You Only Live Twice". I whispered to the trio of college gals that it was a James Bond tune and they piped in with a "Naruhodou" (You don't say.)

We also got a very cool smooth version of "Viva Las Vegas" and Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." An original tune of hers, "You've Got a Secret" and "If You Go Away" were favourites of mine. The tune I loved the most was another Waits, "Whistlin' Past the Graveyard".

Upon walking out, I finally fulfilled my ambition of speaking to her with "Thank you very much, Holly" to which she replied with a "You're so Welcome" and she grasped my hand. WOOHOO!

Her encore consisted of "Calling You", "Tender Trap" and "I Can See Clearly Now", all highly appreciated. During this exit, she walked out with Aaron Davis and David Piltch and I murmured, "The Holly Cole Trio" which made Aaron beam with pride.


Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but she's a friend of mine from way back. I too saw her, at the booze can on Harbord, with other teenage Humber jazz program rats.
Tried for a long time to interest her in my songs, but to no avail.
She looks Japanese in that pic.

Michael Jones said...

I'm not surprised that you know her and I'd be very surprised if she used any of your tunes. Seems a bit too "studio" to use a tune from an unestablished composer.

She has the mutant ability to morph into any body-type, thus the Japanese look.


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