010497 Moe Koffman, Ottawa, ON

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I’m not sure what Generations X, Y, Z is (or was), whether it was a one-time or recurring concert series put on by the NAC or some independent promoter or what, but as long as they were serving up cool, interesting live shows at bargain-basement prices I had no need to ask questions.

So on January 4th, 1997 I went to my second and final Generations X, Y, Z concert (the other was a Zappa thing; whoever these guys were they were cool), shelling out the mighty sum of $6 to see Moe Koffman (1928-2001) in the National Arts Centre Theatre.  Unfortunately Moe Koffman isn’t the household name he should be.  Though he was one of Canada’s original jazz pioneers with a career that spanned almost fifty years, Koffman is probably most recognizable through the theme song from the CBC radio show As It Happens, a Koffman original called Curried Soul.  If you’re familiar with the program then doubtlessly the theme is running through your head right now.

I remember it being an entertaining if standard jazz show that had the frontman bouncing effortlessly back and forth between his two main axes, the flute and the saxophone.  It was nice to enjoy a relaxed show in the relatively intimate NAC Theatre, which is basically a miniature version of the main room Southam Hall.  After about seventy-five minutes of easy ii-V-I’s Moe Koffman got the standing ovation he deserved and he was gone.

And about four years later he was gone for good so I’m glad to have had this chance to see him play.  Thanks Generations X, Y, Z, whoever you are. 

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