One of the real gems of the Ossington Village is the Saturday afternoon Gypsy Jazz show between 4 and 7pm at the Communist’s Daughter, on Dundas just off Ossington. Michael Lewis Johnson holds one of the most unique regular live music shows in in the city. The small 25 seat bar is transformed back in time; Michael sings and plays cornet in songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s while simultaneously bartending and playing gracious host to an always-packed house. It’s an experience that no Torontonian should miss.
But now, if you’re not the type of person who can make it out on a Saturday afternoon (and, I’ll be honest, I’m usually busy during these times), the audio experience has been captured in a new CD put out by Michael and the group, recorded live from a series of Saturday shows. The tracks do a good job of capturing the experience – including Michael’s always entertaining mid-song banter as well as passing the hat around the room. I did find a little YouTube video capturing one of the songs on the CD – a little video hardly does justice to the atmosphere, but it’ll give you an idea of the vibe.
Right now, as far as I understand, the only way you’ll be able to get this is by stopping by the Communist’s Daughter anytime and asking the bartender.
Check it out this afternoon, and every Saturday, between 4 and 7pm and don’t forget to pick up a CD. I’m listening to it now and it’s absolutely worth it.