CBC's Katie Malloch has announced her retirement, and the news has rightfully been saluted with remembrances from Peter Hum, Jesse Cahill and Ted Warren. Katie was one of the welcoming voices on the airwaves as I first started to discover jazz: she, along with Ross Porter, Ted O'Reilly and Bob Parlocha (who was syndicated on CJRT-FM in Toronto at the time), was a lynchpin in my jazz education. Her work on Jazz Beat was not only influential on me as a musician, but greatly fostered my belief that radio is much a part of musical education as any lesson.
Being a generation or two behind Peter, Jesse, and Ted, I never had the good fortune of being played or mentioned on Jazz Beat. My professional career only started in the waning of Jazz Beat's days, and Tonic, though Katie's presence on the mic was unchanged, was a bit of a different animal. I only have had one personal interaction with Katie Malloch to date. She was moderating a public Q&A with Pat Metheny at Jazz Fest a few years ago. I submitted a question on paper and she selected it to ask. For some reason I had put my last name on the sheet, and after asking Metheny the question, added, "Hmm, I wonder if he's related to...". I will be in attendance at the Montreal farewell party: as both a musician and radio host, I owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.
The Montreal party is next Wednesday, February 8, at Cabaret Lion D'Or (1676 Ontario E., corner Papineau). Kevin Dean's group with PJ Perry, Mike Rud, and Neil Swainson will be featured. I have a sneaking suspicion other artists will grace the stage, too. Doors are at 7, the show begins at 8, and it's free with a reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org.