It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since the release of my first album, Let’s Call it a Day. It seems like just last week I was running around printing tickets and handing out flyers and taking care of all the planning for the release concert and yet here we are, one year later. In honour of this special occasion I am giving away a physical copy of the record to one very special commentor. (This is a very special giveaway since the record is now officially out-of-print.) All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me about the first time you heard Let’s Call it a Day. It’s that easy! (Don’t forget to leave your name and email so I can contact you if you win.)
Also in honour of this special occasion I thought I would give you a little history of the title track, Let’s Call it a Day, and tell you about all of the amazing experiences that this song has led me to.
Let’s Call it a Day was written in the summer of 2007. I’ve come to call this summer my “summer of love” since it has been my most hedonistic and care-free summer to date. That summer I was playing with a rock band called Gorgeous George and we had landed our first gig, playing every other Sunday at the Mercury Lounge. We played original music, and pop and motown covers for our few but very loyal fans. I had written the last verse to Let’s Call it a Day while laying in bed listening to old Regina Spektor albums and the next day at rehearsal I heard our guitar player, Justin Klassen, riffing by himself and exclaimed “Don’t stop playing! I have something for that!” The chorus came as a result of many repetitions and I filled in the other two verses the next day at work. Justin and I recorded the song on his home computer and it became a staple of the band’s repertoire.
The song stayed with me after the band broke up in the fall of that year (on good terms) but it was two more years before it entered my jazz repertoire. It got a little harmonic makeover when my friend Adam Daudrich got his hands on it in summer of 2009 and by fall of 2009 François Gravel and I were playing it every week at the Mercury Lounge again, although this time on Monday nights. While we were in the early stages of our weekly gig, we had the opportunity to play on CKCU, on CHUO, and at Ottawa Springfest’s women’s showcase. We always chose to include Let’s Call it a Day in our repertoire because it held a nice contrast to our traditional jazz pieces.
I met René Gely in 2010 and we clicked immediately. It wasn’t long before we were working on our first CD together. I knew right away that I wanted to include Let’s Call it a Day and René came up with a brand new arrangement that blew me away. It was more upbeat than the version I played with Gorgeous George or François. It had so much more movement. With the new arrangement, Let’s Call it a Day quickly became a signature tune for René and I. While promoting the record we had the opportunity to play it live on CKCU and Rogers Television and at a variety of live performances around town.
In the year since the record was released I have been asked to play the tune alongside Juno award winning vocalist Kellylee Evans, with acclaimed Toronto pianist Dave Restivo, and alongside Ottawa’s best young musical talents at the first annual NAC Astral Awards of which I was a recipient. The song continues to played on radio stations across the country including regular spins on JazzFM, CBC, and Planète Jazz, as well as some stations state-side and around the world on jazzradio.com.
It has been so exciting to see a piece of mine get so much added to it by so many wonderful people through the past four year. I look forward to writing more music and collaborating more people in the years to come.