Bob George - headers page  

Canadian Jazz Pianist

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Thoughts and Memories
I have included in this section as many stories, thoughts, anecdotes and memories that Bob's friends and family have shared with me.  If anyone finds this page and has something to add, please email! (bobgeorge@wezel.com)

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Dick Felix - Bassist

Bassist Dick Felix had known Bob George for almost 30 years. Their first Gig together was playing jazz for ballet classes at Ryerson.While playing in  a busy jobbing band called Sound Company they  began playing jazz sessions several times a week. ³At that time Bob was already a very advanced jazz player  and patiently directed and helped me on the path to jazz music. We became very good friends and worked together in many different settings until mid December of 2002².

Jack McCaffrey - Pianist
Jack met Bob through their "day job" teaching.  They became good friends, finding a mutual love of music, and  went on to jam together . Jack says that Bob had a wonderful sense of humour and was a great guy.

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Jack McFadden - Bassist
Jack remembers meeting Bob for the first time at McMaster University. There was a 72 hour jazz marathon on to promote some event, and there was Bob pounding away at the piano and Jack thumping away at the bass.  Jack says they pretty much started their friendship during those 72 hours.  "We never slept - just cat-napped a bit."
Michael Morse
 I guess my favourite Bob story has to do with.. well, he was playing solo piano up at the Granite Club. Ultimnate Upper Pizza Crust Bay Street crowd, all hanging around the piano bar, getting progressively more enthusiastic with each passing martini, toasting this, toasting that.. they finally asked "Mr. Piano Man" to propose a toast. Bob raised his glass:"Here's to the social safety net!"

  And that's what our band last fall was called, the Social Safety Net trio.. (Michael Morse is a Toronto based Bassist)

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Barry Sanderson - Friend
....I remember he was looking for a part-time job...as the story goes.... and approached the manager of the old  Fisher Hotel on York Street in Hamilton.He asked the manager if he could play the piano in the Lounge. "We don't have a piano" was his reply. Bob,always exhibiting  a sense of humour, suggested the hotel purchase a piano so he could play it; the hotel would thereby be entertaining its patrons and more importantly from Bob's perspective, aiding a poor student through university. Bob was promptly shown the door.
Anthony Terpstra
Sure we played every kind of gig you can imagine over the years but Bob’s significance to me, and I imagine lots of other guys, runs much deeper than that.

One of the most important things in jazz is the process of finding your own voice. So much of one’s playing is derivative of all the stuff you listened to and studied but your own voice is the hardest part.

I had a complex road to finding and doing my thing. I grew up with a headful of jazz and started playing drums in my brothers’ band. Practiced fanatically for a bunch of years, then one day stopped because I realized having drum chops was not what I was really interested in. Started playing horns to learn about music, worked at it for a bunch of years, got some stuff together but was not interested or capable of playing the bebop game. Always was a singer, what made me happy on jobbing gigs was the standards I would sing. In ’88 I started leading my big band and quickly discovered that I was good at it, my combination of talents and sensibilities added up to being a good big band leader, entertaining everyday people with big band music. Formal study of arranging came later.

Now this was a long, difficult circuitous indirect process. Every turn along was very frustrating yet at every step of the way Bob was there, playing a pivotal supportive role. I played drums with him in Hamilton when I was very young. In Toronto I played a million jobbing gigs with Bob and did the singing thing. All through the 80’s when I was doing the horn thing Bob was there. He was probably the first guy I called when I started the big band in ’88.

We all marvel at the latest prodigies who appear, but should never overlook a guy like Bob George, who by being truly supportive, helps players find their own voice. The local jazz scene does not have enough guys like that.

Anthony Terpstra is a singer, bandleader, sax player and drummer

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Jack Zorowski - Bassist

Why Bob is different, 10 years ago, Bob was an okay jobbing player....strikes me how he started to work on his piano and just pushing forward improved he had the attitude of a Humber student rather than a 50 year old guy...he would be so excited about something he heard, he'd call me up at 2 in the morning just to tell me about it.

He had an amazing, honest way of playing, he could be himself....his own, whether people were listening or not.

He was a Jazz piano player from a - z loved what he did. Cared not about how he was seen, didn’t care if he was famous, or rich  - he played just for the love of music

Realized that he could aspire to greater things..... kept working way at improving his playing

Anytime I had a party, even if everyone else failed, Bob always came, and right away the party was on, he was the life of the party in his own special quiet way

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Bob George - footers page  
Page updated  November 18/05

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