John Alcorn

Blue Xmas

Bob Dorough, Holly Cole and John Alcorn – December 1, 2013

So, there I was on December 1, minding my own business at a party celebrating the birthday of my old pal, Holly Cole, when local scenester-extraordinaire Jaymz Bee burst through the bold-faced (or, at least, italicized) crowd with a dapper, effervescent gent at his side.

And that’s how I met Bob Dorough.

I’d been a fan for years, of course, loving his unique talents as singer and pianist. It’s his songwriting, however – particularly his lyrics – that really gains my deep admiration.

Starstruck and fumbling for words, I finally blurted out, “Wow. I’m a huge fan. In fact, just the other day I sang ‘Little Did I Dream’! I loooove your lyrics in that song!”

Not missing a beat, he replied, “Actually, those are Dave Frishberg‘s lyrics”.


Even more flustered now, scrambling to make myself look a little less like an idiot, “Ha, ha, ha…I’ll bet that people confuse you and Dave all the time…” (Please, dear god, let that be true…)

He grinned, “Yup.”

And so it went. Bob and Dave are longtime pals, of course. In fact, they were slated to do a duo concert in Portland the following week – so, I wasn’t completely off the mark. After a bit more banter, I finally said, “‘Devil May Care’! That’s yours, isn’t it? I sing that ALL the time!”

This time, I was correct. Thank god.

Flash forward a couple of weeks, to last night – another party, this time at the home of jazz piano great, Mark Eisenman, and his lovely partner, Sue Hall. The evening was winding down (I’m never the first to leave), when Mark said, “You gotta listen to this”.

The track was one I’d never heard before – and it slayed me, “Who IS this?”

Turns out it was none other than Bob Dorough, singing his tune ‘Blue Xmas’ with the Miles Davis Sextet in 1962.

I decided that I had to share it with all of you :)

I love the Holidays!

…and I wish all of you the merriest of merries, and a swingin’ 2014!!!


One Night Only – The Home Smith Bar!

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We’ll be digging deep into our standards collections as we play our favourites (and, hopefully, your faves too!) tomorrow night for *Fridays to Sing About* at the beautiful Home Smith Bar in Toronto’s west end.

I’m thrilled that I’ll be working with two of the finest Canadian jazz musicians on this special engagement – David Restivo (piano) and Pat Collins (bass). If that’s not enough to tempt you, consider that there’s no cover charge :))

7:30PM – 10:30PM

*Minimum Food & Beverage * $ 20.00 per person * Taxes & gratuities included



Ms. Diller

Very sad to hear about the passing of Phyllis Diller. Being her opening act some years ago was a thrill for me, and she was still kicking butt – snappy, irreverent and hilarious as ever. Rest peacefully, dear lady.

Addicted to Beaver

I never thought I’d say this, but having had my first taste of Flying Beaver last month, I cannot deny that I’ve developed a craving for more. And more. And more. So…I’m just going to throw caution to the wind and dive back in on Thursday, August 16. In fact, I’m inviting all of you to come along, watch, and listen :)

See you there!

When beavers fly…

Take-no-prisoners comic/host extraordinaire Maggie Cassella has invited me to sing in her intimate performance space at The Flying Beaver Pubaret this summer. Twice! I just saw local cabaret icons, David Ramsden and Jane Ford at the FBP last week (amazing, magical evening), and I’m super-excited to play there myself.

Young guitar genius, Lee Wallace, will join me on both dates. His dad, Canadian jazz legend, Steve Wallace, will be on bass for the first evening. The formidable Michael Herring will be the bassist on the second outing.

Please check out my Tour page for further details :)

Hangin’ with Heather

One of my absolute favorite Canadian singers, Heather Bambrick, is hosting a Jazz Party at the Home Smith Bar on May 3 at 7:30 PM. She’s invited me to be her special guest. The uber-talented Robi Botos will be holding court at the piano. Talk about a Spring Awakening. I’m thrilled :)

New year, new website

Hello everybody. After much procrastination, hemming and hawing, I’ve finally chomped down on that ol’ proverbial bullet and begun rebuilding my website. I hope that you’ll all exercise patience as I chip away at it over the coming weeks (months? god help me…).

For this first posting I want to let you know about an upcoming concert with cabaret artist Adi Braun. Adi and I will share the Hugh’s Room stage on February 13. We’re calling the evening, Speak Low. I look forward to seeing you there :)