Coco Montoya at The Diesel Playhouse

The Diesel Playhouse has been a through a few changes over the years. It's a room that somehow has never managed to find it's niche.

The most recent incarnation sees the venue shrugging off it's theatre leanings of the last couple years to concentrate on live concerts. This is tough territory to make your mark in, as Toronto has a surplus of intimate concert venues - Glenn Gould Studio, Enwave Theatre, Mod Club, Panasonic Theatre, etc.

Part of the Diesel's upcoming concert lineup is the Toronto Downtown Jazz Series running from Nov. to mid-Dec.

Sunday's concert with blues great Coco Montoya is a comfortable fit for the room. Table service for food and beverages, wide aisles, steeply raked seating so there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Somehow it all felt very Miami, and makes for a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

And relaxed and comfortable is a good description of the artist as his charming low key personality mixed with fiery, soulful guitar work, won people over during the evening.

There's something about the blues.

Fast, slow. It's a musical form that seems like a juiced up circadian rythm. No matter how predictable the chord changes and melodies may be, the blues is one of those musical genres that reach into some basic part of ourselves.
Before you know it you're tapping your foot, swaying to the music, even whistling an improvised version of the last song all the way back to where your car is parked.

The jazz series continues with: Jane Bunnett - Friday Nov. 21, Kurt Elling - Thursday Dec. 4, Marc Jordan & Friends - Friday Dec. 12, Tuck & Patti - Friday Dec. 19

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