May 25th, 2009

Jay Telfer

Perch - an unreleased masterpiece waiting to be heard

session69.jpg
Jay Telfer Session 1969 - Jay is seated at the Piano
Jay Telfer passed away from heart failure on May 22nd 2009.

Jay Telfer - Anything More Than Your Smile - mp3

Jay Telfer - Revelation - mp3

Jay Telfer - Glow - mp3

Toronto singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jay Telfer is arguably best known for his work with 1960s rock group, A Passing Fancy, and for penning Steel River’s hit, “Ten Pound Note”. Starting out with folk group, The Voyageurs at the age of 14, Telfer befriended future Bruce Cockburn manager Bernie Finkelstein, who was responsible for bringing the promising singer/songwriter into the ranks of The Dimensions and renaming the band, A Passing Fancy in 1965.

Fast-forward four years to spring 1969. Telfer has moved on from A Passing Fancy and composed a slew of intriguing new songs. He approaches Finkelstein with the exciting new material and his old friend expresses an interest in producing an album, inviting into the sessions a diverse mix of musicians from the Toronto scene.

These include members of Kensington Market (managed by Finkelstein), a young Danny McBride years before he played lead guitar with Chris De Burgh and the Anglo-Canadian group Milkwood, including multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Tomlinson, who’d recently arrived in Toronto after working with a pre-Jethro Tull Martin Barre for two years.

As Telfer recalls, the musicians had a ton of fun doing the album, but when it came to selling it, Finkelstein asked the late Felix Pappalardi, who’d produced Kensington Market but was turned down. The album was never mentioned again and Telfer lost his copies of the tapes. Over the years, Finkelstein also lost his.

As luck would have it, former A Passing Fancy member Fergus Hambleton salvaged some old tapes from his brother Greg’s driveway as they were being put out with the rubbish. Among those tapes was Greg’s copy of “Perch”, Telfer’s unreleased album from 1969. In total, there are 10 superb tracks waiting to be heard. The titles and the personnel on each track are as follows:

1. ANYTHING MORE THAN YOUR SMILE:
Jay Telfer - guitar, lead and backing vocals
Keith McKie - second guitar
Jimmy Watson - drums
John Mills Cockell - synth

2. I WRITE YOUR NAME ON THE WALL
Jay Telfer - guitar, bar stool, organ, lead and backing vocals
Murray McLaughlan - second lead guitar

3. WAR BABY (BABY)
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Keith McKie - electric guitar
Ronnie Blackwell - bass
Malcolm Tomlinson - drums
Fergus Hambleton - saxophone

4. NUMER ONE HUM
Jay Telfer - electric guitar, piano, electric piano, vibraphone, drums, bass, lead and backing vocals

5. REVELATION (AKA I FELL IN LOVE)
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Danny McBride - electric guitar
Phillip Jalsevec - piano

6. DOLDRUM
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Igor Romanyk - violin
Heavanly Host Rentals - see chorus below.

7. TO ALL
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Malcolm Tomlinson - flute
Rick Lyon - drums

8. WASHED DOWN
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Louis McKelvey - electric guitar
Alex Darou - bass
Malcolm Tomlinson - drums

9. SUZIE
Jay Telfer - piano, drums, guitar, vocals
Ronnie Blackwell - bass
Fergus Hambleton - clarinet

10. GLOW
Jay Telfer - guitar, vocals
Murray McLauchlan - second guitar
Ray Bennett - harmonica
Donna Warner - backing vocals
Orpheus - backing vocals
Cathy Young - backing vocals
Keith McKie - backing vocals
Sydney - backing vocals

“Perch” is a lost gem from the Toronto scene and awaiting discovery. Anyone interested in finding out more about this recording, should contact the author at Warchive@aol.com

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2014. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any from or by any means, without prior permission from the author.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.