It was at the Black Bottom that Apex recorded its first album, Live, in 1977 with the help of friends and fans who provided artwork, photography, liner notes and recording expertise. With regular practices, the band’s repertoire grew. And through increased exposure, so did its reputation. The band became much in demand around the Ottawa area – for conventions and other corporate events, public concerts, private parties, stags, wedding receptions, jazz festivals, radio and TV appearances, with a couple of funerals thrown in for special friends. Venues included everything from concert halls to parks, convention centres, ski resorts, churches, private homes and riverboats.
In 1982, a second album was recorded, this time in a studio. All Dressed captured the tighter, more mature sound of the now 8-year-old ensemble. Travel ensued, with appearances at the Toronto International Jazz Festival in 1984, the TerrifVic Jazz Party in Victoria in 1992 and occasional forays to Kingston and Montreal. A most unique experience came in March 1995 when the band performed in Nuuk, Greenland as guests of the local jazz club. By this time, the band’s regular gig had become a Sunday afternoon stint at the Royal Oak pub in the western outskirts of the city.
A third album, Anniversary Session, was recorded there, at the Royal Oak, in the presence of an exuberant crowd in 1994.
With the re-release of its earlier recordings on CD, the Apex Jazz BandTM hopes to provide a couple hours of enduring nostalgia for both the band and its fans, as well as a taste of some exciting traditional jazz for the uninitiated.