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Ordinary Heroes

by Peter Hum

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Cassandra 06:33
Embers 05:32
Spare Hearts 09:30
Safe Passage 09:56


Crises and Reckonings: A song for turbulent times when scandal follows scandal. Let's hope that after all the bedlam, we come out right side up.

Cassandra: In Greek mythology, she was cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed. This song is for everyone who saw it coming.

Fake News Blues: A protest against alternative facts and disinformation, and a shout-out to the truth-tellers.

Nebulous Compensation: A song about trading away the environment for profit, plenty and convenience. A bossa nova about the end of the world, you might say.

Rabble Rouser: A protest against demagoguery, written when a certain dotard was merely running for office. The song has only grown more timely as the politics of division and resentment has spread.

Embers: In late 2016, it felt as if the flames of progress had been almost extinguished. This song looks forward to those embers catching fire.

Tears for the Innocent: This song was written after six worshippers were shot to death at the Islamic Culture Centre of Quebec City on Jan. 29, 2017. Since then, the senseless massacres – Las Vegas, Parkland, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Christchurch and on and on – have persisted, as have our tears.

Spare Hearts: A song in support of resilience and compassion.

Safe Passage: A song inspired in 2015 by the plight of Syrian refugees, but since then equally dedicated to displaced peoples from Latin America, Myanmar and elsewhere.

Ordinary Heroes: After the 2016 US election, George Takei, recalling the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War, wrote: "Even in the darkest of times, there were so many ordinary heroes who gave us hope and succor. It is they whom I remember most today. It was they who helped change things for the better."


released October 18, 2019

Peter Hum - piano, electric piano
Kenji Omae - tenor saxophone
David Smith - trumpet
Mike Rud - guitar
Alec Walkington - bass (1-3, 5, 8, 9)
Dave Watts - bass (4, 6, 7, 10)
Ted Warren - drums

Thanks to: Ross Murray; Carson Becke, Peter Becke and Deb Bradley at Venturing Hills Farm; Phil Bova; Randy Cole; Nancy Mooney; Dennis Leung; Alex Bilodeau and Chris Maskell; Valeriy Nehovora; and Tim Shia.

Special thanks to Kenji, Dave Smith, Mike, Alec, Dave Watts (to the rescue!) and Ted for their deep artistry and enduring friendship.

Thanks above all to Valerie and Pascal.

Dedicated to my mother, Gertrude Hum, the most selfless of souls

Produced by Peter Hum with Ross Murray

Recorded Aug. 26-28, 2018 by Ross Murray at Venturing Hills Farm in Luskville, QC, additional recording at Happy Rock Studio in Chelsea, QC

Mixed by Ross Murray at Happy Rock Studio

Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova at Bova Lab in Ottawa, ON

Front cover photo by Nancy Mooney

Graphic design by Dennis Leung

This album was made possible with the generous support of the City of Ottawa and Ontario Arts Council.


all rights reserved



Peter Hum Ottawa, Ontario

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Peter is a mainstay of the city's jazz community.

There, he has shared stages with such leading Canadian musicians as Roddy Ellias, Mike Rud, Kenji Omae, Nathan Cepelinski, Alec Walkington and John Geggie. ... more

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