Destination: Canada

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Canada has produced its share of jazz figures, including Oscar Peterson, Gil Evans, and Diana Krall, and it continues to be a breeding ground for new talent. But Canada also provides several platforms for international artists to get public exposure, including this summer's crop of jazz festivals in Ottawa , Montreal , Toronto , and Victoriaville .

We at All About Jazz don't have any particular headquarters, to the extent that an internet connection is sufficient to stay in touch, but we're fortunate to have a diverse staff that inhabits the world. John Kelman and Jerry D'Souza , who both hail from the province of Ontario, Canada, report back this month from festivals in Ottawa and Toronto, respectively. John's encyclopedic festival review covers 26 acts, including Kurt Rosenwinkel and William Parker; Jerry shares his impressions of the Carlo Actis Dato Quartet and Ontario-born D.D. Jackson, among others.

Montreal's International Jazz Festival is one of the biggest on the continent, and this year's event, the 25th of its kind, was no exception. Ken Franckling traveled north to join almost two million others in attendance; his five part report also features photos of jazz in action, culminating with two pianos at the hands of Canadian pianists Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones. Not far away in Quebec lies Victoriaville, the site of one of the most wide-open international events this summer. Laurence Donohue-Greene crossed the border to cover it; he describes performances by Fred Van Hove, Han Bennink, and Tim Berne, among others.

In other news, we seem to have drummers on the brain these days. Look inside for John Kelman's five DVD reviews of drummers in action, including two Buddy Rich performances (one live at the 1982 Montreal Jazz Festival) and a Buddy Rich tribute . Ron Weber weighs in on recently departed drummer icon Elvin Jones, for whom we recently set aside a page in tribute . David Orthmann profiles Alan Dawson in his column "Rhythm In Every Guise." And finally, Matthew Hillel Merewitz spends a great deal of time in conversation with Washington D.C.'s own Steve Williams .

Few figures have had as high a profile as Creed Taylor in the history of recorded jazz. Taylor was on hand for the birth of Impulse! records and John Coltrane's A Love Supreme ; at Verve he brought bossa nova to millions of new ears in the form of Getz/Gilberto ; and down the road he forged new fusion and more with his own CTI Records. In his extensive three-part interview , Chris M. Slawecki coaxes answers from Taylor about his experiences in the industry.

The AAJ Bulletin Board has been a major hub of activity; it's not unusual to see 50 or more members present during peak hours. We invite you to join in and contribute your list of ten essential recordings here . We plan to compile all votes into a final list of twelve to be featured in our Building a Jazz Library section, but it only works if you participate, so please take a few moments to put your list together.

Finally, AAJ would like to extend a special welcome to Bret Primack and the launching of his new blog "Jazz and the Net." Look for Bret's words in upcoming days.

Those are the highlights from this July at All About Jazz. For more international destinations, check out over 180 CD reviews published this month.


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