Amazon.com Widgets

Montreal Jazz Festival: Days 1-3 July 1-3, 2009

By Published: | 23,240 views
Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-9


Erik Truffaz Benares / The Monterey 4 (Holland/Potter/Rubalcaba/Harland)
Erik Truffaz Mexico / Sadao Watanabe / Jam Session/Jim Doxas Trio
Sylvain Provost / Erik Truffaz Paris / Aaron Parks Trio

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 1-3, 2009



It's the 30th Anniversary for the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (FIJM) and, based on the stellar line-up, it promises to surpass its 25th Anniversary celebration from 2004. Opening with one of the outdoor street festivals for which it's become world renown, over 200,000 people attended a free pre-festival concert by the legendary Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
b.1950
keyboard
on June 30, 2009. With 12 days of ticketed indoor and free outdoor programming, including eight more spectacles including the Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae extravaganza on July 7 and a closing show featuring Ben Harper and Relentless 7 on July 12, it may not be entirely jazz, but it's a festival that long ago deserted purity in favor of a trifecta of jazz, world music and blues.

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal



And there's still more than enough jazz to go around. With a roster that includes By Invitation series guests Erik Truffaz

Erik Truffaz
Erik Truffaz
b.1960
trumpet
, Joshua Redman
Joshua Redman
Joshua Redman
b.1969
saxophone
and Renaud Garcia-Fons, as well as single performances by artists ranging from Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
b.1944
guitar
, Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
1920 - 2012
piano
, Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
b.1951
guitar
, Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
b.1951
piano
and Jimmy Cobb
Jimmy Cobb
Jimmy Cobb
b.1929
drums
to Brian Blade
Brian Blade
Brian Blade
b.1970
drums
and the Fellowship Band, Hadouk Trio and Greg Osby
Greg Osby
Greg Osby
b.1960
saxophone
, not to mention local representation by André Leroux, Joel Miller
Joel Miller
Joel Miller

saxophone
and Jean Pierre Zanella and much, much more. There's something for everyone.



All in all, 35 series, featuring performances on almost every day amounts to over 400 performances by thousands of artists. And with the festival's new digs—a new Maison du Festival that features, in addition to a larger and much more well-designed press room, a bistro that will house the nightly jam sessions led, this year, by drummer Jim Doxas, and a new concert venue that will seat 350 and accommodate 600 standing, the festival finally has the home it's deserved for years. There's also a large terrace that integrates with the outdoor grounds of Place des Arts, one of the festival's most prominent venues, to make ground zero of the FIJM an even more exciting place to be, in addition to the six square blocks that are closed in the heart of downtown Montreal every year for the festival. It's like being on another planet, but one that's now expanded in size.

Chapter Index

  1. July 1: Erik Truffaz By Invitation: Benares
  2. July 1: The Monterey 4: Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Eric Harland
  3. July 2: Erik Truffaz By Invitation: Mexico
  4. July 2: Sadao Watanabe
  5. July 2: Nightly Jam Session with Jim Doxas Trio
  6. July 3: Sylvain Provost Effendi Records Press Launch
  7. July 3: Erik Truffaz By Invitation: Paris
  8. July 3: Aaron Parks Trio





July 1: Erik Truffaz By Invitation: Benares



Swiss-born, France-based trumpeter Erik Truffaz

Erik Truffaz
Erik Truffaz
b.1960
trumpet
has been a friend of not just the FIJM, but the city of Montreal for many years, performing during and outside the time of the festival almost since he first emerged in the late-'90s with albums including Bending New Corners (Blue Note, 1999). Over the past decade the trumpeter has released a wide range of projects with which to explore his often electronics-tinged style, with the double-disc live set Face-a-Face (Blue Note, 2006) a terrific consolidation of two groups that occupied most of his time until that point.

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal / Erik TruffazSince then, Truffaz has been expanding his horizons further on the more pop-centric Arkhangelsk (Blue Note, 2007), but it's his three-CD set Rendez-Vous (Paris - Benares - Mexico) (Blue Note, 2008)—each disc also available separately—that may be his most accomplished and diverse work to date. Featuring three sessions recorded in three locales with groups of local musicians—Benares, Mexico and Paris—it ranges from Indo-centric improvisation to ambient electronica and rap-driven improv. With FIJM's By Invitation series based on the idea of inviting artists to the festival for a series of evenings where a different performance is given each night, Truffaz's three-night invite dovetails perfectly with the three premises of Rendezvous.



For his first night, Truffaz brought his Benares group to the intimate Gesú Centre de Créativité—Indian singer Indrani and tablaist Apurba Mukherjee, as well as Brazilian pianist Malcolm Braff—for a 75-minute set that may have drawn on the music from the CD, but in performance was stretched out considerably, with pieces often running as long as 20 minutes, as the trumpeter explored the nexus of Indian rhythms and linear melodism with Western harmonies, all in a spirited improvisational context.



Truffaz, Braff and Mukherjee came onstage first for an instrumental piece that set the tone for the entire performance. Truffaz's less-is-more style, with a tone that was often breathy, but became sharp at times as he demonstrated a broad range on his instrument, gave only occasional clear indicators of his greater virtuosity, instead choosing to focus on the demands of the music, with occasional injections of subtle, but palette-expanding electronics. Braff leaned mainly towards and equally lyrical style, consonant accompaniment adding an uncharacteristic harmonic aspect to this largely melody-driven music, while Mukherjee proved an impressive tablaist, capable of working with the group in ways as often understate as they were, at other times, more fervent.



The music raised a notch when Indrani took the stage, her singing lending the performance a vibe not unlike percussionist Trilok Gurtu

Trilok Gurtu
Trilok Gurtu
b.1951
tablas
's early CMP records like Usfret (1988) and Living Magic (1991), though this group's writing was far less complex, avoiding the irregular meters so definitive of Gurtu. Still, Mukherjee—who delivered some staggering konnakol vocal percussion—demonstrated a remarkable ability to subdivide rhythms in an impressive solo that was on of the high points of the set.

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal / Erik Truffaz Benares l:r: Malcolm Braff, Erik Truffaz, Indrani, Apurba Mukherjee


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.