TD Canada Trust Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival 2004
There was a pleasant surprise from Thom Gossage Other Voices. Gossage casts an hypnotic rhythm on drums and he has mates that cleave to the essence in Remi Bolduc on alto sax, Frank Lozano on tenor and soprano sax, Miles Perkin on bass and vocals and Gary Schwartz on guitar. Their's was a journey through several manifestations from getting into the mainstream with "Bend in the River" to "Chinook" which is a song for the ages. Not only is the melody memorable, Schwartz lent it a lyrical essence that was softly extended by Bolduc. A great set, certainly.
The Henneman String Quartet had Mark Helias on bass for the tour. He fit in compactly. The band's music is structured and tight knit. Composition holds sway over improvisation. On the occasion they went out on the plains of imagination, it was violinist Oone van Geel who cast the most light on the calm night.
The Ken Vandermark 5 was described as his flagship band. So it is and the quintet lived up to expectation. He is a volatile player, twisting and turning into every conceivable cranny. But he can essay a softer impress as "Suitcase" so convincingly underlined. Dedicated to Steve Lacy, Elvin Jones and Ray Charles, it stood in the forefront with its assimilation of the blues and the gentle turns of its improvisation. Also in the set was a quirky, and so a pleasing, version of "The Inflated Tear".
If ever there was a scintillating time it came with the Carlo Actis Dato Quartet. The band has an irrepressible sense of fun that adds to the experience. Dato played baritone sax and bass clarinet with Enrico Fazio on bass, Firenzo Sordini on drums and Beppe de Filippo on saxophones. Theirs is music that draws on several elements with a strong dose of folk music. It has a relentless rhythm that pulsates and sets off fireworks. During solo time the true nature of the musicians is witnessed in the way they open up the vista. Surprises come in and tantalize, the sweep is broad and majestic. Actis Dato and De Filippo hit particularly hard when they played in tandem and got into some circular breathing and breath taking sonic terrain.
Visit the TD Canada Trust Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival website at www.tojazz.com .