Day 1 - Ottawa International Jazz Festival, June 22, 2006
While Nimmons would typically provide the starting point for their improvisations, Braid's ability to hear a single phrasesometimes a single noteand immediately jump in to begin creating form was consistently revealing. And while they were as often as not exploring more abstruse ideas, they were rarely, if ever, anything but completely accessible. The blues figured deeply during a couple of improvisations, but Nimmons and Braid were equally cooperative with one audience member's request to approach a piece from a more classical aesthetic.
Perhaps the most important lesson the audience walked away with is that music is really one big continuum, and artists like Nimmons and Braid simply don't see stylistic delineations. When one audience member asked Nimmons if they'd be playing any standards, Nimmons' response was "no, we'll be making our own. The perfect response.
The Zenón and Nimmons/Braid performances set different but equally high standards for this year's festival. There will no doubt be many other fine performances during the festival's eleven-day run, but these two will be tough to beat.
Visit Miguel Zenón, David Braid and the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival on the web.