Day 2 - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, June 29, 2006
The final performance of the evening for this correspondent was at his favorite venue of years' past - The Gesu Creative Center, a lovely warm venue in the basement of a church, holding no more than a few hundred people. At other editions of the festival, this room has been used for some really inventive performers but this year it is the small ensemble room. The first group to perform there was Ravi Coltrane's Quartet with Luis Perdomo (piano), Drew Gress (bass) and E.J. Strickland (drums), making its festival debut. In brief, this was a fairly pedestrian performance. While it is safe to assume that the younger Coltrane is not trying to gain advantage from his name, listeners might be excused for assigning him greater achievement because of it. There are many other saxophonists of the same age who are of the same talent level or higher and who write more interesting music. Coltrane's tone is a little thin and his soloing can often come across as perfunctory. Such was the case here. It is hard to fault Coltrane but, like New York Yankee fans and Alex Rodriguez, one expects more for some reason and is usually disappointed. Not too say that the performance was unpleasant - the rhythm section was strong and inspired - but perhaps there was little left for Coltrane at 11 pm when Acoustic Masada had ended almost five hours before.
Your correspondent is off to a wedding today back in the States. Coverage will be taken over for Day 3 by local writer Mathieu Belanger.