Montreal Jazz Festival: Day 2, Friday, June 29th, 2007
As advertised, Martinez delighted the overflowing tent crowd to the spellbinding passion and zeal of South American music. From his strings came great bursts of emotion, as well as the interior sight of sensitive artistry. Joined by the vocals and rhythm guitar of Carlos M. Martinez, the two wowed the audience throughout their set. The passion was so great, in fact, that halfway through the set Mother Nature saw fit to regale it high winds and heavy rain. As festival goers outside ran for shelter, those of us lucky enough to have staked a spot inside took in the Argentinean storm with sheer delight...
By the time the Martinez show was coming to a close, the wind and rain had died down just enough to indulge in one of the festival's most cherished treats: the mango flower.
Those who have had the privilege of visiting the Caribbean or Central America will no doubt recognize this tasty little snacka finely carved mango perched atop a stick, with a green napkin wrapped around the base. Throughout the festival, children by the dozen can be seen chomping down these sweet, orange bulbs. And although at that particular moment the sky was still drizzling a light sheet of rain, the lips and mouth of this correspondent were screaming glorious warmth and sun. Just what a belly needs before the last course of the evening...
The capper for Day 2 was a 10pm performance by the Erik Truffaz Quartet at the Spectrum. Having only a loose sense of the trumpeter's style, this concert could be classed among the wildcards for this year's festival coverage. However, judging by the large crowd that had congregated for the event, it seemed at the very least that Truffaz had a loyal following. Sharing the bill with the quartet was English singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt, which could either help or hinder the proceedings.
As it turned out, Truffaz and his band- consisting of Patrick Müller on keyboards, Marcello Giuliani on electric bass, Marc Erbetta on drums- blended an curious mix of jazz, rock, fusion, trance and vodka/soda. Ambient melodies and deep grooves were the order of the evening- at times gathering the crowd soundly in, at others not quite. The rhythm section of Müller, Giuliani and Erbetta was nothing short of solid, while Truffaz added mood and flair with Miles-like scales, fed through what can most aptly be termed a yodel-mic.
Overall, the show definitely hit some high notes, at times even soared, but never quite kept to thin air.
On tap tomorrow: The Joshua Redman Trio, Anat Fort Quartet, and trying to track down Danish trumpet upstart Jens Winther.