TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival 2009
July 3: Dave Holland Quintet and the Branford Marsalis Quartet
Jazz fans were in for an exciting double-bill on Friday night for the Mainstage concert. Chris Potter who enjoyed two sold-out performances earlier in the week flew back to Toronto in order to join the Dave HollandQuintet together with Robin Eubanks on trombone, Nate Smith on drums, and Steve Nelson on vibes and marimba. These musicians have played together for such a long time that Dave Holland didn't need to direct anyone and therefore he could focus on his musical contribution. He presented a combination of past and current tunes. "Step To It" was a new piece and really captures the style of this band today. Following the melody, Potter's energetic development on his solo seemed effortless even with a couple of feverish arpeggios. Holland followed with the perfect counterpoint with a careful hint of Miles Davis during the bassist's tenure with the legend. On "Last Minute Man," Steve Nelson started off with careful marimba notes before switching to the vibes for the better part of the piece. Eubanks' solo included what sounds like an added voice to the natural trombone sound. The quintet played two tracks from the Critical Mass CD (Sunny Side, 2006)"Lucky Seven" and "Full Circle"with Potter outdoing himself.
, who at one point in his career was the leader of the first Tonight Show band when Jay Leno took over, came back to jazz.
The Marsalis name conjures up immediately a contemporary jazz brand. What is remarkable is how each musician of the well known family has developed into a musician in his own right. Luckily for us, Branford Marsalis
The BMQ has just celebrated its 10 years as a solid unit and came to Toronto with Joey Calderazzoon piano and Eric Revis on bass. The only missing member of the band was Jeff "Tain" Watts, who was currently working on other projects. Justin Faulkner took his spot and made quite a splash. "The Return of the Jitney Man" kicked things off with Marsalis leading the tune off the downbeat and later featuring a feverish buildup between Calderazzo and Faulkner. This was just one of the tracks played from the group's recent CD, Metamorphosen (Marsalis Music, 2009). The bluesy "Teo" by Thelonious Monk kept the pianist involved with his melodic lyricism while the band leader observed with great satisfaction. Branford Marsalis revealed his quieter side while playing soprano on "The Blossom of Parting." Another soft tune, this time on the tenor, was the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is." At the end of the lovely evening, Chris Potter and Robin Eubanks surprised everyone when they returned to the stage to join Marsalis with the Basie anthem "Jumpin' At The Woodside" as the encore. That's what a festival should be: beyond the scripted programming.
July 4: Kenny Werner Quintet and Eliane Elias