Far too often in jazz, a musician posing as a songwriter decides to immortalize a catchy sequence of notes or simple chord progression by inverting, converting, coloring, varying, flipping and reformulating it. But however dazzling is the musicianship, the acrobatics are not to be confused with composition. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis states unequivocally, One of the problems I have with a lot of today's jazz is the lack of melody and overemphasis on harmonic associations. To put it unkindly, too much jazz writing has degenerated into the technique of looping where a sequence of notes is introduced and repeated ad nauseam; ...read more
The Canadian scene continues to be impressive. John Roney's Rate Of Change leads me to wonder what it is that creates a sense of something that can be called Canadian jazz." While Canada itself is somewhat divided by language (and culture), the country's mainstream jazzers feel connected by a strong sense of optimism and an underlying romanticism. Francois Carrier belongs to an entirely different genre, playing mostly free improvisation, as he did on Happening (Leo Records, 2006). The original compositions that make up this album continually twist, turn and never stay put as they each explore a ...read more
Since moving from Toronto in 2001, pianist John Roney has climbed the ladder of the Montreal jazz scene with remarkable speed. For the past couple of years his trio with bassist Zack Lober and drummer Jim Doxas has been hosting the Montreal Jazz Festival's late night jam sessions, and it would be difficult to find a better group for the gig. Rate of Change, Roney's second disc as a leader, is the first to feature his current trio and receive significant distribution.
Revealing remarkable maturity for three players not yet in their thirties, this program of Roney originals draws from ...read more
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Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about Festival International de Jazz de Montreal is the opportunity to hear the unexpected. Sure, there are plenty of big names to attract audiences from around the world, but it's the surprise of discovery that makes it worth returning to, year after year. For the second half of this year's festival, a series called Suono Italia brings attention to many of ...read more
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