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Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2017: July 3-4

Mark Sullivan By

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The first two tunes both had pre-programmed electronics opening; rhythmic in one case, atmospheric in the other. At one point bassist Rex Horan switched to synthesizer bass, giving a more powerful sound than double bass—he then stayed on keyboards for the end of the piece, for a full electronic-acoustic hybrid. The third piece began with contrapuntal piano lines, eventually building to an ostinato which drummer Evan Jenkins played an exciting solo over. Cowley has a hilarious deadpan announcing style. In addition to a good deal of self-deprecation, he mentioned that most of the group's set was from the recently released album Spacebound Apes. His piano playing was finally spotlighted with a short, unaccompanied spot with a hymn-like sound, a marked contrast to the frequent driving rhythms. Later in the set he did actually play a couple of brief piano solos with a jazz feel: but still no walking bass, and no bebop in sight.

Photo Credit: Benoit Rousseau
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