563

The TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2006

By

Sign in to view read count
The TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival
June 23-July 2, 2006

Why do so many musicians rave about playing the Vancouver International Jazz Festival? It seems to start with a knowledgeable local audience that supports creative music, and it's reinforced by the festival's aesthetic vision, balancing big-name mainstream acts with more adventurous improvising artists. The successful formula includes a cross-section of different styles and nationalities, for example this year's spotlight on Nordic musicians. It also helps that Vancouver has a deep pool of good local players for visiting musicians and composers to collaborate with, not to mention a number of comfortable venues, both large and small, with in-tune pianos and good sound. And it doesn't hurt that Vancouver has beautiful weather in late June, with splendid scenery, interesting neighborhoods and good local cuisine to enjoy during down time.

This year's festival drew more than 500,000 people, nearly matching the population of the city. With more than 400 shows and 1,800 musicians performing, there's no way to see everything, but I bought a week-long bus pass to get around and hit as many shows as I could. Here are some highlights from the first week:

Saturday 24th

I arrived in Vancouver just in time to catch Montreal bassist Michel Donato and his European Quintet opening for McCoy Tyner at The Center. Their sound was lyrical, post-bop and tonally based. Repertoire was original, including a dreamy waltz with subtle colors and a blues with a Sidewinder groove, providing a framework for imaginative solos from guitarist Michael Felderbaum, Polish trumpeter Piotr Wajtasik, and two Quebecois players now living in France; drummer Karl Jannuska and saxophonist François Theberge. Might be interesting to hear this group in a smaller club, since the 1,700-seat hall swallowed up their sound.

Having seen the headliner Tyner recently, I opted instead for a show by the Italian hard-core trio Zu at the Vancouver East Cultural Center (aka the "Cultch ), a century old, 350-seat former church in a leafy neighborhood not from the funky clubs, shops and organic food stores along what's known as "The Drive. Zu, joined by special guest saxophonist Mats Gustafsson from Sweden, played their set off the stage and on the floor just a few feet in front of the audience. It was a startlingly loud sonic assault with the two baritone saxophones locking horns, caterwauling over speed metal rhythms. Though this sort of stimulating, free-jazz thrashing is generally enjoyed by punks and the indie-rock kids, there were few in the house. Most in the audience had come for the headliners, the Vancouver-based NOW Orchestra, so those in the first few rows either enjoyed or endured. It's curious that musicians who play this loud don't use any earplugs on stage. Good news, though, for the hearing aid industry.


Shop

More Articles

Read Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre Live Reviews Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 30, 2017
Read SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club Live Reviews SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Anat Cohen at Davidson College Live Reviews Anat Cohen at Davidson College
by Perry Tannenbaum
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's Live Reviews Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's
by Mike Jacobs
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "13th Annual Uppsala International Guitar Festival" Live Reviews 13th Annual Uppsala International Guitar Festival
by John Ephland
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams at Kennett Flash" Live Reviews Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams at Kennett Flash
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland" Live Reviews Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Wynton Marsalis Quintet at The Palace Theater" Live Reviews Wynton Marsalis Quintet at The Palace Theater
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Tallinn Music Week 2017" Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!