Browsing: Experimental Jazz

With its roster of some 20 member events, Jazz Festival Canada is an umbrella organization that enables national and international artists to coordinate tours from coast to coast in the early summer. Canadian jazz festivals showcase a veritable cornucopia of styles for just about every taste. Here then are a few picks from the pack of shows scheduled during the upcoming festival blitz. Donny McCaslin – Now Beyond A year ago, saxophonist Kamasi Washington was pretty well the toast of the international jazz festival circuit. This time it’s Donny McCaslin’s turn to make the rounds. His appearance on David Bowie’s…

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On October 29, 1967, at the closing ceremony of Montreal’s World Fair, a.k.a. Expo 67, Commissioner General Pierre Dupuy concluded his speech with these telling words: “My report is this: mission completed!” A half-century later, this assessment still stands: the event fulfilled its mission to celebrate mankind in its diversity. For 184 days, Montrealers, Quebecers, Canadians, Americans, and tourists from distant lands could visit the world in one train ride, the Expo Express, that linked one peninsula (Cité du Havre) to two islands (Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame). During one magical season, a little over 50 million visitors set foot on its…

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Donny McCaslin Beyond Now / Motema Music Tenorman Donny McCaslin saw fit to doff his cap towards the man once known as Ziggy Stardust, including two of his tunes (“A Small Plot of Land” and “Warszawa”) on this his latest release. His appearance on Blackstar, Bowie’s musical testament issued but two days before his passing in early 2016, represents quite a career boost for this most deserving saxophonist. Not a tribute album per se, this outing has all the earmarkings of the slickness and polish of pop music that Bowie excelled at. In the disc’s nine tracks (a tenth available…

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Pierre-Yves Martel – Quartetski et le loup (Bartók et Prokofiev dans le collimateur) Since his arrival in Montreal in 2004, Pierre-Yves Martel has carved himself a nice little niche in the city’s music scene. With a double bass and a viola di gamba in tow, this son of the Nation’s capital has become an integral part of Constantinople, a world-music group established by the Tabassian Brothers that fuses Persian music with those of other cultures. Parallel to that, Martel has found his way within the creative music scene, collaborating both locally with the musique actuelle crowd and forging links with…

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In February: DAME Struts her Stuff at the Gesù Any listener familiar with Montreal’s experimental music scene is aware of DAME. If you don’t, it is the moniker of the distributor of albums filed under musique actuelle, the company’s name short for Distribution Ambiances Magnétiques etcetera. Last year, its 25th anniversary went by unnoticed, but an event celebrating this was not discounted, simply put off to this year. The party is now set for the 16th of February at the Centre Gesù. And a party it will be, according to the company’s head Joane Hétu, for it will run from 7…

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Annette Peacock Nothing Ever Was Anyway Pop Montreal Music Fest September 25, 2016 Between two numbers heard in the recent solo performance of singer-songwriter-pianist Annette Peacock, two people slipped away from their aisle seat. A short pause ensued to which the artist laconically interjected: “Only the brave stick it out to the end.” Adding: “It only gets deeper from here.” And “slower” may we add. Few musicians are as offbeat as this songstress. Nee Coleman, she has kept the name of her first partner, bassist Gary Peacock (of Keith Jarrett trio fame), their marriage lasting six years. In 1966, she…

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On Stage By the looks of it, there is plenty of live jazz at the Maisons de la Culture this season, and the following listings merely scratch the surface. In what might be one of his final appearances, Oliver Jones will play on November 18 at Maisonneuve. Bassist Michel Donato, for his part, hasn’t called it a day yet; on December 2, he’ll perform on a double bill at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, first by improvising in and around the Bach Cello Suites, backed by drummer Pierre Tanguay, then join forces with two other veterans, pianist Pierre Leduc and…

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With its eight pieces, the octet is an intermediate size group: larger than a jazz combo but falling short of a big band. For the composer, however, it gives him the chance to write more intricate arrangements in which each instrument can still be heard. Two such groups will be performing in town in the upcoming weeks, to whit in the city’s Maisons de la culture circuit. Pianist Felix Stüssi will premiere late this month an expanded version of his trio Les Malcommodes at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur. Throughout October, bassist Olivier Hébert will present his Lofi Octet on…

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As always, the new season in Montreal offers a rich array of concerts as well as new and contemporary musical experiences. Whether you love digital art or sound installations, instrumental or mixed music, the creative community has concerts and festivals to satisfy everyone. Have your calendars ready! This year the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) celebrates its 50th season with the kind of programming that has been its hallmark since its foundation. The 2016-17 season begins with a free concert on September 30. Entitled Broadway Boogie-Woogie, it’s a tribute to the Mondrian painting of the same name, which…

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For her widespread influences, Xenia Rubinos’s music defies neatly bound classifications. Now living in Brooklyn, Rubinos draws heavily on her Cuban and Pueto Rican heritage to create a personal brand of experimental soul that explores ideas of race and economic strata. The Afro-Latino jazz grooves are evident as well as indelible inspiration from neo-soul potentate Erykah Badu. Her most recent offering, Black Terry Cat, riffs off hiphop influences and the current political surround to create an exploration of how coloured women fit. The sonic texture finds its roots in the forceful pop hits of Beyonce to the cross-over success of…

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