Browsing: Experimental Jazz

By Paul Serralheiro Cross-pollination in the arts is always a good thing. An example of this is when musicians from different geographical locations get together to share their experiences in a concert setting. This is especially exciting in improvised music, because you never know what might happen. Such was the case on two different nights at the Suoni per il popolo festival last week. June 12 featured a Lisbon-Montreal encounter at the Casa del popolo, which was the first part of an evening devoted to daring improvisational music (the second part featured Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haker-Falten’s Texas band The Young Mothers).…

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by Paul Serralheiro At the Suoni per il popolo last week fans were treated to three installments of free jazz performed at the highest level by some senior stellar talents. Free jazz is alive and well even after nearly 60 years. While many of its pioneers, the likes of Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley, and Steve Lacy are no longer with us, some most notable practitioners are very much alive and well. Four of them came by recently at the Sala Rossa. Joe McPhee, 78 years old; Milford Graves, 76; Kahil El’Zabar, 64; David Murray, 63 – are all…

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Casa Del Popolo, June 3, 2018 by Paul Serralheiro On the third night of the 2018 Suoni per il popolo festival, guitar fans were in for a treat, i.e. guitar with a decidedly avant-garde twist. No polished standards or shiny virtuosity for its own sake this night, but provocative deconstructions of idiomatic music, with sound artists Wendy Eisenberg, Jason Kahn and Eugene Chadbourne in three solo sets. Thanking the audience for its attentiveness and announcing she would be playing improvised music, Wendy Eisenberg launched into minimalist deconstruction in the first piece, using her archtop guitar’s sonic palette in ways reminiscent…

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Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal — Under the Influence Suite Justin Time JTR 8597-2 Two years after its debut release on the ATMA label, Montreal’s premiere jazz orchestra, the ONJ, has finally released its second effort, this one on Justin Time. Its move from a classical label to a jazz one certainly makes sense. The presence of saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen may explain this, because Justin Time has already produced two albums of her own big band. The title of this latest disc pretty well tells the story, as it is a programmatic work that pays tribute to five…

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Eighty years young as of this last September, trumpeter Guido Basso returns to his native Montreal from his Toronto home for an evening dedicated to him. On November 4 he will perform in the neighbourhood of his youth, Little Italy, as an honoured guest of his cultural community. He will appear at the Casa d’Italia on Jean-Talon Street (see sidebar below) where he will be inducted into a newly created Hall of Fame for contributors of distinction and native sons of the city. The ceremonies — to take place in the recently refurbished concert hall — will include a concert…

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For some, 18 is the age adulthood. Montreal’s Off Jazz Festivals reaches that milestone this month, even though it attained real maturity seven years ago when it switched its dates from summer to fall. What’s more, it achieved this without growing bigger every year. In the course of its nine-day run starting on October 5, there will be a manageable slate of 22 concerts, four of which are paired in double bills. True to form, the event showcases local acts and new project premieres. Of these, six groups will perform music from their CDs, four of them to be launched…

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Once you play the music, it’s in the air. It’s gone. But when you record it, it comes back to haunt you. – Eric Dolphy What is it that attracts music lovers to jazz (improvised music)? Is it the loose structure, or the beat or the notes and melodies we have never heard before and will never hear again, unless the performance has been recorded; or is it the musician’s uncanny ability to spontaneously translate feelings that inform the notes into the language of music? Perhaps it is his audacity and courage — daring to play without a script; to…

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Based on previous experience, the live jazz scene really shifts into overdrive early in October. Not so this year. In fact, it’s off and running just after Labour Day. On September 6, Upstairs Jazz Bar presents a season-opening concert and record launch pairing Israeli saxophonist Tevet Sela and John Roney (see opposite page for album details). At the same venue, French native and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, now firmly ensconced in town since his move here two years ago, holds his monthly trio gig, with dates on Sept. 18, Oct. 27 and Nov. 18. Now in its fifth season, the Orchestre…

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Those who believe in the death knell of the CD better think twice. Justin Time Records and Disques Effendi, the local jazz labels, don’t seem to buy into this dire prediction. The former kicks off the season this month with three new titles. Matt Herskowitz Trio + 1 – Forget me Not (Homage to Lew Soloff) Quadro Nuevo with Cairo Steps – Flying Carpet Cecile McLorin Salvant – Dreams & Daggers Not to be outdone, Effendi has four titles on tap for this fall. Simon Legault – Hypnagogia Polis Emie R Roussel Trio – Intersections Tevet Sela / John Roney…

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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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