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ALL THE QUÉBEC JAZZ NEWS SINCE 2003

JazzBulletin   -   Thursday April 18 2019 to Tuesday April 30 2019

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Christophe writes in french and the texts are translated by Claude Thibault.
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To contact Christophe directly : rod.chris@hotmail.com

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Claude Thibault
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sortiesJAZZnights.com
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 Montreal Guitar Trio - California Guitar Trio - In a Landscape

April 25, 2019

Even if the guitar is not my favorite instrument, I can recognize our local talent as well as international talent. Having some favorites like including the great Wes Montgomery, Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as Carlos Santana, you gotta keep up with new music. If young musicians and bands need a little help, our work becomes more than essential. With the Montréal Guitare Trio, we've only got good things to say and this group made up of Sébastien Dufour, Glenn Lévesque and Marc Morin know their stuff. Without it being jazz for purists, althought I'm pretty sure our axemen have listened to Joe Pass and Pat Metheny, the work is impressive from start to finish.

For this trip in nature they've gotten together with their acccomplices of the
California Guitar Trio
with Bert Lams, Paul Richards and Hideyo Mriya.  With this return amongst friends - which is a lot more that just who plays the fastest - fans and guitar lovers are in for a treat, obviously. In between the personal compositions and the revisited Weird Fishes (Nirvana), Space Oddity (David Bowie) and John Cage's enigmatic In a Landscape, what a rush. Whether you like or not the guitar,  this new release is a gem that will please a wide range of music lovers.

Congrats to these artists that hone their art with a lot of passion.

New Horizons / Weird Fishes / Magneto / In a Landscape / Fortune Island / Glass Tango / Space Oddity / First Steps / Perpetuum Mobile - Live in Atlanta

To listen to In a Landscape, it's here

Montreal Guitar Trio : Sébastien Dufour, Glenn Lévesque and Marc Morin


California Guitar Trio
: Bert Lams, Paul Richards and Hideyo Moriya


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 UZEB - R3UNION Live

April 11, 2019

This UZEB R3UNION Live release steps outside the boundaries of jazz. For more than fifteen years this amazing trio inspired by long gone Weather Report gave the Montreal/Quebec jazz-rock scene it's credentials. Starting practically from scratch, the trio made up of Michel Cusson on guitar, Alain Caron on bass, Paul Brochu on drums, and let's not forget keyboard players Jean St-Jacques and Michel Cyr, were a hit with the public all over the globe. UZEB was like a school...and virtuosos. Who can forget Michel Cusson's fiery riffs, Alain Caron's tastefully played funky bass lines, and Paul Brochu's drivin' grooves.

We were there for the big free outdoor concert at the 1992 Montreal Jazz Fest and again in 2017 at Place des Arts, for their R3UNION concert of the same festival. We were there, the young and not so young, with a precise idea for the latter looking to revisit a period and sound, and for the others to discover these epic musicians, and UZEB was up to the task at hand. To give more power to the 2017 event, a hot brass section was added for this unique concert. And because no record company saw the potential of this album bassist Alain Caron took things into his own hands with his company Norac and decided to record that concert.  For their 2017 tours that included Canada of course, as well as Europe, the UZEB powerhouse made sparks fly.

The nine tracks will quickly make you forget this April weather, with the live applause sounding the mood of the event. It sounds great, better than could be expected, it's happy...and groovy. For audiophiles out there, a double vinyl album is released, as well as a CD version and a downloadable version on all major platforms. With slightly reworked arrangements and some horns here and there, it's a second life for this trio that's hasn't lost it's magic. And it's all there : Junk Funk, the unforgettable Perrier Citron alongside 60, rue des Lombards, Cool It, of course, and the very beautiful GoodBye Pork Pie Hat, a tribute to Charles Mingus and legendary Lester Young.

What a treat!

Loose / Cool It / Junk Funk / Slinky / Goodbye Pork Pie Hat / Perrier Citron / R3UNION Suite (Mr Bill / Wake up call / Funkaleon) / 60, rue des Lombards / Brass Lic

Available on  Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and double vinyl on Renaud-Bray

For our video clip of New Hit filmed at the 2017 Montreal Jazz Fest, it's here

UZEB on Facebook


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Michel Berthiaume Quartet - Uncompromised

March 28, 2019

Drum teacher at Vincent d’Indy Music School and busy musician on the Montreal and Quebec jazz scene, Michel Berthiaume welcomes us to discover seven tracks of his compositions, and in many genres. This album is a reflection of the relentless work of these younger musicians that aren't into standards. Even if we think that's too bad, it sometimes allows us to compare, and to hear the drummer's play with certain masters, but nonetheless let's give them a chance to be heard.

Contrary to how the album is presented on CDBaby, you won't find too much swing on this album which is true free jazz album. After two serious listening sessions, we tried to find the guiding principle that would've created an emotion but that wasn't the case. We recognise the writing and the cohesion of the group, but 180, Cynical Buddhist or Randomiser are strangely alike. Far from being uninteresting, the drummer's compositions suffer from a bit of overwriting. A bit of fresh air, like on Shifting Moods, would've been welcome.

Uncooperative / 180 / Cynical Buddhist / Randomiser / Evidence / Sambain't / Shifting Moods

For Uncompromised on CDBaby, it's here

For Michel Berthiaume's musician page, it's here


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Rafael Zaldivar - Consecration

March 14, 2019

Jazz and piano teacher at Quebec City's Université Laval, well-known musician in Montreal and Quebec, Rafael Zaldivar give us a majestic album. At the heart of this new release that will probably end up in a concert or a tour, let's hope for that, we rediscover the soul of cuban music and all of the the variations that it entails. To understand the genesis of this work, this is what the pianist says in the introductory notes : "This album was born from my Consecration in the Afro-Cuban hand of Orula. Orula's Hand is a spiritual immersion in the creation's eternal thought as a form of energy and matter". But that doesn't mean this album is about spriritualism, but rather some particularly dynamic & musically connected powers. 

So, go ahead and dive in as did your trustworthy columnist and you won't be disappointed. This cuban offering starts off with a futuristic Rock Con Leche that combines overlayed synthesizer tracks on the piano, followed by the robust Arara. Even if jazz is omnipresent, I suspect that the pianist listens to Erik Satie behind closed doors with Manifested Creation that brings to mind the Gymnopédies. In the heart of the city, late at night, Afro-Cuban Warriors has that little touch of modernism, relevant of our changing times. And then a nod to pianist and singer Nat King Cole, with a revisited Unforgettable played as a bolero. Beautiful, sensual, and fresh like spring.  Consecration is also the work of many, a team including bassists Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and David Gagné, percussionnists Eugenio Osorio and Amado Dedeu Jr, drummer Michel Medrano and singer Mireille Boily. He's done his work, so check it out!

A Rock Con Leche / Arara / Manifested Creation / Rezos / Afro-Cuban Warriors / When I Think of You / Obatala /
Eternel Creation / Congo / Simple Talking /  Unforgettable / Te Récordaré / Aché (Through The Consecration)

Rafael Zaldiver on Facebook

Consecration on Amazon, Spotify and iTunes

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Samuel Bonnet : Oriental Blue

February 28, 2019

To forget a bit of our many winter woes here's a timely musical escape. Oriental Blue conceals many voyages that might recall for seasoned jazzers  what had been done way back by oud player Rabih Abou Khalil with tenor saxophonist Charlie Mariano (Blue Camel/Enja). Born in Haïfa, Israël, having lived in Paris, guitarist Samuel Bonnet now makes Montreal his home. His accomplice, saxophonist Mathias Wallerand, armenian as well as lebanese, is currently teaching at the Conservatoire César Franck à Paris. Bridging jazz and world music, Oriental Blue is defined by its many diverse influences and will certainly reach a large public.

Far from being a "ambiance music" project, on this album we discover two very talented musicians. Fine guitarist and without a doubt classicaly trained, Samuel Bonnet treats us to a playing that's nuanced, serene dialogue and with a choice of colors with delicate harmonies. Somewhere in between departed Barney Wilen and veteran Wayne Shorter, Mathias Wallerand has a singular language and a playing that is dreamlike. Whether on the tenor or the soprano, the latter most probably his forte, his discourse is in perfect symbiosis with the guitarist. His playing evokes the large desert plains and wild flowers. To convince you, we suggest you listen to first of all Oriental Blue, Tabash and then Paco, probably a well-deserved tribute for the great Paco De Lucia.

Prélude / Haïfa / Oriental Blue / Tabash / Amigo / Paco / Lapis-lazuli / Heitor / Mah Tovu

To listen to Soundcloud and Spotify

Youtube

samuelbonnetguitar.com


mathiaswallerand.com

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Josh Rager - Dreams and Other Stories

February 14, 2019

For anyone who's up and about on the Montreal / Toronto jazz scene, the name of pianist Josh Rager is one you can't miss. A classic and "modern" jazz player, this chameleon player can easily fit into any genre, with great precision and uncanny sensitivity. From Tadd Dameron to Hank Jones with some Oscar Peterson and the under-estimated Jess Stacy swing on way (relisten to Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert), and that should give you a good idea about Josh Rager's capacities.

Dreams and Other Stories has some great interpretations, and they're all equally good. With the help of bassist Fraser Hollins, drummer Dave Laing and alto/tenor sax players Kenji Omae / Donny Kennedy, the pianist weaves some beautiful jazz. Whether on the standard Spring is Here, a beautiful piece of work by the Rodgers and Hart tandem as well as In A Dream, a very personal ballad that highlights his talent as a composer as well as a pianist, the outcome is consistant. To that you can add the dialogue of both saxophonists, that brings to mind the memory of Joe Henderson or even Mickael Brecker.

Now this is a great album.

Spring Is Here / Twinkle Toes / Those Who Came Before / New Waltz / In A Dream / Max's Facts / O Sacrum Convivium

For the EPK video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW2cam4PzcI

To listen : https://www.joshrager.com/dreams-and-other-stories/

To buy : https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/joshrager2

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal

 


 Elizabeth Shepherd - MONTREAL

January 31, 2019

On Saturday February 9th singer-songwriter Elizabeth Sheperd launched MONTREAL at Le Ministère (St-Laurent/Mont-Royal). Elizabeth Sheperd has been working on this ambitious project for the last 4 years and the adventure deserves explanations. The sum of musical and multimedia connotations, she's met Montrealers and created connections. Throughout the 11 tracks she sings that Montreal of neighborhoods and people that live for their community. Before we get to see the finished multimedia project next April, this intriguing new release sits in between the confines of jazz and electronica.

Imagine a moment that you're having a walk, you meet a passer-by start a conversation and it becomes great music and texts. Making a lot of room for the imaginary Elizabeth Sheperd sculpts ideas with Tiotake, and Reine du monde is another story that concludes with "ainsi soit-il". Listening to the pieces we wonder what's behind Our Lady, so funky while La Boxe, with lots of horns will give you wings. This singular album is a brave concept with a bright future.

Tiotake / Reine du monde / Suits And Ties / The Terminal / C'est le temps / Ainsi / Jedlika / Our Lady /
La boxe / Good Lord's Work / Beau voyage

For the videos that tell the story of each piece, it's here

Elizabeth Sheperd launches MONTREAL, Saturday Feb. 9th 8pm

Le Ministère
4521 St-Laurent
514-666-2326

elizabethsheperd.com

For the Facebook event, it's here
For the tickets, it's here

For Elizabeth's Facebook page, it's here

She's also launching MONTREAL at l'Église de Val-David Saturday Feb. 2nd 7:30pm, for more info, it's here

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Jazzlab Orchestra - Quintessence

January 17, 2019

15 years ago, double bassist and Effendi founder Alain Bédard created the Jazzlab Orchestra. To highlight this feat pianist Félix Stüssi wrote nine compositions that capture the essence of the band's path. A staple of the Montreal and Quebec jazz scene, standing out over the years with their compositions, the Jazzlab lays down some pretty invigorating jazz that recalls Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 50s-60s as well as modernism, and all created in good taste. Alain Bédard and his accomplices, as their name states, are a laboratory of ideas, and go the whole nine yards. Quintessence features adventurous compositions and great musicians and is a pleasure to listen to.

Throughout the tracks you might recognise a bracing Blues Malcommodes as well as the very solid Blüüsli für Gügi, a true tour de force that brings us back to the sounds of West Coast jazz, as would've imagined Bill Hollman. A true calling card for pianist / composer Félix Stüssi (very creative), this new release open us up to new horizons while still being rooted in a certain tradition. For the musical poet that dwells in you, Jazzlab give us a emotional language and a musical vision supported by great musicians. Cultivating unity, double bassist Alain Bédard deftly leads his troops, making a lot of space for the soloists that are : Mario Allard, alto sax, Alex Francoeur, tenor sax, Samuel Blais, baritone sax, Jacques Kuba Séguin, trumpet, Thomas Morelli-Bernard, trombone, Louis-Vincent Hamel, drums, and Félix Stüssi, piano.

Blüüsli für Gügi / E-migrations / Altered Ego / Nébuleuse / Quintessence / Blues Malcommodes / Abyss / Last Chance Dance / Subsub's Blues

For a video of title-track Quintessence, it's here

For the EPK and more info, it's here

The Jazzlab Orchestra presents Quintessence at L'Astral Thursday March 15th, 2019.

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Michel Dubeau - Moving Clouds

January 3, 2019

And what if we got this new jazz year going with this unique new release to be discovered Saturday January 19th at the Dièse Onze ?

Multidisciplinary artist and saxophonist, Michel Dubeau has been part of the jazz scene for many decades. Having worked with departed Guy Nadon, as well as Oliver Jones and Michel Cusson, as well as a few other very creative bands, his work in the realm of jazz is impressive. With a grant from the Canada Arts Council he's off to Japan to study the Shakuhachi, a japanese flute as well as other musical environments that followed suite after his work and studies. With Moving Clouds, we're truly in the heart of the matter, and it's ambitious.

Far from our regular jazz meanderings that is our daily fare, Moving Clouds requires some attentive and focused listening. Without it being all over the place and similar to what Pharoah Sanders did in the sixties, and not unlike Yussef Lateef, Michel Dubeau and his collegues explore, in a seductive way, worlds unknow to us, mere mortals. For this synergy of rhythm and poetry hats off to this fine trio completed by Julien Maugis on the Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, bass and sound effects and Alain Plouffe at the drums and percussions. Nice work that will without a doubt reach a large public eager to discover new musical horizons.

Yuki No Shita / Akita Obako / Moving Clouds / In The Cave / Wandering Monks / Thunder And Rain / Moments

To listen to Yuki No Shita and buy Moving Clouds, it's here

For more info, https://movingcloudsproject.com/

Michel Dubeau (Shakuhachi, tenkan and sound effects)
Julien Maugis (Fender Rhodes, synthesizer bass and effets)
Alain Plouffe (drums and percussions)

Thursday January 19th 6pm
Michel Dubeau - Moving Clouds
Dièse Onze
4115A St-Denis   
514-223-3543


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


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