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Christophe writes in french and the texts are translated by Claude Thibault.
The comments of Christophe Rodriguez are independant and are not related to any commercial activity in between the artist and sortiesJAZZnights.com.

To contact Christophe directly : rod.chris@hotmail.com

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sortiesJAZZnights.com
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 Buckaloose - The 270 Sessions

December 2, 2010

This new CD is a good example of how the dynamics of a band as well as the powerful playing of it's members mesh really well. At the core of this group, brilliant young organist Vanessa Rodrigues, somewhat in the musical lineage of organists Jimmy Smith/Larry Young, supported by saxophonist Chris Gale with a sound reminiscent of heavyweight tenor sax Gene Ammons. Besides these  references that situate these two band members in time, the modern aspect of The 270 Sessions is worth much applause without it being a revolution. Great music, energetic sounds such as Mile-End Stomp, Tell Me About It as well as the very « funky » : Barney Big-Nuts. The band is completed by Mike Rud on guitar and Davide DiRenzo on the drums.

to find out more : http://www.myspace.com/buckalooseband

 
by Christophe Rodriguez

 Dominic Gobeil Quartet - DG4

November 18, 2010

Young Montreal guitarist and composer Dominic Gobeil has just launched his first CD, DG4.  It's crucial to support emerging jazz artists that are making up the future jazz scene, so let's give them a hand in this very personal musical adventure. Eight original compositions with Patrick Lampron on saxophone, Joel Kerr on bass, as well as Éric Thibodeau on drums, gives us some tightly woven jazz, modern in it's approach and that requires a bit of reflexion. Having avoided the pitfalls of academism, his guitar work reminds us of a young Pat Metheny and certainly John Abercrombie.

to see an excerpt from Sept Jours sur Sept at the DG4 launch, click here

to find out more  : www.dominicgobeil.com

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Emilie-Claire Barlow - The Beat Goes On (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

November 4, 2010

Whew! that was close ! I thought we were getting the usual re-hashed jazz standards. Even on this slippery slope, Emilie-Claire Barlow's successful re-writing delivers this joyous music that swings. In quartet with her accomplices : Reg Schwager, guitar, Ross MacIntyre, bass, Kelly Jefferson, tenor sax and Davide DiRenzo, congas or in a larger formation : Kevin Turcotte, Jason Logue, trumpets, William Carn, trombone, etc. the end result is more than satisfying. Uncomparable swing, a great voice and a Pauline Julien classic, Comme je crie, comme je chante, fiery and powerful.

to find out more: www.emilieclairebarlow.com


by Christophe Rodriguez


 Sonia Johnson - Le Carré de nos amours (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

October 21, 2010

Le Carré de nos amours (in reference to Montreal's Carré St-Louis) is a powerful CD with some great musicians : Luc Beaugrand, musical director and piano, Ron Di Lauro, trumpet, André Leroux, tenor & soprano sax, Muhammad Abdul Al-Khabyr, trombone, Frédéric Alarie, bass and Camil Belisle on drums, all for the sake of love. Whether you're into poetry, the blue note (that's jazz!),  or Christiane Legrand's (Les Double Six founder) beautiful voice (there's a bit of her voice in Sonia's), Le Carré de nos amours is not to be taken lightly. Right off the first track, the attention-needy, yet oh-so-beautiful (and passionate) french text in Embrase-moi is reminiscent of Baudelaire,  thanks to Stanley Pean's pen and a Pawnshop of Love that the great Léo (Léo Ferré) would've loved. Raw and sensitive, Sonia Johnson's universe of love, including the one for Count Basie, is unavoidable.

to find out more : www.soniajohnson.com

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Jean-Pierre Zanella - Infinito (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

October 7, 2010

Cornerstone of the Montreal / QC jazz scene, teacher and all around nice guy, alto player Jean-Pierre Zanella is a man of passion. For this 7th album, dedicated to his sadly departed father Nillo, the saxophonist takes us on musical journey,  consistant just enough, with a dash of contemporary sounds and cooked up with mastery. A powerful sound, supported by great compositions, as always : Purple Wave, Where ToMima’s Dream, Marinillo and again, great connections with his longtime musical friends : Frédéric Alarie, bass,  Paul Brochu, drums and James Gelfand on piano.  Always current,  Jean-Pierre Zanella give us simple melody lines and a postmodal feel in a langage for those who still believe jazz equals passion.

To find out more : www.jpzanella.com

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Yves Leveillé - Chorégraphie (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

September 23, 2010

Decidedly, the fall jazz season just keeps getting better. Following-up on Samuel Blais's New Angle, small Quebec label Effendi makes room for a pianist with a subtle touch : Yves Léveillé. The sometimes poet and discreet musician who had charmed us with his NY project is now back in Montreal with eight very personal compositions very much like a musical choreography. Obviously inspired by the music of departed Bill Evans, which is far from being a bad thing, the pianist welcomes three pilars of the Montreal jazz scene : Roberto Murray, soprano, alto and baritone sax, Adrian Vedady, bass and Alain Bastien, drums. In between post-bop sounds : Mille Orchidées, Encodage, U-Bahn and and ballads that are great models : Présage, Récif, Yves Léveillé weaves a remarquable album, deeply sensitive and with the greatest ease. His playing as well as his collegues is perfectly complementary to the notion that jazz can be creative, precise and a very expressive. 4.5 on 5.

 

to find out more : www.yvesleveille.ca

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Samuel Blais - New Angle : 1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz & winner Prix Opus Disque Jazz

September 9, 2010

The 2010 fall jazz season is here, kicked off by young alto saxman Samuel Blais's new release : New Angle. Rémi Bolduc, highly regarded alto player, composer and teacher to Samuel Blais, states  « I was charmed by his playing and approach to jazz (…) I hope you'll enjoy his music as much as I did of an important artist on today's jazz scene ». To go along with Rémi's comments, let's say this powerful release make us believe in the future. With underlying free-jazz accents, the young alto player plays an energetic dialogue on New Angle, Interludio Obscuro, knows his ballad as on Souvenir Effacé and to top it off is quite a composer. Not the easiest access to jazz for new listeners, New Angle can nonethelesss be considered one of the great CDs of the fall season.

New Angle won the Prix Opus - disque de l'année 2010-2011 Jazz.

to find out more : http://www.myspace.com/samuelblais

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Alain Caron - Septentrion

September 2, 2010

Since UZEB, that he co-founded, bassist Alain Caron has become a bass icon in his own right. Admired by many electric bassists (check out Bass Player), the bassist plays his own brand of funk all around the globe. In the same week as his Festival de jazz de Rimouski concert, he releases his 7th CD : Septentrion, that we present to you. Connecting with the essence of what's vital to him : jazz-fusion, nostalgists, bass fans and future bassists have something to feed their passion. Surrounded by a supergroup of international musicians : Pierre Côté, Jean-Marie Eckay, Frank Gambale, guitars, John Roney, Otmaro Ruiz,  Tony Raymond, piano, Christophe Raymond, violin and Damien Schmitt, drums, Alain Caron give us a 100% fusion album : Double Action, Cross Checking, Soleil Rouge that remind us of a practically forgetten musical style. Nice work that highlights the talent of a complete artist.

to find out more : alaincaron.com

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Yoel Diaz Cuban Jazz Session - Encuentros

August 19, 2010

From a Montréal jazz club to another, young cuban pianist Yoel Diaz has been hosting his cuban jazz nights for our greatest pleasure for many years. Seven years after Te Liego, this type of classic cuban jazz seeped with his eclectic writing will convince the staunched non-believers. With bassist Alex Bellegarde, percussionnist Eugenio « Kiko » Osoria, singer Jesus Cantero and brilliant flutist Nathalie Picard who's caught the slighest subtleties of the clave, the moods of La Havane suddenly surround us. This new release is everything except a quick fix and will help you forget those traffic jams and grey skies with : Floretine, Son Para Piano and Otro Bolero.  The wait was well worth it !

to find out more : myspace.com/yoeldiazcubanjazzsession

P.S. : Launch-concert Wed. Aug. 25th at Upstairs

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Elizabeth Shepherd - Heavy Falls the Night

August 5, 2010

Somewhere in between jazz and smart pop, singer Elizabeth Shepherd has got something for the younger crowd that thinks jazz is for the older people. High-voiced, young and athletic, the pianist and singer sails on smooth seas with subtle compositions that require attentive listening.  Well surrounded by two bassists, not on all tracks, two guitarists and a percussionnist, this album is solid and imaginative.What Else, titre track, Seven Bucks as well as A Song For Dinah Washington will convince you.

to find out more :  myspace.com/elizabethshepherd

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Seamus Blake Quintet - Live At Smalls

July 22, 2010

Considering the small quantities of jazz CD sales, hats off to this small new label, Smalls Live, dedicated to recording live concerts at NY's Smalls jazz club. Out of the fifteen or so CDs recorded so far, let's look into tenor saxman  Seamus Blake's last CD entitled Live at Smalls, champion of the blue note, energetic and « coltranian » in it's soul. Teamed up with pianist David Kikoshi and hard-hitting drummer Bill Stewart, this concert recording met our expectations. Great melody tracks, powerful, and a group effort / sound that could be an example for others.

to find out more : www.seamusblake.com

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Yves Léveillé Eri Yamamoto - Pianos

July 8, 2010

Pianist, composer and a colorist not unlike Satie, Yves Léveillé finely tunes each new project with much care and attention. Following his New York stay that produced the mesmerizing Soho (Effendi), he leads us to discover american pianist  Eri Yamamoto, lady of the eighty-eight keys and fine stylist. On Pianos, a duo where you won't find any standards, we witness eight original tracks where each pianist has the space to express himself. Ranging from seven to eleven minutes, each track has it's own dimension : Montréal Dance, Zone Indigène, Pantomine, Pour ainsi dire and Redwoods. A work on unity that is has influences of Keith Jarrett, Ahmad Jamal and the infinite softness of Bill Evans. Jazz with brains that's accessible for all.

to find out more : yvesleveille.ca

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Félix Stüssi 5 and Ray Anderson - Hieronymus

June 3, 2010

Departed Bernard Primeau, one of our favorite drummers and leader of a pack of great musicians, once played with american trombonist Ray Anderson. Pianist Félix Stüssi, man of many jam-sessions and musically capable of many dimensions and styles, pursues the adventure with Ray. The June 29th concert at L'Astral is as a tribute to Len Dobbin, friend, radio host and writer of of jazz, who'd left us suddenly at the Upstairs in the midst of the 30th FIJM, the man must be quite happy from up above. My friends, this is truly a great CD where master Stüssi's hard-hitting swing drives it home. It reminds us that jazz is still alive and well, must kept alive and stands out like nothing else next to today's commercial music.  Ray Anderson, guest of honor, reminds us of Jimmy Kneeper of Mingus's Workshop, without overshadowing this tight quintet out of which shines Alexandre Côté (sax alto/soprano) and Félix, the man behind it all. You already figured it out, you gotta get this new CD !

Félix Stüssi 5 + Jean-Nicolas Trottier presented a Len Dobbin Tribute concert / FIJM 2010 - Tuesday June 29  - 6pm - L'Astral

To find out more, visit felixstussi.com


By Christophe Rodriguez


 Dave Watts - Will It Rain

May 20, 2010

Bassist in pianist Julie Lamontagne's trio and sought-after musician, Dave Watts just released Will It Rain, a beautiful CD. Underlying a contemporary approach, the poetic writing recalls the world of Gil Evans and the acoustic Miles Davis of the sixties. From Rooster to Will It Rain and Zaballos, this new CD has a strong fondation with Dave Mossing, unknown trumpeteer that's listened to Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis as it should be and in a certain fashion, Lee Morgan. To listen in a quiet space, to hear the "harmonics brush strokes" of the bassist.

To find out more : myspace.com/davewattsmusic

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Rafael Zaldivar - Life Directions (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

May 6, 2010

Winner of the 4th Jazz en Rafale New Talent Contest, the only recognitation event apart from the large festivals, young cuban-born pianist Rafael Zaldivar won't remain unknow for too long. In twelve songs, mostly originals, he pays tribute to his hometown, his wife, mother and cuban spririt as it should be. With a modern approach, percussive and just funky enough, he serves up a great mix of latin jazz reminiscent of Chucho Valdès,  Thelonious Monk : Off Minor, Four In One , Bud Powell and most probably Roberto Fonseca for the cuban connection. A bit of classicism in the present tense. Bravo!


to find out more : http://www.myspace.com/leonardorafaelzaldivar

by Christophe Rodriguez


 Dave Liebman Evan Parker Tony Bianco - Relevance

April 22, 2010

Watch out ! avant-garde jazz being played ! Not in the limelight these days, avant-garde jazz, along the lines of John Coltrane in the 60s, Albert Ayler, etc...still has it's fans, but mostly on the other side of the Atlantic. If you like the music, no need to spend all your hard-earned $$$ because of the small Montréal label Red Toucan who welcome us to this musical summit. Relevance is a long suite - in four parts, saxophonists Dave Liebman/ Evan Parker supported by drummer Tony Bianco give us many surprises. Long and cookin' improvisations, a lot of guts, check out this jazz that takes risks.


To find out more : www3.sympatico.ca/cactus.red/toucan/


By Christophe Rodriguez


 Richard Gagnon Trombones Actions + Steve Davis (1 of the 7 best 2010 CDJazz)

April 22, 2010

Cornerstone of many Montreal big bands, trombonist Richard Gagnon follows his path with his collegues. Take six of our best trombonists, a great U.S. player : Steve Davis mix it all together with some swing and you get a winning formula. Eleven original tracks full of swing, (yes swing!) + great writing that transpires Richard's lenghty experience. Obviously long-gone trombonists Frank Rosolino, J.J. Johnson, Lawrence Brown, come to mind but aren't copied. It takes a bit of courage and a bit of folly to embark on such an adventure but the final product is worth it.  Great soloists abound : Jean-Nicolas Trottier, David Martin, Richard Gagnon and of course Steve Davis,  cultivate a mix of exchanges where jazz is king.


To find out more : www.richardgagnon.net


By Christophe Rodriguez


 Chet Doxas Quartet - Big Sky

April 8, 2010

Hot on the Montreal jazz scene, the Doxas brothers are not into boring jazz  : Chet Doxas, tenor saxophone and Jim Doxas, on the drums, give us this latest music. Produced by Chet, an experienced saxophonist with influences from John Coltrane to Michael Brecker, Big Sky is a rich and consistant CD with a lot of space for original compositions. This energetic quartet : Benoit Charest, guitar, Zack Lober, bass and Jim Doxas, on the drums, is also a great environment for Benoit Charest who plays with great sensitivity and creativity. From For Jim to Big Sky, the title track, as well as Blue 23 and Goodbye, a tribute the departed Jimmy Giuffre, this is a great CD.

to find out more : www.chetdoxas.com


by Christophe Rodriguez


 Joe Sullivan Sextet - Voices

March 25, 2010

Teacher, trumpet player and bandleader, the discreet Joe Sullivan is a regular and admired player of the Montreal jazz scene. For this 4th album and 2nd in sextet, he's back with his trustworthy and experienced friends such as saxophonist André Leroux, probably one of the most creative blowers, Jean Fréchette, baritone saxophonist and cornerstone of the Vic Vogel Big Band, the always present pianist André White, etc. In between ballads : Voices, Another song for Sarah and chiseled tracks : Cycles of blue, The mighty MissinaibiJoe Sullivan, obvious disciple of trumpeter Tom Harrel when it's not Chet Baker cultivates ambiances that stand out musically and from his models. Modern is their essence, his compositions create a painting where the somber beauty of jazz expresses itself beautifully.

To find out more : www.myspace.com/jsbigband


by Christophe Rodriguez


 Denis Chang - Deeper Than You Think

March 11, 2010

A constant presence on the Montreal/QC jazz scene, Montreal guitarist Denis Chang spreads the good news under the watchful eye of Django Reinhardt, father of gypsy jazz. Following Flèche d’Or (Hot Club Records/ SRI) that got a warm response, he's back with a similar format called Deeper Than You Think. Sided by the unknow but oh so precious violonist Carmen  Piculeata, guitarist Romain Vilemain and bassist Paul Vandyk, gypsy jazz is once again in the spotlight. Fourteen very nourishing tracks : Flèche d’Or (D. Reinhardt), Savoy Gypsy Swing (T. Schmidt) , Manha de Carnival, from  the brazilian repertoire and...Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, from the golden era of disco !
Happy music, well done, spring is in the air and jazz festivals are on their way !

To find out more : www.denischang.com


by Christophe Rodriguez


 Christine Jensen - Treelines

February 25, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010 , part of the Montreal High Lights Festival, montreal sax player Christine Jensen presented her latest project : Treelines. Featuring sibling Ingrid Jensen, one of the rare female trumpeters that has made her mark in the exclusive world of the instrument, you'll discover eight finely crafted compositions.  Musically connected to departed composer Gil Evans, the saxophonist/composer has drawn a project not unlike one of painter. Musical landscapes : Dropoff, Seafever, Western Yew, with a wink and a nod to the blues : Dark and Stormy Blues that reminds us of Stormy Monday (Albert King/ Stevie Ray Vaughan) and much more. A project where the musicians share a wealth of music with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

To find out more : www.christinejensenmusic.com


by Christophe Rodriguez


 Tomisheep - Rhodes Trip

February 11, 2010

Pianist, keyboardist and mostly sound designer/composer in the in the pop/commercial environment, hungarian-born Tomisheep pays a tribute to the Fender Rhodes. This legendary instrument (Stevie Wonder, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock) becomes a time machine under the guided hands of the keyboardist that will please nostagists, Blue Note period, Columbia in the 70s.  Supported by a powerful crew : Alex Bellegarde, electric bass, Eduardo Sanchez, trumpet, Richard Lemoine, guitar, DJ 7D and DJ Pocket on the turntables, this Rhodes Trip has got a trippy dance groove. Wah-wah sound, plugged-in trumpet, rhythms from the unavoidable Weather Report, all the ingredients that bring the past forward on to now. A nice CD that should be supported by a concert. If so, we'll be there.

To find out more, www.myspace.com/tomisheep

By Christophe Rodriguez


 Ensemble Rémi-Jean Leblanc

January 28, 2010

Acadian-born and now based in Montreal, young bassist Rémi-Jean Leblanc quickly made his mark on the music scene. From the very beautiful Spectrum (Yannick Rieu) to L’Ascenseur (Carl Naud), via the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and in many european tours, the talent is undeniably there. With many high-flying accomplices : Yannick Rieu on soprano sax, Chet Doxas on alto sax,  Jean-Sébastien Williams on guitar, etc., he welcomes us to discover nine compositions, including one in three parts : T’en as eu assez, under the sign of aesthetics that reminds us of the universe of guitarist Pat Metheny. A modern presence under the sign of carefully orchestrated and multiple ambiances. To be listened to with a lot  of attention to fully appreciate the talent of this very promising bassist/composer.

Rémi-Jean Leblanc - bass
Chet Doxas - soprano sax
Yannick Rieu - alto sax
Jean-Sébastien Williams - guitar
Jocelyn Tellier - guitar
John Roney - piano
Samuel Joly - drums

de Christophe Rodriguez


 Night Dreamer - Michel Dubeau

January 28, 2010

A very well known Montreal/QC jazz scene musician, saxophonist/flutist Michel Dubeau give us a tribute to his idol : Wayne Shorter.  With three great musicians, such as the very fluid Andrée Boudreau on piano, we carefully thread monumental tracks : House Of Jade, Footprints, Night Dreamer, revisited and current. Far from a ambiance project, Night Dreamer is the work of a quartet of passionate musicians who render the beauty, often dark, of a great player. Available on 123jam.com or CDbaby.com

Michel Dubeau - saxophone/flute
Andrée Boudreau - piano
Richard Dupuis - bass
Alain Boyer - drums

To find out more, myspace.com/micheldubeau

By Christophe Rodriguez


 Elisabeth Kontomanou - Siren Song

January 14, 2010

After the ups and downs of a singer's career, Elisabeth Kontomanou is reaping some of it's rewards. Having received this CD too late to present it in the end of the year favorites, it's better late than never. Elisabeth seems to have set aside heavy arpeggios and stylings for this brand of sumptuous jazz and chiseled arrangements. Supported by the Orchestre National de Metz and her quartet, the singer recalls some of the great names : Come Sunday - Mahalia Jackson, At Last - Etta James, I Put A Spell on You - Nina Simone, A Flower Is A Lonesome Thing - Billy Strayhorn, without repeating the fast and easy remake pattern. Slightly torrid, speechless accentuations and let's not forget, an incomparable symphonic orchestra. 2010 starts off in a beautiful way.


To find out more : www.myspace.com/elisabethkontomanou


by Christophe Rodriguez


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