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ALL THE QUÉBEC JAZZ NEWS SINCE 2003

JazzBulletin   -   Thursday February 15 2018 to Saturday March 3 2018

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Spirit of Legends: Chet Baker & Scott LaFaro with Frédéric Alarie, John Roney and Ron Di Lauro, this Saturday Feb. 17th at the Centre Culturel de Beloeil.

Ron Di Lauro Frédéric Alarie John Roney.jpegThree of the best jazzmen from Quebec, Frédéric Alarie (bass), John Roney (piano) and Ron Di Lauro (trumpet) gather for a concert paying tribute to two jazz icons : Chet Baker (trumpet and composer) and Scott LaFaro (bass). These two jazz legends played together at the beginning of their career in the Chet Baker Quintet. Two talented musicians of exceptional talent who have experienced tragic destinies: Scott LaFaro died in a car crash in full ascension of his career at the age of 25 and Chet Baker suffered a fatal fall from his hotel’s window after an overdose.

The Frédéric Alarie Quartet presented a concert dedicated to the famous bassist at the 2016 Montreal Jazz Fest. Exceptionnaly, the International Society of Bassists (ISB), owner of the famous restored bass of Scott LaFaro, lent the precious instrument to Frédéric Alarie for this tribute concert. At the same edition of Montreal Jazz Fest, Frédéric Alarie with the Ron Di Lauro Quintet presented the concert My Funny Valentine, an all-Chet Baker concert. The idea of ​​a tribute concert of the two legends was then born. The brilliant pianist John Roney completes this trio of exceptional musical quality.

This will be a memorable concert where everyone will recognize the great successes of the two stars of jazz: My Funny Valentine, Jade Vision, But Not For Me, It Could Happen To You, Someday My Prince Will come, Witchcraft and many others. The best of the best!

Check out our two videos of Frédéric Alarie 4tet from the 2016 Montreal Jazz Fest with Scott LaFaro's bass : Solar and You Don't Know What Love Is / To listen and buy In the Spirit of Scott LaFaro on Bandcamp, it's here

Frédéric Alarie (bass) John Roney (piano) and Ron Di Lauro (trumpet) - Saturday Feb. 17th, 8pm

Centre Culturel de Beloeil
600 Richelieu
Beloeil (Québec)
J3G 5E8
See the road map (25 min. from the Jacques-Cartier Bridge)
Regular 27$ / Subscriber & resident 24$ / Senior & student 19$


Frédéric Alarie, and how he got to play Scott LaFaro's bass.

fred150X150.jpgIn 2016, daring bassist Frédéric Alarie spent some time in the footsteps of famous bassist Scott LaFaro, Bill's Evan's sideman extraordinaire that completely changed the way bass was played. Taking hold of Scott LaFaro's bass, the same one that was in his car in a fatal accident 57 years ago, he had invited us to a timeless meeting July 5th at the 2016 Montreal Jazz Fest and that deserves to be featured 18 months later.

Scott's bass was built in 1825 by Abraham Prescott in Concord (New Hampshire). LaFaro played with this bass until his death. It was badly damaged in that car accident. Sam Kolstein, a string instrument maker, had met Scott and took care of his instrument. He was greatly impressed by his talent. After LaFaro's death, he bought the damaged instrument from Scott's mother to restore it and bring it back to life. It's only many years later that his son Barrie, a string instrument maker as well, took on the very demanding restoration of the mythic instrument that he presented, completely restored, at the 1998 International Society of Bassists Convention in LA. Since then Barrie Kolstein has been the guardian of the precious instrument, lending it very seldomly for recording purpoises.

Bill Evans says about the Prescott LaFaro bass : « It had a marvelous sustaining and resonating quality. He [LaFaro] would be playing in the hotel room and hit a quadruple stop that was a harmonious sound, and then set the bass on its side and it seemed the sound just rang and rang for so long.»

Editors's note : A quadruple stop is bass talk that simply means playing on all four strings simultaneously.

July 6th is a special date for Frédéric Alarie and this project. Scott LaFaro died July 6th 1951, Frédéric's current bass, La vie et la Mort, by string instrument maker Mario Lamarre,  came to the world July 6th 2013, the same exact day as the Lac Mégantic tragedy, and he recorded a project with Scott's bass July 6th 2016, exactly 55 years after the death of the famous bassist.
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CT : How did Scott'S bass end up in your hands and at this July 5th Montreal Jazz Fest concert?
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FA : June 2015, I received an invitation from Mark Dresser, internationally recognized bassist and curator for the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Conference in 2015,
to give a concert in the New Music Summit Series, something he'd initiated at the 2009 Conference. The Series presents workshops and discussions on improvisation and
contemporary music concerts.  Following that concert, given at the Colorado State University, Nicholas Walker, another ISB official, introduced my to Barrie Kolstein, caretaker of
Scott LaFaro's bass, who offered a very rare opportunity, that of lending me the unique instrument for any project that I would like. I could then really discover the instrument and
it's many possibilities.  Scott LaFaro, even though he was quite young, had a huge talent and dazzling dexterity that led him to revolutionise the way of playing the instrument, its role in a jazz  ensemble and an incentive to give "personality" to the bass. I've been listening Scott LaFaro since my teens and thanks to my mentor, Michel Donato, I discovered thebassist, his way of playing and his recordings. LaFaro is a singular musician that had a impact of change for a whole generation of bassists and musicians, just like me.
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CT : You highlight Scott LaFaro by presenting for this concert a repertoire from his different groups as well as playing solo, in trio with Bill Evans, in quartet with trumpeter
Joe Gordon, Pat Moran's Quartet with singer Bev Kelly and Ornette Coleman...tells us about this different groups and what you played July 5th.
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FA : From 1959 to 1961, he's in the Bill Evans Trio with drummer Paul Motian. The trio is booked to play for two weeks at NY's famous jazz club, the Village Vanguard. The group
is getting a lot of attention for their original way of playing. The last night of the concert series, June 25th 1961, the complete concert is recorded and will become two albums :
«Sunday at the Village Vanguard» and «Waltz for Debby», considered to be some of the best jazz recordings of all time. Breaking with tradition where the bassist and drummer are confined to accompanying, the three musicians get into a three-way improvisation where the instruments each have equal say around the main musical theme. This interplaying - that constant synergy in between the musicians - give a specific and modern sound to the trio. Scott LaFaro is then one of the first bassists to get away from the «walking bass» and constantly exchanges with the soloist. LaFaro's amazing technique made this change possible. LaFaro died in a car accident July 6th 1961 in Flint (New York) four days after playing with Stan Getz at the Newport Jazz Festival. His death occurs ten days after the Village Vanguard recording with the Bill Evans Trio. LaFaro's tragic death was a shock for Bill Evans who was, according to drummer Paul Motian, stunned by grief, and in such as state of shock that "he was like a ghost" forcing Evans to take a breather of few months. Previously, Dec. 21st 1960, he recorded with Ornette Coleman's double quartet something that would lead to new directions in jazz : «Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation».

So I chose to play solo, and the range of groups ranging from the trio to the sextet for a resumé of groups Scott played with.
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Editor's Note : He was in concert with Sonia Johnson, voice / John Roney, piano / Ron Di Lauro, trumpet / Samuel Blais, saxophone / Andre White, drums.
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CT : How does one travel with such a valuable bass?
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FA : I drove down to Ithaca College (New York) to pick it up and brought it back the same way a few days ago.
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CT : You're also the owner of a great-sounding and superb bass by instrument-maker Mario Lamarre (La Vie et la Mort) built in 2013...how will you go back to that instrument ?
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FA : Yes, and that bass had won two prizes at the ISB Convention ; a "Howard" and the “Convention Favorite” at the instrument-makers competition. 
I had the privilege of playing Scott LaFaro's bass twelve hours a day for three weeks. I'm a new man (musically speaking!)!
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CT : Did you record anything with Scott's bass?
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FA : Yes! It's done, I recorded a solo album with a few guests on a few tracks. More to come.
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Here's two videos from the July 5th, 20 16 concert, at l'Astral.

In Quintet with Sonia Johnson, John Roney, Ron Di Lauro, Andre White - You Don't Know What Love Is - it's here
In Quartet Samuel Blais, John Roney, Ron Di Lauro, Andre White - Solar - it's here

Interview and videos : Claude Thibault
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Montréal en Lumière : The sublime Ala.Ni will captivate the audience of the Gesù Thursday Feb. 22nd!

7 - MEL18 - Ala.Ni 150x150.jpgMontréal en Lumière invites you on Thursday February 22 to a wonderful evening of soul music with Ala.Ni in the intimacy of the Gesù! Originally from London and the great-niece of music-hall star Leslie Hutchinson, this captivating singer will introduce you to her musical world as beautiful as it is delicate.

With the release of her 4 EPs, she gradually established herself on the music scene around the globe. However, it's thanks to the release of her first album, You & I, that Ala.Ni became one of the most fascinating voices around, with her simple songs influenced by Broadway folk and soul.

The British diva bewitches her audience with her grace and assurance. Her autobiographical music is lulled by her siren voice, her astounding presence and her romantic lyrics. An irresistible encounter with the brilliant Ala.Ni at the Gesù: an evening that you don’t want to miss.

To see the video with many pieces from You & I, it's here

Ala.Ni in concert, February 22, at 8 p.m., in Gesù.

Info and tickets at: montrealenlumiere.com


Give your routine a break and get away for a Jazz Escapade in New York to see cuban pianist Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note (and more), Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th 2018 with Claude Thibault of sortiesJAZZnights.com.

Chucho.JPGJoin Claude Thibault of sortiesJAZZnights.com and Steve Pelletier of Boutique Aventure for an all-jazz weekend Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th in New York, the mecca of jazz.

Things get going Friday April 27th with cuban pianist Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note, mythic witness to the great moments of the history of jazz. 45 years ago Chucho Valdés created Irakere, a revolutionary group that introduced african rhythms to cuban music, for two videos of Chucho and Irakere, it's here (short) and here (long).

The next day, Saturday April 28th, in the afternoon, we'll have our own guided walking tour of Harlem, a hot spot of jazz, revitalised and witness to a current renaissance, starting at the site of the iconic 1958 photo, A Great Day In Harlem. That evening we'll discover three Greenwich Village jazz hotspots ; Small's, the 55 Bar (Mike & Leni Stern) and the Zinc.

The weekend package includes :
•Two nights at a Manhattan hotel
•One ticket for Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note
•A private guided waltour of Harlem and it's mythic venues
•The services of two guides - Claude Thibault and Steve Pelletier
•Montreal - NY round trip by private bus

Friday April 27th
afternoon : arrival in NY
evening : Chucho Valdés - Irakere 45 at the Blue Note (check out this Irakere 45 video here)

Saturday April 28th
afternoon : guided walking tour of Harlem
evening : visit of jazz clubs Small's, The 55 Bar, The Zinc, etc.
end of evening at Times Square

Sunday April 29th
A must-be-done Central Park walk
afternoon : Return to Montreal

The event of Facebook, it's here

Info  :  Claude Thibault - claude.thibault@sortiesJAZZnights.com
Info, rates and reservations : Steve Pelletier of Boutique Aventure Voyages 514-842-4139 boutiqueaventure@videotron.ca
Rate : $899 per person (double occ.)


CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Suzi Silva - Fad'Azz

It's the time of the year when we need that sunshine, so the timing is right on for the warmth of the fado combined with jazz. For a surprise, this is quite the surprise. I didn't know young singer Suzi Silva, and this Fad’Azz will certainly help you go thru the rest of the winter. The first thing that struck me was her voice. Deep with a lot of range and the perfect dose of tenderness that will sway you with rhythms from the european continent as well as from South America. For once all the tracks make perfect sense and the first one, Fado Mestiço - Amanhã sets the mood for the rest of the album.

To the inherent swing, you can add to that the exceptional quality of the musicians surrounding the young lady, starting with the accordionist Sergiu Popa. In the same vein as the great Richard Galliano, his playing is supple with just the right touch of lightness that gives wings to the texts of the fado, which, btw, isn't always sad. Among her other musical friends, let's mention the great bow playing of bassist Olivier Babaz and the rock touch of guitarist Ivan Garzon that sometimes bring us back to Carlos Santana (O Meu Amor). Pianist Yannick Anctil plays a lot more that a simple accompaniment, and let's not forget Bruno Roy at the drums/percussions, Liberto Medeiros on the portuguese guitar and Paulo Bottas at the piano on some tracks. A well-established montrealer, Suzi Silva offers to Montrealers a beautiful poet, partly sung, partly spoken (Chanson pour une Ville) which is an invitation to redicover our streets...once the snow's gone!

Fado Mestiço - Amanhã / Ce coeur que je Garde - Fado Menor / Fado Tango Afro-Cubano / O Meu Amor Não Gosta de Fado
Chanson pour une Ville / Fleurs Silencieuses / Acreditar


To see the video of Fado Mestiço - Amanhã, it's here

To listen and buy :  https://suzi-silva.bandcamp.com/album/fadazz

For more info, http://suzi-silva.com

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


TVJAZZ  July 5 2016
Frédéric Alarie and Scott LaFaro's bass - Solar - FIJM, July 5th 2016


Laura Anglade's suave voice in trio at Biddle’s Jr. Saturday Feb. 17th.

Laura Anglade 150X150.jpgYoung french-born singer Laura Anglade combines the musical universes of her parents : a mother immersed in classical piano and a guitarist father, passionate
about free jazz ; mix it all up and you'll discover a beautiful new talent, a warm voice, deep and sensual, halfway in between Julie London, Helen Merrill and Cyrille Aimée. Her renditions of the great jazz standards are witness to a great sensitivity and a beautiful take on uncluttered melodic lines.

Laura Anglade has spent most of her life in the U.S, in Connecticut and New York where, after getting into singing a bit late, she spent some time in the Big Apple bars to hone her love of the stage. She's been in Montreal four years, at the meeting point of the american culture she knows well and a french culture she aspires to rediscover. From cafés to jam sessions, she quickly quenches and shares her thirst for jazz and her time studying spanish and translation at Concordia University.

This Saturday at Biddle’s Jr., she'll be with Sam Kirmayer on guitar and Mike de Masi on bass. As usual the trio revisits many jazz standards, topped with some savory improvisations, a nice synergy in between the musicians that bring us a refined, warm and intimate performance. Make some room for Spring!

Laura Anglade Sam Kirmayer Mike de Masi
Saturday Feb. 17th @ 7:30pm
Biddle’s Jr.
207 Notre-Dame O.   
Montréal (Qc)
514-504-5299
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Benjamin Goron : benjamingoron@gmail.com
Facebook / twitter


TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers - CongaDanza - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival


TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
Marco Pignataro Quartet Almas Antigua - Estate - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival


TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
The Digger Descendants Calypso Band - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival


TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
Josean Jacobo y Tumbao - Cruzando El Rio - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival


TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
Fundacion Armonia Colectiva - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival


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