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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday May 16 2019 to Friday May 31 2019

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For jazz musicians and professionals

The Yves Léveillé Quintette launches Phare at the Petit Outremont Wednesday May 22nd, 3rd concert of the Bourdonnements Jazz series.

Yves Leveille - Phare.jpgCome & discover the world of pianist and composer Yves Léveillé, winner of the 2018 André Gagnon Award for Instrumental Music from the Foundation of the Professional Society of Authors and Composers. With this concert you'll dive into his world of original music finely crafted by one who cultivates both the art of melodic & harmonic beauty as well as some excellent jazz piano. This new opus offers a multicolored universe, at times dynamic and daring in a perilous equilibrium in between writing and improvisation, and at time serene and impregnated with a dreamlike lighting.

On Phare you'll discover pieces with evocative titles such as Phare (lighthouse) - the title track -  that reminds the artist of perseverance and a point of stability necessary in a ever changing and troubled world. The title also evokes the magnetic presence of the St-Lawrence river in the life of the musician's youth and of those ships safely arriving in Quebec City after a long ocean voyage that he could easily imagine perilous. Whether it's Eau trouble or La lune dans sa bulle, each of the eight tracks of the album is an opportunity to go on a voyage, to be carried away by the imaginary thus making the music of the new album your own experience as a listener.

By his side, four of the most daring jazz musicians in Quebec : Yannick Rieu on saxophone, Jacques Kuba Séguin on trumpet, Guy Boisvert on double bass and Kevin Warren on drums.

Before the concert the public is of welcome to the 7 to 8 PM moment to meet the artists (a snack will be served) for a discussion on jazz...get your questions ready!

his Facebook page

Wednesday May 22nd : Yves Léveillé Quintette launches Phare : 8pm / Discussion and small lunch with the artists 7pm

Tickets (concert + 7@8 snack) : Regular 33 $ / Seniors 28 $ / Students 23 $. Bourdonnements jazz series special : 10% discount for 2 concerts / 15% discount 3 concerts. To buy tickets, it's here

Théatre Outremont
1248 Bernard O    

The 4th and last concert of the  Bourdonnements jazz series, the Bourdonnement International is on Wednesday, June 12th, with Yves Léveillé hosting his international friends : multi instrumentalist Paul McCandless (Oregon), pianist Eri Yamamoto and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Gilad Hekselman, Jim Doxas, Webster & 5 For Trio, Undercover w/Paul Brochu, and André Larue @ the D'Auteuil series at Québec Jazz en Juin June 20-30 in Quebec City.

2 - FQJEJ image 16 mai 2019.gifDuring the first edition of the Québec Jazz en Juin festival which will be held from June 20-30, the D'Auteuil (new venue in the QC City Saint-Roch District) will present a series of 6 high-quality concerts with more than fifty musicians from the local, provincial and international scenes.

The opening concert of the Festival is on Thursday June 20th with guitarist Gilad Hekselman and his trio. He will present his last album Ask for Chaos, released last year. He won’t be the only one to launch his album : on Friday June 21st, famous Montreal drummer Jim Doxas will present his 2nd album Homebound with his quartet (Al McLean Lex French Adrian Vedady) in a double header with Quebec City's double bassist Alex Le Blanc and his Ensemble. On Saturday June 22nd, check out a meeting between jazz and hip-hop with Webster & 5 For Trio.

Paul Brochu (ex-UZEB), Jean-François Groulx, Benoit Lasanté and Peter Kasilenko, the house band of TV show “En Direct de l’Univers” will be with their Undercover Quartet Thursday June 28th. On Friday June 29th, the festival decided to offer a “Carte Blanche” to saxophonist André Larue, well-known on the Quebec jazz scene, but also for his work with Hubert Lenoir. American virtuoso trumpet player Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah will be at the D'Auteuil on Saturday June 30th for the closing concert of the 1st Québec Jazz en Juin. You’ll also be able to hear out the future generation of the Quebec jazz scene with Pulsart Trio or 4 pour E in a Tribute to Esbjorn Svensson in first part on June 20th & June 28th.

To have the chance to see all the high-quality concerts at the D'Auteuil, we are offering the Forfait D'Auteuil, a full access to all six concerts of this venue for a 25% discount.

D'Auteuil on FB
228 St-Joseph E Québec

For more info,

For the Festival's FB page, it's here

The Amalia Jam Session launch party Sunday May 26th brings back the spirit of the Epoxy Jam sessions to St-Henri.

Amalia Jam Session 150x120.jpgThe Amalia Jam Session kicks off Sunday May 26th and here's what Sam Kirmayer had to say about it on his Facebook :

We really appreciated your support for the Epoxy Jam Session, and it meant a lot to see how many people were sad to see it go. In the 8 weeks since the jam was canceled, we’ve been hard at work trying to find a way to get it going again, so it’s a huge pleasure to announce that WE’RE BACK!!!

The jam session is starting up on Sunday, May 26th. Same time, same format, same band (almost) but in a brand new location, Amalia Fado & Jazz (3704 Notre Dame W, a short walk from Metro Lionel-Groulx). Mark your calendars and make sure you’re there on Sunday, May 26th at 8:30 to help us kick it off!

André White will be back with us (Valérie and Sam) in the house band. However, as some of you may have heard, Jonathan Chapman is moving to Toronto this summer so this Sunday May 26th relaunch of the jam will be his last time in the house band after which  Mike De Masi will be joining us as the house bassist.

Amalia Jam Session Launch Party
Sunday May 26th 8:30pm
3704 Notre-Dame O

The House Band : Sam Kirmayer (guitar) Andre White (piano) Jonathan Chapman (bass) Valérie Lacombe (drums)

A few words with pianist Vijay Iyer who's presenting Far From Over - and more - at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV), Saturday May 18th.

Vijay Iyer piano 150x217.jpgIf pianist Vijay Iyer has become the poster boy of the younger jazz generation, it is due to the unfailing quality and surprising scope of his projects. And the jazz planet’s favourite, now with four artists of the year from Downbeat, is only in his mid-forties! He's worked with many including Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, and Rudresh Mahanthappa, among others. His uniquely supple playing  and his music relies on innovation, creativity and a spirit of adventure.

This is not his first FIMAV concert, having played back in 2006 with Fieldwork that included alto sax Steve Lehman and drummer Tyshawn Sorey who are also back with his current Sextet whose debut recording Far From Over was released in 2017 on ECM. Completing the line-up are Graham Haynes (cornet/bugle/electronics), Mark Shim (tenor sax) and Stephan Crump (bass). This jazz is bold, virtuosic, thought-out, visceral, and very much alive.

I had a few words with Vijay Iyer about the ECM sound, their repertoire, spirituality, influences, Thelonious Monk, being still, what  he's listening to and a WOW musical moment he's had...
CT - You've recorded 6 albums with ECM working with Manfred Eicher including your last one with your Sextet - Far From Over - is there such a thing as a ECM sound ?

Vijay Iyer - Well every single one of my albums is different from all the others, and when you think of the history of the label, something like 1600 albums you can't really say one thing that's the same about any of them, it's hugely diverse. It's been around for a long time and it's very prolific and staying in the game this long gives it the importance it has. You could say something similar about Blue Note who are responsable for a tremendous part of the history of jazz. Maybe the difference in this case it that a majority of ECM records have been produced by one person which might lead you to think there is a core identity. Manfred would be the first to refute that idea, he really just tries to serve the artist, serve the music, serve the listener.

CT - You'll be playing a lot of pieces for Far From Over and more in Victoriaville...

Vijay Iyer - The band's been around for 8 eight years so there's quite a bit of repertoire behond that album, each time it's different, also there's material from the previous trio album that we'll be playing in sextet versions, there's also newer material, and older material, like with any working band there's more than just one album.

CT - There is some kind of spiritual dimension to your music when listening to Far From Ever I felt something and I'm not really a "spiritual" person...

Vijay Iyer - I've played on almost two dozen albums, a lot of it with working bands with collective identities that have lot of life in performance and a sort of unity, something behond the notes and musicianship, it's about something more deeply human, I hope. That's generally true about what I value in music in general, I don't really see it as a display or showcase of musical abilities but rather something that's meant to reach people in a human way. Which means there's often vulnerability, there's mystery, there's a lot of emotionality and yeah it's fair to say there's some spirituality that we aspire to because we're human beings.

CT - Your music is very bold and adventurous, great writing, what are your influences ?

Vijay Iyer - It's about specific experiences, musicians and people in my life, also ideas that I've been trying to develop for a long time, basically it's the history of this music as the history of ideas. There are things that Coltrane was aspiring to, he was a researcher, a seeker, he read omnivorously, trying out formulas, experimented constantly, so he built on ideas of people that came before him. People like Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Charles Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, so he built off of what he heard in them and from them, you know, specific ideas and approaches, ways of playing, so that's the way to think about it. I work with ideas and people. I've studied a lot of music, all the musicians that I just named, also vocalists, many rhythmic traditions, music from other parts of the world, West & Central Africa, Afro-Caribean music, North Indian music, Indonesian music, Javanese music, gamelan, Japanese court music, hip-hop artists, electronic music. Also I grew up studying violin for 15 years, playing in orchestras, string quartets, chamber music and music from that lineage.

CT - So who did you hear as a kid that turned you on to the piano ?  

Vijay Iyer - Well the first pianist that I heard was my sister, at first I was picking things up little by little by ear on the piano as I was studying violin. I actually never aspired to be a pianist like other pianists, the piano was a zone of inquiry and exploration but it wasn't really in relation to any other piano music. When I was 13-14 I started listening to people categorized as  jazz, but the one that really made me want to do something on the piano was Thelonious Monk. I'd heard many other pianists including Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Kenny Kirkland, Red Garland, Michel Petrucciani, just to name a few in the mid 80s but it was Monk that I felt an immediate connection with, it made sense to me. You know when I heard a virtuostic pianist like Oscar Peterson I could'nt relate to it, but with Monk it felt like we were in the same family.

CT - I read somewhere that the thing that makes you the happiest is being still but your life is far from being still with all your musical projects, so where do find time to be still?

Vijay Iyer - Well actually there's a stillness in music making, a sense of focus and flow that's kind of engrossing and has a way of eclipsing the outside world at moments. I often tell me my students that when you're playing there has to be a part of you that's not playing, that's being still and observing.

CT - What music are you listening to these days ?

Vijay Iyer - A lot of music comes thru my life on a given day, you know I hear of lot of live music living in NYC so I often hear my friends play, Tyshawn Sorey for example who's on Far From Over (he's the drummer and will be in Victoriaville), his music is quite different and special, a mysterious unfolding, I enjoy hearing his music, it carries me somewhere new.

CT - So you've played with some many great musicians from all kinds of backgrounds...tells us about a WOW you've had playing...

Vijay Iyer - There are two that come to mind right now, and they're both kind of similar in regards to what happened. One is saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, I'd heard him many times in the 90s and started playing with in the early 2000s. He manages to shock you into a new awareness about what music can be, what it can do, what it can made of, what it can accomplish, at first I was engrossed and arrested by it and it thought, this isn't music, what is this ? I was around 20 and I'd never experienced anything like that. I didn't know music could be that, a purely sonic exploration, no notes. I saw him do that in various configurations, playing with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, solo, duo performances, etc and then when I found myself working with him, playing in his bands, being on stage and witnessing that happening like right next to me. The other is the cellist Okkyung Lee, she'd done some gigs with me and then she invited to one of her gigs at the now defunct Tonic, she had a trio with turntablist and a drummer, again I didn't know music could be this. A few years later she gave a concert at Harvard's and it was a revolutionary moment and genuinely shocking, an incredible work of art, a brave and courageous performance, I was more than impressed, I was shaken.

Incidentally Roscoe Mitchell is also playing at this year's FIMAV - a few hours before Vijay -)))

For the in-studio Far From Over video, it's here

Vijay Iyer : piano, keys / Graham Haynes : cornet, bugle, electronics / Steve Lehman : alto sax / Mark Shim : tenor sax / Stephan Crump : bass / Tyshawn Sorey : drums
Saturday May 18th @ 10pm (Colisée Desjardins - 400 Boul. Jutras East - Victoriaville, QC G6P 0B8)
Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV)
2hrs from Montreal

For the Facebook event page, it's here

For more info and tickets, it's here
interview : Claude Thibault
photo credit : Lena Adasheva

CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

AFJP - Post Bop Pawn Shop

Guitar teacher for the last 15 years at the Sherbrooke Cegep and brother of famed filmmaker Kim Nguyen, Annam Nguyen cultivates arts and jazz. For this new AFJP (diminutive of Annam’s Family Jazz Project) release, 4 years after Dim Sun Jazz, he offers us - with the help of his accomplices - a more or less modern version of bop. Far from de Grant Green or Joe Pass, reminding us of Fred Frith, as well as Nguyên Lê in his playing, this Post Bop Pawn Shop is invigorating, spicy, with just the right stuff to titillate your ears. As it's often the case, no standards here but some very personal compositions that showcase his work, the playing and the writing.

With drummer Simon Bergeron, bassist Jonathan Boudreau, saxophonist Thiago Ferté and a few surprise guests, such as trumpeter Rachel  Therrien and keyboardist Gabriel Vinuela Pelletier, let's finally get into the heart of the matter. In his singular and sometimes slighly bit academic universe, the guitarist revisits with precision the essence of jazz on Nicky’s Reggae Groove, the heat of the bossa-nova on Used To Be Bossa highlighting trumpeter Rachel Therrien, which is a first in-studio meeting. In a registry that sits somewhere in between light rock and jazz, Hot Babe, the opening track is a nice intro. Jazz with rock grooves, typically contenmporary and highlighting the guitarist, as well as his musical friends.  

Nice connected work, imaginative with well-thought poetic spaces. Bravo !

Hot Babe / Almost There / Post Bop Pawn Shop / Frigid-Air / Nicky's Reggae Groove / Out of Credit /
Used to Be a Bossa / Gossip / Juju / Winter's Coming



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

TVJAZZ  September 2 2016
Gilad Hekselman Trio - KeeDee - Festi Jazz International de Rimouski, Sept. 2nd 2016

The Résonance goes electric with trumpeter Brownman Ali's Trio Friday May 17th.

Brownman Ali 150x155.jpgRaw, energetic with a good helping of madness, the Brownman Electryc Trio jolts us with the boldness and spontaneity of their
music. If you can feel the obvious connection with the late period of Miles Davis (Bitches Brew) or Randy Brecker's music, this trio firmly rooted in their time immerses us in their jazz-steampunk-electric universe that you won't come out of without any consequences.

Their last album, Gravitation, compiles many standards revisited with their electric groove. Bye Bye Blackbird, There Will Never Be Another You as well as Cantaloupe Island have all been thru their wormhole of gravitational distortion, force fields and sound pyrotechnics. But stay calm and check out this new music that won't eject you from your jazz seats because those improvisations remain rooted in the bebop and model languages.

The opening act, pianist David Ryshpan, will quench his thirst for creativity with Brownman Ali's rhythm section, with Sean Dennis on electric bass and Jacob Aylward on the drums. Right after the pianist shares the stage with the electric trumpeter's trio for a concert that'll be epic!

Connect with the Résonance and don't miss this trio's Montreal stop of their North American tour!

For more info on the Brownman Electryc Trio,
it's here

For Brownman on Facebook, it's here

For David Ryshpan on Facebook, it's here

For the Facebook event, it's here

Friday May 17th

David Ryshpan Trio @ 9pm
(with Sean Dennis & Jacob Aylward)

Brownman Electryc Trio @ 10pm
(with Brownman Ali, Sean Dennis, Jacob Aylward & David Ryshpan)

5175A Ave. du Parc   
Benjamin Goron :
Facebook / twitter

Let's talk with pianist & composer Yves Léveillé about Phare with Yannick Rieu, Jacques Kuba Séguin, Guy Boisvert and Kevin Warren - Wednesday May 22nd in the Bourdonnements Jazz series of the Théâtre Outremont.

Yves Leveille visage 150x150.jpgThe Bourdonnements Jazz series, a Théâtre Outremont / pianist Yves Léveillé co-production presents 4 concerts from March to June, the first was Improvisateurs Butineurs March 20th, followed by the Ruche Intergénérationelle April 17th, the 3rd and next one is the Phare album launch by the Yves Léveillé Quintet May 22nd, and the last one, the Bourdonnement International June 12th.

So I spoke with pianist and composer Yves Léveillé about the Ruche Intergénérationelle, the Phare album launch, the musicians he chose for that specific project, the choice of the recording studio, his quest, what makes Phare different than his other albums and what we should expect Wednesday May 22nd.
CT - Let's go back in time a little bit and talk about the 2nd Bourdonnement jazz that was on April 17th, the Ruche intergénérationnelle, a intergenerational cross-current with yourself on piano, Roberto Murray (sax), Fred Alarie (bass) and Martin Auguste (drums) with Julien Fillion (sax), Marika Galea (bass), Valérie Lacombe (drums) and David Lemyre (guitar)...tell us about it...

Yves Léveillé - For this project I'd asked Roberto Murray a little help managing the rehearsals and recruiting the younger musicians, with my collaboration. I'd invited Marika myself as she'd participated in one of my Toronto masterclasses about 10 years ago and I bumped into her at the Dièse Onze recently. I made some nice discoveries, I loved this idea that made room for the music of the younger generation and their music, balancing that with a few standards, a few Daniel Lessard arrangements (he couldn't make it but was subbed by Fred Alarie) and more. It was great to discover their original music and found it fascinating to witness the interaction in between the generations. Sometimes I'd withdraw from the stage and hang with the public, it was really great to sit back and see how it evolved. It made me happy to kind of be the one the made it happen, giving a tribune to my colleagues. It also made new connections, many of the musicians hadn't played together before. There's also a bit of adventure with this series, like with the first concert that had poetry, improvisation & improvised texts, magic happened.

CT - The 3rd Bourdonnement jazz - Wednesday May 22nd is the Phare album launch in a Quintet formation, with the very talented Yannick Rieu (sax), Jacques Kuba Séguin (trumpet), Guy Boisvert (bass) and Kevin Warren (drums). This is your 8th album. Tell us about the musicians and why you chose to form this new Quintet for this recording and project...

Yves Léveillé - In the perspective of making your music evolve as well as yourself, playing with different musicians helps grasp new influences and creates new interactions. In last year's Bourdonnements series we had a concert with the same Quintet. I'm in a duo (Y2) with Yannick and I've already played with Guy Boisvert a few times. So the "newbies" are Jacques Kuba Séguin and Kevin Warren who's got quite a drive, a contagious fire and another aesthetic giving new breath to the band. That being said it doesn't mean I won't go back and play with my preceding colleages. That's the beauty of jazz, you can create new playing opportunities with different musicians. Their way of playing, personality and creativity, all of that influences the playing of the group because each and every one has their own universe and colours. Experimented musicians that know their skills are able to let themselves go in projects that aren't their own. And that's interesting.

CT - You recorded Phare where and why ?

Yves Léveillé - At Studio 270, a first for a complete album. I like how the place is set-up, it's roomy, there are isolated booths for solo recordings, and I liked working with sound engineer Robert Langlois, an excellent listener, he knows his set-up options right on, there's no waste of time changing things around and he's a all-around nice guy, which is important for me. I like  surrounding myself with talented musicians and collaborators but the human factor is real important.

CT - And tells us about Phare...

Yves Léveillé - Phare (beacon) is the album's first track and title track, a strong piece that sets the tone for the rest of the album in the sense that music is always a quest. It's fairly contrasted from one piece to the next. Phare is the philosophy that evolves around this album, a constant quest to surpass yourself.

CT - And how is Phare different from your other albums ?

Yves Léveillé - If you take the album Essence des Bois for example, there's a lot of arrangments and wood instruments, we were 7 musicians, with this one there's still a lot of written music - that's my signature in a certain way - but it's more open, with more energy. I wanted it different and I didn't want to walk in the same tracks, with more drive, more energy in the playing and the writing, forcing me to be a bit more adventurous. But there's also some serene and quiet moments and time to recuperate. I love composing, it's my first passion, and with the instrumental playing grafted to that, it ends up with something quite interesting. But I also love improvisation. I'm quite happy about my 8 albums, that are all my compositions. I can sense there's a change in my writing since the first one, but it's subtle. I'm taking more risks, but there's also a better control of melodic lines, counterpoint and orchestration. There more maturity...I hope!.

CT - And what can we expect on May 22nd ?

Yves Léveillé - Well first, right before the concert there's the "meeting with the artists" formula with pizza slices, it's a moment to talk, meet and greet the public, demystifying this new music we'll be presenting, so expect to be surprised by this new material, expect a great connection in between the musicians with a lot of energy and no dull moments!

Bourdonnements Jazz at the Théâtre Outremont.
1248 Bernard W

The last Bourdonnements Jazz concert of the series presents Wednesday May 22nd, the Bourdonnement international. Yves Léveillé welcomes three international guests. From San Francisco, multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, co-founder of Oregon (30 albums); and from New-York, pianist Eri Yamamoto & drummer Ikuo Takeuchi.

The launch of Phare is also happening in Quebec City two days later - Friday May 24tht 8pm at the Palais Montcalm.
interview : Claude Thibault

TVJAZZ  July 4 2013
Vijay Iyer Trio at the FIJM, Thursday, July 4th, 2013

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