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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday November 16 2017 to Thursday November 30 2017

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The Carolyn Fe Blues Collective @ HoJazz Montreal Saturday Nov. 18th and Dwight Grant @ the HoJazz Laval Friday Nov. 17th.

Carolyn Fe chapeau 150x150.jpgThis Saturday, November 18th Carolyn Fe and The Blues Collective are on the stage of HoJazz Montreal! (9:30pm)

Cashbox Canada has nicknamed the Carolyn Fe The Blues Collective "the evolution of Blues". The Blues Report of Blues Underground states that their music is not your grandparents' blues, and that the Carolyn Fe The Blues Collective is not the type of band to play standards interpretations of the Blues. If you think Blues songs look all alike, turn the page look and listen to the Carolyn Fe Blues Collective. They keep pushing the boundaries of this musical style with the influence of the past and the music of today. For the Nov. 18th Facebook page, it's here.

She will also be with us for New Year's Eve! Visit Montreal and get your tickets now.

This Friday, November 17th singer Dwight Grant aka Mellow Dee is with us at the HoJazz Laval! (9pm)

Born in Ottawa, ON Canada, Dwight Grant aka Mellow Dee has been playing piano and singing since the age of 5. Always positive-based, Dwight started writing songs at the age of ten. Usually inspirational based as his roots were and still are spiritual based. Singing on many international gospel workshop choirs, performing in musicals such as Bye Bye Birdie as well as performing at Jazz and Blues festivals, he was just learning to spread his wings of talent. In October 2003 Dwight brought back Mellow Dee. A name that he had achieved in 1988 at many talent shows and various music events. Retiring from the automotive world Mellow Dee chose to do music full time, and what a great decision that was. Singing at the world famous "Apollo Theatre" in Harlem NY, winning Molson Canadian Idol 2003, and Molson Canadian Rockstar 2004, are just a few of the landmarks he has reached.

Visit Laval and reserve your seats for New Year’s Eve.

For the HoJazz Montreal, reserve your seats at 514-842-8656 Montreal

House of Jazz Montréal - 2060 Aylmer
For the HoJazz Laval, reserve your seats at 450-232-5582 Laval
House of Jazz Laval - 1639 boul de l’Avenir, Laval

Check out dozen of videos of these artists at the House of Jazz Montreal and Laval at

Virtuoso guitarist Stéphane Wrembel talks to us about gypsy jazz, Django, Woody Allen, film music, the Quebec concerts in Quebec City (Nov 16), Trois-Rivières (Nov 17) and Montréal (Nov 18), The Django Experiment 1 and 2, his musicians, a WOW moment of his career, the Django a Gogo Festival and more.

wrembelentrevue.jpgCT - Stéphane what attracted you to gypsy jazz and Django's music?
SW - I wanted to discover more about jazz and that's why I got into Django, I know he's not what you could call a typical jazz guitarist, even thought he sometimes plays a lot of jazz chords, but it's something else, and that's why I got into him. So I bought one of his records, listened to him a whole lot more, and it was a revelation.
CT - What did you learn in the gypsy jazz camps that went behond the music and the notes?
SW - It's hard to explain. They have a traditional way of teaching and learning, they have no school and learn directly from each other, from master to pupil. But  mostly they have another way of doing things, things that you experience that you can't really explain with words. It's like seeing a film on Paris and the day you're there walking on the streets it's something else, there's that little something that you can't explain in words, another culture, way of living and vibe. So that's the way I learned, from master to pupil. They've kept Django's technique and vocabulary but in a different state of mind, if you listen to Django it doesn't really sound like gypsy jazz, there's something else with Django. Django is a bit like a hub, you can get something out of Django and go somewhere else, in different directions. The first approach was nonetheless with the manouche, and Django was a manouche.
CT - We have to talk a bit about Woody Allen and Midnight in Paris/Vicky Cristine Barcelona, did that experience make you want to write more film music?
SW - You're born to make film music or not. For me it's something that I've always has ease and fun doing so yes I'd like to make more film music. That problem with films is that they require big budgets, ressources and there's a lot of people involved. What's hard is not writing the music itself but rather getting into the circle of film music composers. Yes I'd like to do more film music, if I could, that's all I'd do.
CT - And what you'll be playing for this Quebec tour is your latest albums and maybe a few gypsy jazz standards?
SW - Each concert is different, it depends of our mood, the room and  the public. Usually we only play my pieces but we've got this new project, The Django Experiment 1 and 2, two albums we released in March at Carnegie Hall for the Django à Gogo Festival in which we revisit a lot of Django but with our sound. We recorded a sound that was close to a concert sound, live in studio with our amps like if we were in concert. We try to keep that sound as well as the NY sound. So that's a bit about what Django Experiment is. So in fact this tour is to help promote these two albums, as well Live In India and more. We'll play a bit of everything, some Django some non-Django. And of course the Woody Allen themes. We're influenced by music from everywhere, from India, from Africa, etc...
CT - Those influences, how do you integrate them into your music?
SW - I always go back to the archetypes. Europe developped harmony and its extensive grammar, India rhythm and its extensive grammar. I see five things in music, a trilogy and a duo, so the trilogy of harmony, rhythm and sound and then the duo of the state of mind of composition and the state of mind of improvisation. And I think melody helps all of that. And then it's also a matter of how you do things when you're improvising and composing. Its about finding the melodic curve that connects those five elements and that's behond genres. Rhythms was developped in India, as well as Africa. In Europe we've been working on melody for the last 1000 years to acccomplish something extraordinary.
CT - Tell us about the musicians in the band...
SW - On guitar there's Thor Jensen who's from the american rock sound realm, you know the slide, the Strat, the Telecaster, amps with tubes, a very very complete guitarist, one of the best rock guitarists I've evev heard. We've got a solid harmonic and rhythmic base and structure but on the inside it's open. He knows Django very very well and know jazz quite well, he's got a broad palet of sounds and great timing. On basse we have Ari Folman-Cohen, he started playing classical violin when he was quite young, and then he played bass, played a lot of funk, soul, R&B, things like that, and then moved on to jazz, he has a very powerful sound, with a strong attack, marks time very well, he's a tower of power (laughs), a nuclear power plant, with amazing solos. On drums, it's Nick Anderson, one of the best drummers of the world, quite in demand in NYC. He's got a huge musical culture, he's played punk, reggae, jazz, classical, contemporary, etc... He plays everything really well, a great sense of timing and a great sound. When he's playing the brushes, when we're playing swing, I've never heard anybody play like that.  
CT - Tells about a WOW moment in your carreer, having played with so many great musicians...
SW - The Carnegie Hall March 3rd Django a Gogo concert with Stochelo Rosenberg, Al Di Meola, Larry Keel, was something really special. Playing Carnegie Hall is really a great moment, but this mix of players, it's something that had never been done you know. We played Al Di Meola's Mediterranean Sundance, that's like every young guitarist's dream. I've been listening to that piece since I was 15. And Stochelo is one of my masters, playing Django with Al Di Meola he'd never done that, and we played Nuages with us, and then Indifférence, stuff like that, it was really amazing.
CT - I like how in 2003 when you arrived in NY you approached many french NY restaurants and played quite a bit.
SW - Restaurant gigs help maintain a certain technical level, work new pieces and be incognito.  When I arrived in NY in 2003 I had to make a living right away, so I played in restaurants and had students. I found all the french restaurants that had live music and on Yahoo offered guitar classes. After one week I had 3-4 gigs a week a 7 students. A year later I had 9 gigs a week and 20 students, so I was quite busy. It was a physically intense period, playing every night, so about 450 times a year.
CT - Ever played with Woody Allen at the Carlyle?
SW - No but I met him on the set of Magic in the Moonlight à Nice, I played a scene that was cut, so I discovered Woody from the inside. He's a real calm and very nice person.
CT - At the Festival Django a Gogo that you founded do you work as much as you have fun?
SW - With music I sometimesw have trouble making the difference in between work and play. The last one was very stressful, it had to be done but it was a lot of stress but when I walked on the stage of Carnegie Hall March 3rd with Stochelo and Al all of that disappeared. I worked on everything, really everything, the scheduling of the concerts and the masterclasses, the students, etc...I was my last as a producer the Festival will be produced by another company but of course I'll remain as Artistic Director and I'm actually working on the next one.
CT - What would you like to tell our readers about these Quebec concerts and what they can expect...
SW - It's always been hard to describe our music, it's always been a problem with our advertising, nobody's ever been able to describe our music very well, we don't play a genre. What's important for us is the message that's inside the music, the world of dreams and philosophy as well as NY's voodoo energy, the concerts are explosive and you won't get bored. And because we're always playing together, all year-round, it's like Barcelona's 2010 team (soccer), everybody's a forward, everybody's a defence player, a middlefield player, we play so much together, we know each other so well, it's hard to explain.
Videos :  For Apocalypse, it's here  / For Blues Mineur, it's here / For Irene's GJ Adventures 251, it's here
The Django Experiment 1 and The Django Experiment 2 on CDBaby. The Django a Gogo Festival

Singer Marie-Noëlle Claveau will be playing the first part of the concerts in Quebec City and Trois-Rivières.
Montréal - Saturday, Nov. 18th @ 7pm and 9:45pm
Upstairs 1254 Mackay 514-931-6808
Facebook event
Québec - Thursday, Nov. 16th @ 8:30pm
District St-Joseph 240 St-Joseph E 418-717-0240
Facebook event
Trois-Rivières - Friday, Nov. 17th @ 8pm
Église St-James 811 rue des Ursulines 819-380-9797
Interview : Claude Thibault


The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival – Icons and newcomers! By Sheila Horne Mason of Jazz Police

McBride Wein.jpgThe 2017 Newport Jazz Festival, presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, took place from August 4 to 6, with daytime concerts at Fort Adams State Park and a Friday evening show at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Newport Jazz Festival (NJF) founder George Wein and newly appointed Artistic  Director Christian McBride presented a line-up that honors the history and legacy of jazz by including living legends, established stars, and up-and-coming artists who are the future of jazz.

There were so many choices, with a line-up that included Hudson ; Joey DeFrancesco + The People; Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith (who received the Best Duo of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association at their set) ; Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound; Theo Crocker; Cyrus Chestnut Trio; Cyrille Aimée; Orrin Evans;  David Torkanowsky; Henry Threadgill; and more. There was something for everyone!

Friday August 4th - The Jimmy Greene Quartet. : Saxophonist Jimmy Greene, bassist Ben Williams, pianist Kevin Hays, and drummer Otis Brown III, nicknamed “OB3,” played songs from the CDs Beautiful Life and the follow-up, Flowers: Beautiful Life, Volume 2, including “Flowers” and “Second Breakfast"...

Photo : Kevin R. Mason

For the rest of Sheila Mason's article on Jazz Police, it's here



CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Simon Legault Quartet - Hypnagogia Polis

Because Xmas is around the corner and because we should be supporting our local artists, guitarist Simon Legault's new album is right on time. Hypnagogia Polis as a title might sound unusual (it can be resumed as the state in between sleeping and being awake) but the music is some very solid, brilliant jazz, with great sequences. Like it often is, no standards here, so some attentive and focused listening will help to get his message. Siding the guitarist is bassist Adrian Vedady, alto sax Jules Payette, pianist Andrew Boudreau and drummer Louis-Vincent Hamel.

On this very consistent album Nimzowitsch Defense stands out. The composition - a tribute to famous chess player and teacher Aaron Nimzowitsch - is a real beautiful ballad featuring all of the musicians. On Hypnagogia Polis Simon Legault is in a very interior mode, playing some very soft and exploratory phrasing, and not lacking any sensitivity. Being a quantic mechanic is not a simple task, so the title Quantum Mechanicians might be a simple reflection in regards to the complexities of composition and its infinite possibilities. This album is a great calling card for saxophonist Jules Payette, proud musical heir of Rémi Bolduc and maybe some Jackie McLean. Sometimes slightly academic, this new album is a great contribution to the Montreal jazz spectrum.

Aethereal spheres (Soundcloud) / Nimzowitsch Defense / The Space Between two Hearts (Soundcloud) / Isms /
The Universe would remain much the Same / Euphemized Blues / Wistful / Quantum Mechanicians

To listen and buy : iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Archambault

For more info,

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

TVJAZZ  May 28 2014
Carolyn Fe Blues Collective launch "Bad Taboo" at the House of Jazz, May 28th 2014

John Roney goes behond and reinvents Keith Jarrett's Köln concert at the Maison de la Culture Marie-Uguay Thursday, Nov. 16th.

John Roney.jpgA composition and performance degree holder, John Roney is a brilliant Canadian pianist now living in Montréal and who's presenting « the most ambitious project of his  career », his unique reinterpretation of the famous concert given by Keith Jarrett and that has become the cult album of solo jazz piano.

Keith Jarrett's famous Köln Concert recorded on a double album at the Köln Opera January 24, 1975 (ECM-2-1064), which has sold 3,5 million copies, making it the most popular solo piano concert album ever sold.

Since he arrived in Montréal, John Roney has had the opportunity to play with many local jazz greats such as Chet Doxas, Rémi Bolduc and Oliver Jones as well as being part of Piano Cameleon with Matt Herskowitz. These collaborations have led him to play all throughout Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Furthermore, his work with soprano Nathalie Choquette has travelled him all over the world. He's played and recorded with the likes of Peter Erskine, bassists Christian McBride and Alain Caron, Belgian guitarist Phillipe Catherine, and saxophonists Seamus Blake and Donny McCaslin.

He's also written a lot of music for orchestras and chamber ensembles, radio, cinema, television and theatre.

John Roney discovered the ‘’Köln Concert’’ when he was a High School student in Mississauga. He says that every time he listens to the album, he discovers a new element : «It's the kind of album you discover all of your life».

Of course, while he replays the melodies and themes of the concert, he adds his own improvisations and numerous ostinatos, something Keith Jarrett does quite a bit.

A night that will time travel us with sensibility and virtuosity. Will be spetacular! 

John Roney, piano

Thursday Nov. 16th 8pm
Maison de la Culture Marie-Uguay
6052 Monk Blvd.    
Coco :
Facebook / twitter
Coco Jazz, Mardi 19h @ 100,1 CKVL FM

The Carolyn Fe Blues Collective is raw, real and with captivating energy. The public is enthralled and enthousiasm and love of the Blues of singer Carolyn Fe so we wanted to find out more about this blues musician who'll be soon launching a new album.

Carolyn Fe Ivan Garzon 150.x150.jpgCT - Carolyn, how does a person with Filipino roots and that first got into dancing, get into the blues?
CF - Ha! Great question! Appreciation for the arts was instilled in me at a very young age. I think with every Filipino you will meet there is no doubt that the appreciation of mainstream arts is there, whether it be performance or visual arts. I started off my professional artistic career as a dancer. The blues came a long, long, long time after. You can say that I am a late-bloomer when it comes to the Blues. I "felt" the Blues when Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal came out to the mainstream. Although choreographies were based on jazz, rock, RnB, now and then someone would do a choreography to the Blues. I didn't know what it was then but I certainly felt it. The Blues progression (1-4-5) made sense to me as it pertains to movement and the way I moved. It was primal, basic, instinctive and it was just right for me...
CT - What blues artist did you hear younger made you want to sing the blues and why?
CF - Sometime in the early 80's I got called to audition for Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Cats"  the musical. I knew I had the dancing down but I wasn't so sure about the singing and what to sing in the audition. I didn't want to do a musical theatre tune, nor did I want to do a top 40 tune. I wanted to sing a tune with lyrics that resonated with me. One of my dance partners at the time was a Tom Waits fanatic. He introduced me to his collection of Tom Waits albums We spent an afternoon listening to his albums and I was hooked. I also had a divine intervention as well, still in the early 80's Doudou Boicel called me to audition because he wanted to start an old-style revue at his club, The Rising Sun. Little did I know then that I was to meet and speak with Blues legend, Big Mama Thornton! I arrived and he (Doudou) was busy, so I hung out at the bar while this skinny older woman in a straw hat sat [onstage] singing One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer. And I thought, ‘This voice is familiar!’  After the audition, Thornton finished her set and hung out at the bar. I paid my respects and we spoke a bit. I was like, ‘Holy s–t! I spoke with her!’ She’s a huge influence of mine and I am honoured to be carrying the blues torch. In 2009, I released my EP.  Never did I think that I would ever have 3 Blues CDs and a 4th one coming! Never did I
think that the Blues community would appreciate my words and music with accolades and awards.

CT - Some people say you gotta suffer to sing and feel the that true?
CF – Hmmmm….whether they give it a name or not, everyone suffers and feel the ‘blues’. Musically speaking the basis of North American music is the Blues. So yes, to sing the blues is to have felt suffering and even more, to sing the blues one would have had experienced a life of ups and downs, the bump and the grind, the longing, the hating, the loving, the leaving, the homecoming, the fears, the unknown next step, the lightness and the intensity of it all…you get my drift.
CT - You're currently in the studio with a practically new band (except for the bassist) recording a 4th album, what's going to be different about this one?
CF – This is all ME. ALL of it. It’s a very, very different sound for me. My previous albums were somewhat ‘recognizable’, oh – there were a couple songs (e.g.: Rant from “Original Sin” and, Goodbye & Redemption from “Bad Taboo”) that foreshadowed where I wanted to go with my Blues but it didn’t materialize beyond that. This time around, I wrote a lot with Oisin (bassist), he understood where I wanted to take my sound and when the new stage hubbies came on board they definitely took the time to understand where I wanted to go with this album. This 4th one is a long time coming. Some of the songs were written in 2014 but circumstances didn’t allow the release. So now with the right combination of players, it’s my foot stomping right back into the ring, MY RING and it’s ripe for the pickin’ ‘n the hittin’ – so to say. You will recognize some of the forms and may even label the genre: folk, rock, even funk amongst various genres – but in the end, it’s my Blues. I’ve dropped my kimono for this. I give of me, I own it and soon you’ll have a piece of it.
CT - And the new band, tell us about that...
CF – Ahhh…the new band. The new players. My new stage hubbies. Oisin Little : You know him, he’s been with me through thick and thin. Bass, back vocals, songwriter and envelope pusher. Jean-Francois Hamel : Guitar, JF started off in classical guitar, earned his “Prix du Conservatoire de musique de Québec". He refined his pop & jazz experience throughout his 25 years of performance traveling all over Quebec and the Asian continent. Ivan Garzon : Guitar, Ivan honed his skills at Madrid's Escuela de Música Creativa, later on developing his craft in various jazz styles; Gypsy jazz, contemporary and traditional jazz. He has played with renowned jazz artists from Canada, USA and Europe, establishing himself as a solid jazz player but let's not put him in a box because one thing for sure is that Ivan definitely breaks the jazz mold when he plays the blues. Brandon Goodwin: Drummer and Back Vocals, Brandon is a jazzman at heart keeping the beat sure and steady no matter what musical genre he’s playing. Taking his inspirations from legends like Art Blakey, Ari Hoenig, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Tony Williams, and Paul Motian; Brandon can rock as much as we can roll, and gives a mean shuffle to our swing.
CT - You can be heard regurlarly at the House of Jazz, like Nov. 18th, what would you like to tells our readers about what they can expect for that concert?
CF – The House of Jazz has been good to me and I am ever so grateful for their support. It’s my musical residence in Montreal where people can easily find me at least once a month. It’s always nice to come back to the House of Jazz after a road trip. What should the audience expect? Well - I work when you stop working, and I love it. Expect to forget your week at the office. Expect to forget your deadlines, if only for a few hours. When you come to my concerts at the House of Jazz, I want you to forget about your worries and join the ride: I will make you howl, I will sing my Blues repertoire and maybe a couple of tunes that you might recognize. But most of all, expect a good time because it comes from my heart…and my stage hubbies hearts. Let loose, let go, enjoy the ambiance, enjoy the show and enjoy the people you’re with. I guarantee you an evening of great memories made.
Carolyn Fe Blues Collective
House of Jazz
2060 Aylmer, Mtl
Saturday Nov. 18th 9:30pm
Interview : Claude Thibault

TVJAZZ  October 16 2014
John Roney Alain Caron Camil Bélisle - C Jam Blues - Les Grands Québécois du jazz at the FIJQ, Oct.16 2014

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