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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 20, No. 1

Jazz: What's Up This Fall

by Marc Chénard / September 5, 2014

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After the festival frenzy in June and the ensuing summer lull, the jazz scene slowly emerges from its dry spell in September. While venues like the Upstairs Jazz Bar, the Dièse onze, and the Café Résonance ensure a certain continuity of live music presentations throughout the summer, the show season hits high gear in October and November.

One exception to this rule is the Orchestre National de Jazz – Montréal (ONJ), which kicks off its second season on September 12 at the Astral. Under the direction of trombonist Jean-Nicolas Trottier, the band will play some of his works and others by the renowned American arranger Jim McNeely. On October 30, saxophonist Samuel Blais will present some of his own music and works by Darcy James Argue, an ex-Montrealer and head of the exciting New York outfit, the Secret Society. On November 27, saxophonist Jennifer Bell joins the band for a program of pieces inspired by Quebec and Canadian poets, and a revisit of Duke Ellington’s suite Such Sweet Thunder. In September (24), the Derome-Guilbeault-Tanguay unit will perform the music of Lennie Tristano with guest pianist Alexandre Grogg (Salle Bourgie of the Museum of Fine Arts, 6PM).

Beginning in early October, the OFF Jazz Festival will celebrate its 15th edition with an array of 32 concerts performed in ten venues. An exciting opening bill is planned (Friday 3) with the duo of Michel Lambert and Alexandre Grogg followed by the stellar New York quartet of bassist Michael Formanek (with altoist Time Berne in tow). On the 8, the event salutes two of its founders, Jean Vanasse and Pierre St-Jak, with their respective groups. More on this next month.

As for the FIJM, it will offer a full slate of shows in its Jazz à l’année longue series: John Abercrombie (Friday Oct. 24), Jacques Kuba Séguin (Oct. 25, see profile on opposite page), Pat Metheny Unity Group (Thursday Nov. 13), and Jim Doxas Trio (Thursday Nov. 20).

Séguin, for his part, will launch a new album at his concert, and others too will join the fray with albums of their own. Here are but a few to look out for:

Félix Stüssi Sextet (with Ray Anderson) – Arrabbiata – Effendi
Samuel Blais (with Dave Liebman) – Cycling – Effendi
Eric Hove TentetSaturated Colour­  – Self-produced
Marianne Trudel Quintet (with Ingrid Jensen) – La vie commence ici – Justin Time (Also launched in concert at the Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Oct 22.) Note: Trudel has announced a fundraising campaign for her album. Information: www.indigogo.com (choose the “music” tab and type in the CD title in the search box).

Not to overlook are the city’s Maisons de la Culture. (Go to “accesculture.com” and click the music tab to view all concerts performed in its halls.) Listed below are three venues where jazz will be well featured.

 » Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Oct 9 – Joel Miller and Honeycomb
Oct 22 – Parc-X Trio
Oct 30 – Jacques Kuba Séguin – Litania Project

 » Côte-des-Neiges
Nov 12 – Yves Léveillée Septet – Essence
Nov 27 – Vincent Dionne and Brubeck en Tête

 » Frontenac
Oct 2 – Jazz Lab Orchestra with Jon Roney ­ – World Colors
Nov 5 - Yves Léveillée Septet – Essence
(All concerts at 8 pm)

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