Jazz: Fall Fareby Marc Chénard
/ September 1, 2015
After the early summer music bonanza, the local jazz scene slows down its pace for the rest of the season. But three spots in town keep on jazzing, even in those dog days: the Resto-bar Dièse Onze on Saint-Denis, the Café Résonance on Parc Avenue and the Upstairs Bar & Grill on McKay. The latter, for instance, ushers in its fall program on the very first day of this month with a new duo series. Israeli-born but Montreal resident altoist Tevet Sela is first up, sparring with a couple of pianists, Guillaume Martineau first, then John Roney, four weeks later, on the 29th. Between those dates, singer Sonia Johnson will share the stage with bassist Jean-Rémi Leblanc (15) and the ubiquitous Marianne Trudel (22). Also on tap are three tribute evenings, the first to the Brecker Brothers, courtesy of Aron Doyle and André Leroux (12), the second marking the centennial of Ellington’s famed amenuensis, Billy Strayhorn, by a quintet co-lead by trumpeter Charles Ellison and guitarist Josh Rager (16), the last focused on the music of Bill Evans by the Frank Lozano quartet (23). Finally, Kevin Dean will be marking his 25 years of activity as jazz educator and sometime performer with his scholarly take on hard bop (October 25 and 26).
The city’s Maison de la culture circuit also plays its part by including local jazz groups in its seasonal programs. The Ahuntsic-Cartierville center, in the north end of town, has booked three bands for October, starting with bassist Frederic Grenier and his Hard Bop Five (8), pianist Julie Lamontagne in a semi-classical semi-jazz solo recital (15), concluding with altoist Rémi Bolduc and his jazz quartet (22). All shows at 8 PM.
Bassist Miroslav Vitous, as reported in the feature article of this column, will be touring the province with his old friend, vibist Jean Vanasse, including four post Off-Festival performances in October and November in Montreal and more in outlying regions of the city and in Quebec City, too.
The Montreal Jazz Fest “Jazz à l’année longue” series, in contrast, offers some pretty slim pickings for the fall. On October 2, the Gipsy jazz virtuoso plectrist Birelli Lagrène offers his take on that well worn style at the Théâtre Outremont, whereas bassist Jean-Phillipe Mailloux leads his string group Cordâme for a tenth anniversary show at l’Astral (November 27).
Jazz aficionados please should also note that McGill University has just hired two performer educators of international standing at its jazz studies department, native French pianist and longtime New York resident Jean-Michel Pilc (heard in trio at the jazz fest last summer), and drummer composer John Hollenbeck. Both musicians will be heard in separate performances next month and will be the subject of our next column.
For more information and updates, go to the following websites
• accesculture.com (Maisons de la culture)
• festivalinternationaldejazzdemontréal.com (click on “Jazz à l’année longue”)