Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 9, No. 2, 2010

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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Sylvain Richard
David Solway
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Diane Gordon
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Jazz Contributors

Tommy Emmanuel
John Stetch
Susie Arioli
Coral Egan
Diana Krall
Stacey Kent
Carol Welsman
Aldo Romano
Denzal Sinclaire
Madeleine Peyroux
Bireli Lagrene
Sonido Isleño
Provost & Lachapelle
Kevin Breit
Sophie Milman
Annie Poulain
Badi Assad
Donato & Bouchard
Ingrid Jensen
John Roney
Russell Malone
David Binney
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Mimi Fox
Voo Doo Scat
Coral Egan
Martin Taylor
Jordon Officer
Melody Gardot
Jean Vanasse

2008 Jazz en Rafale Festival (Montreal) - Mar. 27th - April 5th -- Tél. 514-490-9613 ext-101 (featuring David Binney) Montreal Jazz Festival 2006 EMI Classics







Piano Keyboard

from Montreal


© Marcel Dubois

With its move from far away L’Espace Dell'Arte (Montreal North) to the Astral, Montreal’s newest and busiest music venue situated in the heart of the city’s arts and entertainment district, Jazz en Rafale is now -- and deservingly so -- in the big leagues. The move to downtown opened up the event to tourists and walk-ins, resulting in an 80% improvement over last year’s attendance.

© Marcel DuboisNow in its 11th year, Jazz en Rafale, which opens Montreal's celebrated music festival season, put on its best program yet, in no small part due to the emergence of Maurin Auxéméry, Effendi’s multitasking point man for development.

Effendi, the recording label that sponsors Jazz en Maurin AuxéméryRafale, is run by bassist Alain Bédard and singer-pianist Carole Therrien, both of whom have their careers to manage, and are in chronic short supply of the time it takes to manage Effendi and produce a music festival. Enter Maurin Auxéméry: charming, witty, soft-spoken, hard working, and now the organizing principle (morceau rassembleur) that energizes the festival. Prior to meeting Maurin, I was vehemently opposed to cloning. Having met and spoken with him on numerous occasions, I have had to reverse my position and insist that the Montreal jazz scene is all the richer for having him in its midst.

© Marcel DuboisThis year’s festival featured for the 5th year in a row the Jupiter-Vandoren competition, dedicated to up and coming jazz musicians. The winner (my last year’s pick) was Atomic 5; their atom splitting set confirmed that this group has already arrived with its unique blend of musicianship and concept-driven original material that reveals unexpected nuance and craft. Last year’s winner, Rafael Zaldivar, was invited to play and launch his debut album. With underwhelming technique, he joins musicians like pianist Marianne Trudel, who are obliged to make their mark with original material. Not yet 30, Zaldivar is an emerging composer whose career will be best served by well-informed criticism. © Marcel Dubois

After a long apprenticeship, François Bourassa left no doubt that, along with John Stetch, he is one of Canada’s outstanding jazz © Marcel Duboispianists. Partnering with pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, they supplied the most creative and spontaneous concert of the festival. Bourassa's gifts border on the exceptional: he brings to the 88 a tremendous ear, a technique that Oliver Jones would approve of, and a creative component that is producing a body of original material that is sure to gain him an international following.

The highlight of the festival belonged to the amazing and extraordinarily gifted Sylvain Luc, who is simply one of the greatest (and most generous) guitarists on the planet. He opened with original material that came out of nowhere; not a straight chord or sequence of notes to be heard, but the composing, however abstract, was never compromised by the feeling and soul that prompted material that reveals more with successive listenings. Like Paco de Lucia, Luc’s leads engage all the fingers and feature invention that is nothing less than startling. If he hasn’t received the recognition of Biréli Lagrène, it’s simply because life isn’t fair. Sylvain Luc will be playing in Place des Arts' 5ème Salle at the 2010 Montreal Jazz Festival. Don’t miss out on this rare treat.

© Marcel Dubois

Jazz en Rafale was so good this year, it would be even better if Maurin and team would consider extending the event to include a third weekend: nine instead of six evening's of music, or, citing the Beatles -- eight days a week. Which is to say all is better than well at Jazz en Rafale and with Montreal jazz in general.





labonteJohn Coltrane
John Coltrane
Miles Davis
Thelonius Monk
Charlie Mingus
Oscar Peterson
Charlie Parker
Dizzy Gillespie
Wes Montgomery
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