Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 9, No. 5, 2010

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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
David Solway
Robert Rotondo
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Diane Gordon
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Denis Beaumont
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
Jordan Officer
Melody Gardot
Jean Vanasse
Yves Léveillé
Sylvain Provost
Louciana Souza
Patricia Barber
Jill Barber
Corrine Bailey Rae
Chet Doxas
2010 Montreal Guitar Show (Sylvan Luc)
2008 Jazz en Rafale Festival (Montreal) - Mar. 27th - April 5th -- Tél. 514-490-9613 ext-101 (featuring David Binney)
Montreal Jazz Festival 2010







Piano Keyboard

from Montreal




report filed by Sylvain Richard


L'Off Jazz Festival turned 11 years old this year, and as with most pre-adolescents, it seeks to affirm its own identity and independence. For ten years the festival played under the shadow of the Montreal Jazz Festival but this year, moving into the colourful autumn season (Oct 15th-23rd), L'Off Jazz will boldly face new challenges with a spirit of liberty and creativity.

To kick off the festival, the Quartier Latin neighbourhood in the vicinity of Place Pasteur will vibrate with two days of outdoor concerts (15th and 16th). The popular 5-à-7 series returns to the Dièse Onze with a smorgasbord of jazz that runs the gamut from world-inspired to modern. On opening night (15th) at the Lion D'Or, L'Off offers a tailor-made group of 11 musicians, each contributing a new creation. Between the 16th and 20th, two concerts per night (8 and 9:30pm) at new venues (Salla Rosa and Chapel Bon-Pasteur), will be presented; on the 21st and 22nd at 8pm at Salle du Gesù and Maison de la Culture Frontenac respectfully. For the closing night of Oct. 23rd, we return to the Lion d'Or for the final two concerts at 8 and 9:30 pm. Finally, at 10pm, for those night-owls among us, every night at the Casa del Popolo a nocturnal series will be presented.

As usual for the L'Off, the operative words are talent and risk-taking. Also included are various special events; a veritable banquet for those who love music for eight October days. For more info go to:



BOMATA, Oct 16th 2010, Dièse Onze
World-beat rhythms take on the role of salt in this delightful and bewitching meal of original compositions served up by bassist Jean Félix Mailloux, backed by Guillaume Bourque on clarinet and Kiya Tabassian (Constantinople) on percussion . A gently spiced blend of jazz with exotic rhythms presented with a contagious sense of joy with each note from the musicians flowing seamlessly from beginning to end; an adventurous voyage across many different lands and cultures.

STEVE RAEGLE TRIO – LAST CENTURY, Oct 16th 2010, Sala Rossa
Out of chaos, like the phoenix, rises a melodic guitar driven sound powered by Steve Raegle on electric guitar, Miles Perkins on bass and Thom Gossage on drums and percussion. Plenty of quirky melodies with a sense of an adventurous spirit abounded throughout the performance, with sound effects that sounded like distant signals. Often without structure, of an ambient nature, yet with passages that were pounding and rhythmic, Steve Raegle’s music is an exercise in improvisational exploration of sounds and textures. 

AURÉLIA O'LEARY - ALLUME, Oct 17th 2010, Upstairs
With a commanding presence, Aurélia O'Leary, accompanied by Thomas Carbou (guitar) and Eric Breton (percussion), provided an intimate brunch concert in the acoustically friendly confines of the Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill. Aurélia O'Leary is more of a folk-pop singer but her renditions of "Caravan" and "A Few of My Favourite Things" indicated she's definitely capable of crossing over. Her lyrics are poetic and optimistic and her improvised vocalizations a joy to listen to as was her irrepressibly lyrical guitarist. The concert ended with the title cut of her CD, Allumé, a danceable song with battery charged lyrics. If Off Jazz is considering implementing a 'brunch' concept for its next year's festival, my vote is bon appetit, which I trust will not get lost in translation.

Setting the tone for an evening of music that would be of special interest to purists, drummer Michel Berthiaume allowed his quintet ample room for solos. The music was played in the straight ahead style of modern jazz that harkens to Kenny Wheeler. Berthiaume opened the set with "Departures," the title cut from his first release as a bandleader. Among the soloists, Bill Mahar on trumpet stood out. The quintet also included Kenny Bibace on guitar, Josh Rager on piano and Sage Reynolds on bass.

JEAN-NICHOLAS TROTTIER, Oct 17th 2010, Sala Rossa
In the spirit of dialogue, the conversational potential of jazz was highlighted in a Sala Rosa concert expertly delivered by trombonist Jean-Nicholas Trottier' quartet that featured Alexandre Côté on sax, Sébastien Pellerin on bass and Michel Berthiaume on drums. Composition and improvisation were seamlessly blended. Each member played what needed to be said, and with perfect timing. The melodies ranged from beautifully sad ballads to swinging bluesy tunes, many of which were imbued with light humour.  

JEAN-MARC HÉBERT, Oct 18th 2010, Dièse Onze
There is perhaps no other music like jazz that so easily mixes with and absorbs other forms and genres of music. This was radiantly brought to the fore by guitarist Jean-Marc Hébert and his quintent which featured Christophe Papadimitriou on bass, drummer Pierre Tanguay and special guests Marianne Trudel (piano) and Damian Nisenson (sax). In mostly original compositions by Hébert and Trudel, we were treated to an exciting and memorable evening of jazz that drew upon the interval rich Arabic scale and Indian rhythms for its effects. Jean-Marc's slow-moving, meditative compositions evoked a star filled night on a lush and isolated oasis in the Sahara, the prelude to the dust storm on the near horizon. From the outset, the musicians made it clear that they were there to serve the concept, which I hope will find its way onto a CD. Theirs is a music which touches the soul and reveals life in its calm and storm and healing.

JAZZLAB – OCTO PORTRAITS, Oct 18th 2010, Sala Rossa
This Montreal jazz cooperative consist of saxophonists Rémi Bolduc, Frank Lozano and Alexandre Côté, Aaron Doyle (trumpet), Richard Gagnon( trombone), John Roney (piano), bassist Alain Bédard (president of Effendi Records) and Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums). They been working on various projects reflecting their individual styles since 2002. The concert was the occasion for the launching of their latest CD, Octo Portrait. Among the evening's many musical highlights was the opening selection entitled "Ouverture," composed by Roney. It set the tone for an evening of high calibre modern jazz featuring solid soloing throughout.  

Backed by Luc Beaugrand on piano, Frederic Alerie on bass and drummer Camile Belisle, singer Sonia Johnson launched her most recent CD. Entitled Le Carré De Nos Amours, it is intended to be a tribute to where she grew up -- St Louis Square. Singing in a lounge-style jazz, her voice is powerfully attractive. Luc Beaugrand’s piano styling is energetic and Frederic Alerie thrills with his solos. Arrangements by Luc Beaugrand and Sonia Johnson add an important dimension to the overall sound.  

YVES LÉVEILLÉ - CHORÉGRAPHIE, Oct 19th 2010, Sala Rossa Pianist and composer Yves Léveillé launchef his fifth CD Chorégraphie, with an inventive program of well-crafted and harmonious melodies inspired by the places he has visited. The sheer beauty of his melodies and interplay with with saxophonist Roberto Murray and bassist Adrian Vedady promises any concert by Yves Léveillé will be a memorable experience. Last but not least, drummer Alain Bastien provided the solid backbeat.



JACQUES AKUBA SÉGUIN – THE ODD LOT , Oct 20th 2010, Dièse Onze
Trumpeter Jacques Akuba Séguin, along with his sextet -- The Odd Lot, payed tribute to Eastern European traditions where ethereal atmospheric effects (provided by pianist John Cayer) converged with jazz harmonies that recall John Coltrane. Positioned between two saxophonists, Guilaume Adan (who also played flute on some pieces) and Al Mclean, Jacques Akuba Séguin‘s playing was agreeably intense and fluid throughout somewhat undermined by Kevin Warren’s somewhat loud and harsh drumming.

QUINTETTE MARIANNE TRUDEL, Oct 20th 2010, Chapelle Bon-Pasteur
In her second appearance for the Off, Marianne Trudel’s quartet (with Jonathan Stewart on saxophones, Morgan Moore on bass and Robbie Kuster on drums) opted for the slow stuff consisting mostly of ballads. On three of the songs, she was accompanied by the multi talented Karen Young, whose voice. like a mature wine, seems to be getting better with time. The tightly woven, sometime introspective harmonies were dead-on, and delivered creatively and sensitively.

2008 Off Jazz Festival Report

2009 Off Jazz Festival Report

Photos © Denis Beaumont


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