Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Happy 61st Birthday Stanley Clarke!: Day Three of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal

Russ Davis of MOJA Radio on performances on Day Three of the noted festival

On Friday, the 30th of June, the Montreal Jazz Festival celebrated the third day of its 33rd year and the master bassist, composer, bandleader, innovator and award-winner Stanley Clarke celebrated his 61st birthday with a few of his best musical friends with a grand party attended by hundreds of his ardent supporters and admirers, me among them. A large part of why I chose the first four days of this years festival to attend was to catch the entire “Invitation Series” as put together by Stanley and be there to celebrate his birthday with him. It’s difficult to choose the “best” four days out of the 10 of the festival run each year but this helped me and I think I make a good choice. Stanley’s shows have been varied and highly entertaining and of course masterfully executed and I could have not asked for more. His performance with old friends and fellow bass-playing legends Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten was a delight that I’ll tell you more about later. First I’d like to recount some of the other events of the day to give you a more complete picture of the wonders of another grand day at the 33rd Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

One of the more unique and intriguing artists in jazz today is the Swiss-born harmonica player Gregoire Maret who has made his name as a sideman for well over a decade now and is celebrating his own great solo release these days and his first chance to lead his own band at a major festival like Montreal with his performance at the new Club L’Astral. I caught up with him for a quick interview in the afternoon and found the young guy to be open and entertaining with his stories of how he made contact with a varied array of artists to work with in New York after his educational experience at The New School in Manhattan. Everyone from vocalists Jimmy Scott and Cassandra Wilson to masters like Jacky Terrasson, Charlie Hunter, Marcus Miller, Mike Stern and many more have utilized his unique talent to enhance their efforts. I first noticed him for his contribution to the brilliant Pat Metheny Group release The Way Up and the tour that followed in 2005. It’s always great to make contact with an artist whose star is rising. Such is the case with young mister Maret.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published