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Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Week 2

A jam-packed weekend opened the 40th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, with inspiring performances by luminaries and rising stars such as pianists Chucho Valdés and Brad Mehldau, and saxophonist Melissa Aldana (see JazzTimes review here). With six more days ahead, July 1—Canada Day—was a microcosm of what was to come, with music for every palate: … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Week 2”

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Larry Grenadier: The Gleaners (ECM)

Memories: While listening to Brad Mehldau’s early discs, I fully recall being knocked out by Larry Grenadier’s blend of poetry and pragmatism. The bassist’s solos would occasionally emerge from the trio’s exchanges, adding buoyancy while delivering an imposing yet inviting spirit. Fast-forward a quarter century and the first solo bass album by Grenadier pulls off … Read More “Larry Grenadier: The Gleaners (ECM)”

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Bill Stewart: Band Menu (self-released)

For his 11th release, drummer/composer Bill Stewart joins tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and bassist Larry Grenadier on the ironically titled Band Menu. The literal menu listed on the CD’s inner sleeve offers such dishes as “Hand Rolled Drum Rug with Perspiration Reduction,” “Pickled Jazz Stalwart,” and “Pay Your Dues Fondue.” Stewart is both a … Read More “Bill Stewart: Band Menu (self-released)”

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Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.

How to play a chord that feels like Toni Morrison writing, “I didn’t fall in love with you, I rose in it”? How to play a melody with that feeling? These are the kinds of questions that Danilo Pérez, Avishai Cohen, and Chris Potter were mulling over in the leadup to the debut performance of … Read More “Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.”

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Brad Mehldau Trio: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)

You can’t help but marvel at Brad Mehldau’s ability to think in two speeds at the same time. While his left hand frequently holds down an assortment of tricky odd-metered riffs (which he demonstrates a particular fondness for on “Spiral” and “Ten Tune,” two of the three original compositions here), his right hand counters with … Read More “Brad Mehldau Trio: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)”

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Concert Review: 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival

Running from June 28 to July 8, with over two-thirds of its 500-plus concerts taking place on several outdoor stages and free to the public, the 38th edition of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal was loaded with high-voltage star power and creative energy, presenting jazz in all its forms (and everything else from pop … Read More “Concert Review: 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival”

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