Bourne's Montreal: Very Montreal
August 8, 2014. Posted by Michael Bourne.
"What's this group like?" asked one of the folks on the WBGO trip to the festival.
"I don't know," I answered. "I always want to hear up here music I've never heard before."
I've often written that the Montreal jazz festival virtually re-defines jazz. I hear every year musicians incorporate new forms and styles of music into jazz.
I wrote an essay in Montreal a few years ago about an electronic group called Plaster that generated riffs with samples and various whizbangs yet reminded me of the Basie band in the 30's swinging riffs.
Hip-Hop. House. World Beat. Beat Box. And especially electronics have expanded the palette of jazz melodically, harmonically, and certainly rhythmically.
With his group Shadow Theater, Tigran played synthesizers (or whatever little boxes with wires and knobs are called nowadays) to create looping melodies and rhythms, sometimes only an ambience, to play within.
White Horse, the husband and wife team of Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland, created tapestries of sound criss-crossing technological devices with traditional instruments.
Doucet played guitar and miscellaneous percussion, including hammering on a floor drum sonic booms that echoed this way and that.
McLelland, hugely pregnant in a green cocktail dress, played a Fender bass. Together they "built" songs like a Dublin tapster "building" a pint of Guinness.
BadBadNotGood played the late show at Club Soda — where every night something different was happening.
These kids from Toronto play what someone called "post-rock" -- but the interplay sounded rather like be-bop. Rocking. Bopping. Lively. And fresh. They became instant sensations on the web about a minute ago, and already they've been working with hip-hop stars.
"They're just kids," I said to Laurent Saulnier, the festival's VP of the Edge. "Nerds."
"No," he said, laughing like only he can. "Geeks!"
Geeks that, notwithstanding electronically, swing …
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