July 6, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Ten years ago, the song that won an Oscar came from -- I forget which movie in "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy. I also have forgotten the song that won, and 3 of the other nominees.
I do remember, with great delight, a song that lost but stole our hearts on the Oscars telecast: composer Benoit Charest playing "Belleville Rendezvous" from The Triplets of Belleville, an animated and quite surreal adventure about a grandmother and three other old ladies.
The triplets don't look alike, except they're all grey and goofy, rescue a grandson -- a bicycle racer abducted by gangsters. Charest performed at the Oscars with the magnificent singer Beatrice Bonifassi and a band that included a percussively played-upon upended bicycle.
To celebrate the triplet's 10th anniversary, Charest returned to perform the soundtrack music live with a screening of the timelessly weird and enchanting movie.
Charest's "Terrible Orchestre de Belleville" was having as much of a hoot as the audience, complete with a drummer in drag.
And a bicycle. Upended.
© 2013 WBGO
July 5, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.
There comes a moment at every jazzfest in Montreal. I'll be walking along Place des Arts, and I'll hear music that stops me.
Last year it was a trombonist in a college band, playing with a sound too deep and beautiful for someone so young. This year it was a singer singing "Skylark" on the outdoor Rio Tinto Alcan stage.
I walked around to the front for a look. She was young. So were all the players in the big band from the college Lionel-Groulx. About equally young women and men. All swinging.
I forget which Ellington song they played next, but I remember the sureness of the singer's voice, and I remember the handsome, bearded, 20-something tenor saxist soloing. I could hear him thinking through the changes. I could hear him, hear all of them, learning to know how. Another generation of jazz. All swinging.
Another Montreal Moment: Steve Kuhn, Steve Swallow, and Joey Baron played one of Swallow's hipper tunes, "Ladies in Mercedes."
"What color was the Mercedes?" hollered someone in the audience.
"I don't know," said Swallow. "I wasn't looking at the Mercedes."
One more Montreal Moment: Lyle Lovett played and sang quasi-country songs and quasi-bluegrass. He also explained the difference:
"Country songs," he said, "can bring you down." "Bluegrass," he said, "can kill you."
© 2013 WBGO
July 5, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Pianist Bill Charlap talks with WBGO's Michael Bourne about his performances at the Montreal nightclub "Le Upstairs," as part of the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO