WBGO Blog
  • Montreal Jazz Festival in Photos: Michael Bourne

    July 4, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

    Our makeshift studios at the Montreal Jazz Festival are on the 3rd floor of the Festival headquarters, a space known as the videotheque, where the Festival keeps its audio-visual archives. Behind the main desk, we noticed a beautifully arranged and framed collage of Downbeat articles featuring the Festival... all written by our own Michael Bourne!

  • Montreal Jazz Festival in Photos: Cyrus Chestnut

    July 4, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

    At 10 o'clock, Kurt Rosenwinkel (photo here) played solo guitar with effects, up to and including the massive all-stops-pulled-out sound of a pipe organ. At 10:30, across the plaza, Cyrus Chestnut's show began. As I entered in progress, Cyrus was playing the theme from Jeopardy. I felt concerned, but unnecessarily so. He followed it with an all-stops-out Polka Dots and Moonbeams. Soon after, the Brahms Hungarian Rhapsody. I Can't Help Falling in Love with You from Elvis. The CPE Bach Solfeggietto. Is there anyone else who could play a program like this, so swinging, so flawless, so pianistic, so fun? In one flash, he played a run up the keyboard and beyond, waving his fingers in thin air, as if he could go higher though the piano would not.

    Cyrus says he is pulling his classical music off the shelf and learning it all over again. He says that Betty Carter -- his early boss -- is looking over his shoulder, not permitting him to repeat himself. "That's already been done," she scolds.

    The encore was an impromptu slow blues, set up by Dezron Douglas on bass. Cyrus's solo developed into a smoldering two-handed tremolo that did not become louder, did not move up the keys, it just trembled with Neil Smith's quiet snare roll over TWO full choruses. After that came the explosive release and then a very very quiet ending from the bass, last note/lowest note from the pianist. Thank you, Sir Cyrus.

    I met a WBGO listener in the lobby after the show! Don't know her name, but she too is a witness to Cyrus's triumph in Montreal. -- Becca Pulliam

  • Dispatches from the Montreal Jazz Festival: Christian McBride and Fest Director Andre Menard

    July 4, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

    Bassist Christian McBride found time out of his whirlwind visit for a great conversation with Michael Bourne.

    Christian McBride
    Christian McBride

    And Montreal Jazz Festival Co-Founder and Artistic Director Andre Menard joined us to speak about his favorite performances this year and more.

    Andre Menard
    Andre Menard