WBGO Blog
  • Bourne in Montreal With Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola

    July 6, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Guitarist Charlie Hunter talks with WBGO's Michael Bourne about his duo performances with drummer Scott Amendola at the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal. Enjoy!

    Photo by David Tallacksen
    Photo by David Tallacksen

  • Bourne's Montreal: Les Triplettes De Belleville Ride Again

    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.

    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin
    Benoit Charest by Frederic Menard-Aubin

    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.

    To hear Bourne's interview with Charest at FIJM 2013, click here.

    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin
    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin

    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.

    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin
    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin

    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.

    Photo by Frederique Menard-Aubin
    Photo by Frederique Menard-Aubin

    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.

    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin
    Photo by Frederic Menard-Aubin

  • Bourne's Montreal Moments With Lovett, Swallow & More

    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.

    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich
    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich

    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.

    Young Musicians From Montreal's College Lionel Groulx
    Young Musicians From Montreal's College Lionel Groulx

    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.

    kuhntrio01
    Photo by Denis Alix

    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."

    Photo by David Tallacksen
    Photo by David Tallacksen

    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."

    Photo by David Tallacksen
    Photo by David Tallacksen