• Sonny Rollins Concert

    June 28, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Sonny Rollins & Russell Malone, photo by David Tallacksen
    Sonny Rollins & Russell Malone, photo by David Tallacksen

    A huge roar in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, the biggest venue of the Montreal Festival, greeted Sonny Rollins. He entered in a flowing red silk shirt, a SHOCK of grey hair, the iconic profile, dark sunglasses, the saxophone and then the sound. The first piece was as simple as four bars, repeated, yet the more he played them, the more I wanted more. And he was generous.

    He holds a note a long time, intense and penetrating, then tumbles down the ravine through a syncopated strung-out cadence you feel but can't hold onto to punch the bottom note, spin it. Love those low notes. Everything spins -- the tone, melodies, everything and as the concert progressed, it seemed to spin more. From The Very Thought of You through a calypso (not St Thomas) .. as that applause for that ended, a lady cried out "We love you Sonny!" he stepped to the mic and said "Love you back!"  .. an Italian folksong in 3, They Say That Falling in Love Is Wonderful. . . He paced a bit, pumped his fist, sung two choruses of a blues about a no-good woman (has anyone seen Sonny Rollins sing before?) and it was over. I looked up toward the five white stairway-to-heaven boxes plastered to each dark sidewall of this home to the Montreal Symphony and saw people cheering for more. There was a bow but not an encore. It was complete, a concert to remember.

    At the beginning of the show, Rollins received the 2010 Miles Davis Award from Montreal's Andre Menard. I'm for a Sonny Rollins Award! And right away.

  • Red Baraat outdoors on Sunday

    June 28, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Red Baraat outdoors .. note little dancer-to-be at right

    Just before the dance

    I hope her parents might add a comment to this blog

    WBGO hopes to talk with founder and leader Sunny Jain (left) .. stay tuned.

  • David Sanchez Quartet - Saturday night in Montreal

    June 27, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Saxophonist David Sanchez led his group at the Theatre Jean Duceppe. He said he was happy to be with us, the band had had a rough airport day, it had not been fun. (They left Montreal right away on Sunday morning. We journalistes get to stay for several nights; the musicians don't.) But thanks to their persistence, this concert was even more than met the eye. Read more