• Coming Up On WBGO: July 15th - July 19th

    July 15, 2015. Posted by Josh Landes.

    Here's what to look forward to on WBGO in the coming days- tune to 88.3 FM or listen in to our internet live stream to catch the magic!


    Jazz After Hours - 1 til 6 am: songs by Dorothy Fields. Tracks from Leroy Vinnegar’s “Leroy Walks” recorded on this date in 1957.

    Morning Jazz w/ Gary Walker – 9 am: Interview with trombonist Dave Gibson

    Midday Jazz - 10 am til 2 pm w/ Rhonda Hamilton: Remembering drum great Philly Joe Jones.

    SportsJam with Doug Doyle 7:30 pm: guest – Bobby Edwards, St. Joseph's University and former St. Benedict's goalkeeper

    Jazz Night in America – 6:30 pm: Introducing Marcus Roberts and The Modern Jazz Generation. Marcus’ new 11-piece ensemble—featuring many of his younger protégé—perform original material by Marcus and the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Chick Corea, and Horace Silver. We speak to Marcus and the members of the ensemble about the formation of the band in Tallahassee, Florida and explore what it means to teach jazz through mentorship.

    Evening Jazz – 8pm – 1am: Sheila Anderson is in for Awilda Rivera; more live recordings from historic jazz venues

    Jazz After Hours - 1 – 6 am: Remembering guitarist Bola Sete, as well as pianist Nat Pierce. Classic recordings from Jimmy Smith, Eric Dolphy and Bill Evans.

    Midday Jazz - 10 am til 2 pm w/ Rhonda Hamilton: Featuring the music of Cal Tjader

    Afternoon Jazz w/ Michael Bourne - 2 pm: WBGO listener Raymond Clausss hosts an hour

    Song Travels w/Michael Feinstein – 6:30 pm: guest – vocalist and songwriter José James, who draws his musical inspiration from hip hop and indie rock in addition to jazz and R&B. He’s toured extensively and has gained a following with his acclaimed 2013 album, No Beginning No End, and his 2014 release, While You Were Sleeping. On this Song Travels, James remembers Billie Holiday, who was born 100 years ago this past April, and performs her classics “Loverman” and “I Thought About You.”

    Evening Jazz – 8pm – 1am: Sheila Anderson is in for Awilda Rivera


    Jazz After Hours w/ Brian Delp – 1 til 6 am: Birthday tributes for drummers Joe Morello, Alvester Garnett, Ben Riley, singer Jimmy Scott and saxophonist Chico Freeman. More from Bill Evans’ “Interplay” and from George Benson’s “Body Talk” made on this date.
    Midday Jazz w/ Rhonda Hamilton 10 am til 2 pm: featuring the music of pianist Vince Guaraldi, composer of many jazz classics as well as the theme music for the Charlie Brown TV series.

    Portraits in Blue w/ Bob Porter – 6:30 pm – Dinah Washington Albums Vol. 12

    Evening Jazz – 8pm – 1am: Awilda Rivera returns!


    Portraits in Blue w/ Bob Porter – 7 am: Buddy Johnson Vol.4

    Rhythm Revue w/ Felix Hernandez – 10 am til 2 pm: Classic Labels - an extra helping of Motown and Stax in today’s soulful mix.

    Saturday Afternoon Jazz w/ Monifa Brown - 2 pm til 6 pm: DRUMS OF THUNDER- We'll celebrate the birthdays of two of the greatest rhythmic forces of the jazz world- Philly Joe Jones and Ben Riley. Classic sessions with Philly Jone's and Miles Davis as well as Riley with Thelonious Monk will be among the highlights. As Babatunde Olatunji once said "..Rhythm is the soul of life." It's going to be a soulful afternoon of rhythms celebrating life and legacy of these two giants.


    Jazz Night in America – 6 pm: Israeli clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen leads Choro Aventuroso, a culmination of both her affinity and intense study of Choro, a genre often referred to as “The New Orleans Jazz of Brazil.”

    Sunday Night Music Mix w/ Eulis Cathey – 7 pm: featuring pianist, composer bandleader and educator Patrice Rushen

    The Checkout w/ Simon Rentner – 11 pm: Encore broadcast of Tuesday’s program

  • MONTREAL JAZZFEST 2015, Day After

    July 7, 2015. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM, FIJM 2015
    whrrrrrrrrrrrrn is today's sound -- Bang! and then Bang! and Ka-Crunch! the jazzfest is done ... Sounds of the Quartier des Spectacles the day after FIJM. The big Rio Tinto Alcan stage below my window is already half down. A giant crane is hoisting disconnected planks and pipes from the bigger TD Bank stage. No music is resounding from every which way. No New Orleans trad band is marching. No high school big band is swinging. No stilt-walkers or flame-jugglers. No grills selling hotdogs. No kiosks selling gauffres (Belgian waffles) or frittes (Belgian fries) or other ethnic eats. No tent selling CD's and new LP's. No tent selling festival souvenirs. No FIJM mugs, notebooks, notepads, keychains, wind-breakers, or t-shirts. Apparently, not expecting the parade of fat folks all around Place des Arts, the jazzfest sold out early all the new "Michael Jackson" 2X festival t-shirts. They made more by the festival's finale, and, hanging now with the 40+ other Festival International de JAZZ de Montreal t-shirts I've collected for 23 years, I bought the last one. Not thousands in the streets like every day it didn't rain, hundreds now are working or lurking around the Quartier on the day after FIJM. And most happily in the festival street today are the fest-goers of tomorrow. kids in the fountains, dancing to all the echoes, Montreal plays on ...

    montreal1 Collage

  • MONTREAL JAZZFEST 2015, Finale

    July 6, 2015. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM, FIJM 2015

    No better ending for the jazzfest musically than with the godfather of Montreal jazz, pianist Oliver Jones. We talked in the festival videoteque as he was being filmed for a documentary, talked on the floor above the festival museum.  That's where a virtual shrine is the very piano Oliver and Oscar Peterson learned to play on, the piano of Daisy, Oscar's sister and the teacher of them both.

    Daisy Petersons Piano
    Daisy Peterson's Piano

    I've talked with Oliver through all the 23 years I've come to Montreal.  I didn't know until today that he'd left Montreal and lived in Puerto Rico from the mid-60's until 1980.  Oliver was playing there a regular (but not musically happy) gig with a pop band.  When he came back, Charlie Biddle was opening his jazzclub, and soon Oliver was playing the music he was meant to play.  FIJM was just getting started then, and soon Oliver was a regular presence at the jazzfest.  He played for a superstar singer in Quebec, Janet Reno, on one of the first shows I attended at the jazzfest.  "That was one of my favorite gigs," he said.  Another favorite gig of his and everyone's happened when Oliver played with Oscar, his greatest friend and mentor.  Though they'd known each other for decades, they'd never played together in a concert.  Oscar never completely recovered from a stroke, but if you didn't see his crippled hand on the video screen you'd never have known.  Oscar's performance with Oliver was heroic.  And swinging.

    I was there for Oliver and Oscar, and the concert is still available on a DVD, but I reminded Oliver of my favorite of his many concerts at the festival.  His farewell concert in the latter 90's.  His retirement didn't last, but everyone attending that "farewell" evening was filled with love of the music and love for the musician.  I still get weepy remembering Oliver, after playing a lovely solo recital, walking to the front of the stage and thanking everyone for his career playing music for us all.  And then he said "What would you like to hear?"  And he played requests.

    Oliver Jones, playing requests at his retirement concert/credit: Denis Alix

    In recent years, Oliver's festival concerts have been events, often with others from the continuum of Montreal jazz piano that's followed him and Oscar.  This year he joined Pianos Cameleons at the theatre where he played his "farewell," Monument National.   Jon Roney and Matt Herskowitz have been playing for years four-hands classical and jazz concerts, often becoming six-hands concerts with the likes of Julie LaMontagne.  And tonight they were eight-hands with Oliver Jones.

    "Cheek To Cheek" was the only solo and only standard, Oliver's welcome to an evening of fingers to fingers.  Roney and Herskowitz both have fantastic chops, all the more fantastic when playing two pianos back and forth through familiar classics of Chopin and Rachmaninoff  -- classics we can't always remember the etude or concerto numbers of, but classics we've known by heart most of our lives.  Jon and Matt and Julie and Oliver switched off from piece to piece, usually two at a time, but eventually all four shifting seats and keys.

    Oliver Jones in concert, FIJM 2015/credit: Denis Alix
    Oliver Jones in concert, FIJM 2015/credit: Denis Alix

    One treat was one of Oliver's own.   He remembered that when he and Oscar studied with Daisy, she complained that they'd never play piano exercises correctly.  They'd jazz up the exercises.  Oliver composed "Snuggles" around those very exercises, played eight-hands with the Chameleons.  Schumann's "Traumerei" was another highlight.  Climactically, they all ran around the keys playing Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk"  -- but for the encore, Jon and Matt and Julie pulled all the piano stools around Oliver alone as he played what he's been playing as a concert finale for years, a jazz classic he's turned into the virtual anthem of Montreal jazz, Oscar Peterson's "Hymn to Freedom."

    Oliver Jones in concert, FIJM 2015/credit: Denis Alix
    Oliver Jones in concert, FIJM 2015/credit: Denis Alix

    Festival International de JAZZ de Montreal officially ended on the Big TD stage in the street.  Harmonica whiz Guy Belanger hosted a gathering of Montreal's best blues bands in a tribute to B.B. King.

    BB King Tribute with Guy Balanger/credit: Frederique Menard Aubin
    BB King Tribute with Guy Balanger/credit: Frederique Menard Aubin

    You can hear interviews and music and much more from the festival on "The Checkout" hosted by the indefatigable Simon Renter.

    And see what was happening on the festival's own video retro:

    I can never thank enough all the folks at the festival, especially my dear friend Vincent Lefebvre, international media wrangler for the Herculean press corps.  They all have been beyond generous to me for all these years I've come to the festival.  They have made Montreal for me a home.

    FIJM returns June 26th-July 5th, 2016, and I hope so will I ... MB