Bourne's Montreal: Terrasson Catches Fire
July 1, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.
There's nothing quite like starting the day with a fire alarm. 5:30AM. Really, really loud. And relentless. "Evacuate" in English and French. I don't remember the French.
I was thinking, "Climb down seven flights? Or burn up?"
I almost opted for the latter, but then I collected what seemed in a blur were "essentials": passport, wallet with a credit card, Canadian money, American money, and glasses. Thought that jeans and sneakers were enough. Some folks were in pajamas and flip-flops. Some folks were hauling suitcases down the stairs.
And not the seven flights I assumed from being on the 7th floor. Hyatt Regency reception is five flights above the street. I was gallumphing down 12 flights of stairs. My knees were angry. Really, really loud. And relentless.
Outside in the street -- Ste. Catherine, main drag of the jazzfest -- folks were grumbling. One story was that someone was smoking and set his room on fire. I heard eventually that someone was smoking and was pumping a fire extinguisher around his room to deodorize the smoke smell. Not realizing that when one pulls a fire extinguisher from the wall, an alarm goes off that there's a fire.
Jazz folks were all around the street. Frank Alkyer, publisher of DownBeat. Tommy LiPuma. Over there was Wayne Shorter. Peter Bernstein by the elevator.
"Good show at the Jesus," I said to Peter. "Tell Larry that the composer of 'I Never Knew' was Ted Fio Rito." "Who?" said Peter, guitar in hand.
Squatting was quasi-conscious Jacky Terrasson. "I'm interviewing you today," I said. "What time?" he asked. "Four," I answered. "Good," he said, and we both yawned.
Do you know where the Gesu is?" he asked me by the Dairy Queen. "Thataway and to the left," I pointed. Almost 17 hours since the fire alarm, Jacky was turned around in the crowd, easily uncertain when meandering through new barricades.
Montreal is rebuilding even more around Place des Arts. Where the great cabaret The Spectrum used to be is now an enormous complex being built. Nonetheless, around the corner where it's been for all the 34 years of the jazzfest was the Gesu church.
A hundred shows I must've enjoyed at the Jesus, and Jacky's trio, with bassist Ben Williams and drummer Justin Faulkner, played one of the best.
They mostly deconstructed, upended, sidestepped, and reconstructed songs. "Besame Mucho." "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." "Caravan." "Love for Sale." Jacky writhed and bounced at the piano, even howled from time to time, enjoying himself. Often the trio suddenly shifted down a tempo or re-vamped a melody.
They must've orchestrated musical moves so quick, yet the always colorful kaleidoscope they were playing always felt spontaneous. And for one of the encores that the several standing ovations inspired, Justin Faulkner conducted an audience finger-snap-along.
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