WBGO Blog
  • Bourne in Montreal - Part Five

    July 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Melody Gardot by Denis Alix
    Day 5 Monday June 30th

    Lunch on the terrasse, plateau of the Place des Arts where they have boutiques, games for kids, sponsor outlets, and eats. I was joined by one of my loved ones in Montreal, Catherine Simard, daughter of Alain Simard, president and co-founder of the jazzfest. Catherine endeared herself to me years ago when she was my virtual minder during the 25th anniversary jazzfest. We were supposed to catch a boat from the Old Town out to an anniversary concert on an island in the St Lawrence where the festival actually began almost 30 years ago. When we got to the dock, the boat was pulling out. I'll never forget Catherine -- in flip-flops! -- running along the dock shouting to the boat. Which actually stopped and came back...for me. Since then she's worked in most of the departments of Spectra, the arts company that produces the jazzfest and so much more. This year she's responsible for marketing, and the sponsor logos hanging ariound the Place are her work. I said years ago that she's not the "heir apparent" because she's Alain's daughter. I believe Catherine will be a boss some day because of her smarts, her charms, and her willingness to do whatever the work is -- whether she's running an enormous jazzfest or running in flip-flops ...

    Public Enemy was playing Metropolis. I know nothing about them, except that they're among the first doing hip-hop. I have never heard them, and was not going to their press conference, but Marie-Eve Boisvert, boss of the salle de presse (and another of my loved ones), said "You should go. They're interesting." I recognized Flavor Flav from posters in the subways for his TV "reality" show, and he was as amusingly goofy as he looks. Chuck D, the other singer, was indeed interesting. He talked about politics, racism, and other seriousness that they've sung about, and he was also insightful about the music business, always speaking with a remarkable forthrightness and yet also with a very quick wit. "Our press conferences are more entertaining than most hip-hop shows," he said, and I believed him. I'm sorry I couldn't go to their show. I was booked to various of the other 39 musical events happening today from midi to minuit.

    I was especially aware today of how many people come every day, countless thousands of people, all ages, all colors, all cultures, all having a good time. I saw babies dancing in the street, also little old ladies dancing in the street. I'd see whole families dressed in the saris or scarves or hats of wherever they came from. Montreal often seems even more international than New York, especially in the musicians and everyone listening to them at FIJM.
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  • An Interview With Pianist Uri Caine

    July 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Uri Caine at the Village Vanguard

    We're presenting the Uri Caine Trio at the Village Vanguard.  Check out this
    interview I did with Uri Caine. Learn more about his very eclectic music.
    Click here to listen.
    -Josh

  • Great Live Moments - Roy Haynes

    July 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Roy Haynes by Jimmy Katz

    I typically steer clear of superlatives when I write about musicians. My opinion is no less valid than any listener's opinion. That's one reason why I would never consider myself a critic. Just an advocate, really. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me tell you that Roy Haynes is the greatest living jazz drummer. There. I said it. And I'm not just basing this on his accumulated career - you know, the 50+ years of playing with every major innovator since the late 1940s. Truth be told, Roy Haynes is eternally youthful, and he's still a badass. In July 1987, when Roy was a cool 62 years old (retirement age for the lucky few), he brought his quartet to Riverside Park in New York. WBGO recorded it for posterity, including this lovely jam on "All Blues." Donald Harrison is the saxophonist, Dave Kikoski played piano, Ed Howard is the bassist.
    And the leader...Roy...(tap tap tap)...Haynes...
    Click here to listen.
    -Josh