Day 8 - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, July 5, 2006
After the performance, a quick look at the trio leading the festival's nightly jam session at the Hyatt Regency Montreal Centre-Ville found pianist John Roney, bassist Zack Lober and drummer Jim Doxas in fine form. While it would have been interesting to see who would show up to join them (at midnight it was still relatively early), they were so strong that, were nobody to come up on stage it would still have been worthwhile staying until closing.
Roney released his first record as a leader, Rate of Change (Effendi, 2005), with the same trio and while the ECM-centric aesthetic of the disc is on considerably different stylistic turf than the standards-based repertoire at the jam session, there was the same sense of invention and chemistry. There are those who remain literal to the songs they play, and those who can be completely liberal without losing a song's essence. Roney, Lauber and Doxas clearly fit in the second category. Here are three players with the confidence to let the music go where it will, but able to magically find their way back when necessary, truly speaking with a single voice. While jammers are encouraged, anyone going to the late night session will be just as satisfied if nobody shows up to join this excellent trio of musicians who have a strong reputation in Montreal, but deserve to be heard much farther abroad.
A fine ending to a day filled with beautiful writing and no shortage of improvisational creativity.
Tomorrow: Ensemble Misto continues the Suono Italia series in style with their intriguing combination of saxophone, violin, harp, accordion and double-bass, and guitar icon Pat Martino makes a welcome appearance at the late show at the 1,000-seat Spectrum club.
Note: Day 7 of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal is a day of transition, with a host of free shows. It's also the day where AAJ transitions coverage, with AAJ-NY Editorial Director/Production Designer Andrey Henkin returning home and Senior Editor John Kelman picking up on day eight, July 5.