A Camera's Eye View: Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2009
What happened between the other musicians was an entirely different thing. On this occasion, pianist Geoffrey Keezer filled in for Panamanian counterpart Danilo Perez. From this vantage point, the brief period spent in the company of Shorter and Keezer was the highlight of the festival because their interplay was so real, it was unreal. Keezer kept agitating the harmonic tension, goading Shorter to answer in ways unimagined.
For Al Jarreau, Montreal was not a venue to show off big chops. The voice sounded stressed and bit behind the curve. Still, with everything in place the master's night was full of surprises, and for us on the sidelines a feast of image gathering.
Miles from India was big fun and big sound. The ensemble consisted of sitars, tablas, saxophones, three drummers, brass and plenty more, yet this should have been more compelling. There was plenty to extract from the wired expanse, yet not much in the way of prolonged excitement. Saxophonists Bill Evans and Rudresh Mahanthappa pushed the hardest yet the weight of too many competing players may have been inhibiting. Three kit drummers in total synch did not catch fire. I kept thinking Mahavishnu Orchestra and all of those jarring interludes and how they so magically broke space between soloists.
Kenny Werner is a pianist's pianist. He was also visually appropriate and musically bold and inventive.
Jamie Cullum showed pure showmanship with solid music principles. From the downbeat, the photographer must chase him with the lensthe guy never stops grooving. It is as if Disney let loose on him while having an animation seizure. Wonderful! Cullum can sing, goad an audience, entertain and most definitely play the piano. From the galley, the maneuver is known as "chasing the cricket." But you've got to love the guy!
Madeline Peyroux isn't the most active participant in her shows. In fact, it is her near motionless stage demeanor that appeals. The recordings come with more polish and assuredness.
Throughout the coming months, I'll review and listen to the photos. Music remains imbedded in each image. Those glorious tones, searing melodies, unspoken body languages and physical interplay will continue to inspire and penetrate the quiet regions of heart and mind. Click!