Sunday, July 11, 2010

Montreal, Jazz me souvien.

This one  is especially dedicated to Dede of "Varie ed Eventuali".

One more post isn't enough to talk about this beautiful city, but I should eventually be talking about the main attraction of these few days in Montreal: the Jazz Festival.
I could start with a negative note, saying we missed the George Clinton & Parliament's concert and the Dave Brubeck's concert as well and  - given the fact that good Dave Brubeck is 90 - this is NOT one for the next time, probably.

Anyway, in things music, I always tend to see the glass full.
The amazing number of concerts (all of high quality) and the relaxed way Montrealers and visitors had during this festival struck me as an ideal of tolerance and good behavior I've seldom experienced at open air concerts.

US Americans are a good example, but Canadians are perfection - this is something Europeans should learn.
There was a huge crowd and I didn't see anyone pushing nor yelling (that would be my daughter) or complaining.
There was no junk on the streets, no drunk people and no freaks.
Just pure fun and good vibration connecting everybody. That was great.

A memeber of a marching band that was kind of guiding people from one stage to another with standard brass sounds but funky costumes...

I love brass and I definitely have a couple of movies I enjoy if only for the music like Kansas City, by Robert Altman, Mo' Better Blues, by Spike Lee or Bird, by Clint Eastwood. (One could argue that Charlie Parker was a saxophone player and saxophone doesn't belong to the brass family...but I am not discussing these details here!)

This skilled and sophisticated young pianist and composer is Amanda Tosoff.
I liked her music, but I need more peace of mind for that.

What I like in jazz is the amount of different aspects, nuances and contaminations it has and one of the most interesting is certainly Latin jazz.

Harold Nussa is a young (26 year old, amazing!) cuban pianist.
You can see an interview here.

As I said, everybody was having fun: Bastian loves singing and dancing and it was amazing how child-friendly the whole party was.
No need to be afraid of kids getting lost or hit by careless people.

I forgot the name of these ladies, they were performing excellently some hit, not necessarily jazz songs, but each with a very characteristic voice and sound.

Here are The Lost Fingers; three guys at the strings, singing 80s songs in a jazzy-gypsy variation à la Django Reinhardt (inspiration for their name).
Django Reinhardt suffered an injury on the forth and fifth finger and therefore played just with the remaining three fingers. This year would be his 100th birth anniversary.

I got myself the cd Lost in the 80s and enjoy that in the car so so much...
Some favorite of mine are You shook me all night long, Pump up the Jam and Part Time Lover (not so much for the lyrics, but the interpretation is just too good!Even a stupid tune can become great, if played by with skill and irony).
Btw, last year, when Stevie Wonder was performing at the festival, the  Lost Fingers performed ten consecutive nights.

Between stages and performances there were some breaks with streets actors, and one big break for me when Ralph took Carlotta for a walk and I had a very good talk with a man from Luxembourg who called me "Madame" all the time - some people are just born elegant (he, not I, of course!).
This happened before the last concert of our last evening, Emir Kusturica and The NO smoking Orchestra in their performance full of energy and yet as controversial as the movies Kusturica directed, with some kind of nationalist content.
Well, it was an interesting talk because it was like being in front of a miroir.

This guy was traveling around a lot, it seems, and he explained to me that "if you wanted to see every place on earth, you'd need more than one life. So, I just follow my feelings. They tell me where to go next. You understand me?I bet you do!".
Of course I did.

"If you open your eyes, you will learn a lot; and travel is not just about destination, it is a journey to your inner self. You understand what I mean?
I have no one, I only have god - not the god of religion, forget about that!
It's just something I can rely on, something that connects us all.
I know I am a rebel, a Don Quixote who fights against wind-mills, but that's how I feel and how I have to be.
Do you understand what I mean?
Some people are blocked, they can't live their life fully, because they are afraid of taking any risk; anyway today is just a perfect day, the weather is wonderful and the music too: everybody is having fun. FANTASTIQUE!".


Anonymous said...

Wow dev'essere davvero fantastico laggiù, sentirsi nel cuore della musica e con un sacco di vibrazioni positive nell'aria, divertitevi un sacco anche per me!

dede said...

tu non puoi nemmeno immaginare quanto ti invidio, sono anni che io vorrei andarci

Mari said...

@Manuela: ciao cara!!!sí, è stato proprio fantastico, ci siamo diertiti un sacco!

@Dede: assolutamente ci devi andare!!!
Quello che mi ha colpito profondamente è la mancanza di "snobismo da evento"...
uno si trova semplicemente ad essere in mezzo a migliaia di persone che sono lí per sentire buona musica, magari farsi una chiacchierata, senza stress.