Aaron Parks is an altogether beautiful person, as if his aura just colors whatever he touches, particularly pianos. Billy Hart is a legend and a giant and gets to do whatever the hell he wants on the drums. Ben Street is an anchor and a pure soul able to keep the three aligned on the bass. The trio were absolutely outstanding playing one of the last sets of the festival on Saturday, July 9 at Le Gesù presenting new material Parks is set to release some time next year on ECM.
Erik Truffaz is 56 years old. He plays the trumpet. He's on Blue Note… France. He's not hyped in the United States much. I only knew of him from copping his 2000 album, The Mask, from fellow KRTU radio host J.C. Pagan after he found the album while shopping in Brazil (if memory serves). The guy is a big deal, but one of those big deals that literally doesn't in America. It should, because if his Friday, July 8th performance at the Monument National is any proof, Truffaz' quartet is one of the most forward thinking groups in jazz today.
I learned long ago from my mother that if you can help it, don't work on your birthday. There are some who don't exactly hold that sentiment. Bassist Orlando le Flemming's birthday was yesterday, July 7, but he still put in work backing guitarist Nir Felder for his sets at l'Astral. Alongside drummer Jimmy Macbride, the three played two sets mostly of new material with a few selections from Felder's latest album, 2014's Golden Age.
Bilal brings it, but he always had. His Wednesday, July 6th set at Club Soda as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival didn't have the Patti Labelle-esque rolling on the ground like his recent BET Awards tribute performance to Prince, but he didn't need to, because Bilal always brings it.
The Ron Carter Quartet took the stage on Saturday, July 4 (the penultimate night of the 2015 Montreal International Jazz Festival) at the historic Monument-National, Quebec's oldest operating theater. Carter was accompanied by longtime associates Payton Crossley (drums) and Rolando Morales (percussion), as well as veteran jazz pianist Renee Rosnes, a relatively new member of the group. The band was dressed in suits and ties that harkened back to a bygone era of jazz, when Carter was positioned at it's forefront. Apparently, he always buys ties in threes since Crossley and Morales each had the same one.