Live blogging Jazz Festival 4

This is my sixth consecutive night attending the Ottawa International Jazz Festival 2008. I’m getting seriously sleep deprived!

Since I last live-blogged, I’ve seen:

  • Corkestra: an avant-garde nonet (i.e., 9 performers) who skillfully painted soundscapes rather than, you know, music;
  • Madeleine Peyroux: light jazz, performed by a singer whose unorthodox phrasing reminds me of Billie Holiday. Perfect ambience for a romantic dinner — in that respect, she reminds me of Norah Jones, but personally I would prefer Peyroux;
  • Oliver Jones: a very talented Canadian pianist who achieved international recognition (though not so much in the USA) in the 1980s. The trio devoted part of the evening to paying homage to Oscar Peterson (who died in 2007), which was an audience favourite. Jones grew up in Peterson’s neighbourhood in Montreal; indeed, he took piano lessons from Peterson’s sister. But he’s an artist in his own right.

I enjoyed all three of those groups, although they each offered a very distinctive experience. That’s the beauty of a festival:  it’s a smorgasbord of music!

The most newsworthy development this week is that I received a comment (on this post) from Bernie Senensky. Bernie is the outstanding pianist in Buddy DeFranco’s band. He asked if I would share my recording of the DeFranco concert with him.

Tonight, my son and I set out on our bicycles to see Amir Amiri, an Iranian duo. They play violin and santour — a 72-string instrument that is played by striking it with hammers.

I was curious to see that, but events conspired against us. Isaac’s bike broke down about a third of the way downtown, and we had to walk the bikes back home. That was actually the third setback of the evening. I won’t bore you with the details; the point is, it precluded my first exposure to the wonders of a santour and violin duet.

Instead, we’re seeing an African singer, Salif Keita, with his group. They started late, just about five minutes ago. Complete with two dancers in African dress.

Both the outfits and the music are colourful. But I may be too tired to appreciate it.


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