I meant to post this about a week ago, but....well it was a very strange week, to say the least.
Anyway, a week ago last Sunday I had the treat of seeing more high quality music in one day than I had had a chance to in years!
First, I got to see JPEC's latest concert presentation in Toronto. The Jazz Performance and Education Centre is committed to putting on concerts by world class jazz artists, In fact, I played one of their events with Seamus Blake last year. This event was Darren Sigesmund's band opening for Lionel Loueke's band. First Darren's band. They played all original music with a great mixture of textures and grooves. They had a very unusual fron line of Voice, Trombone, and Alto, which Darren's writing showed off beautifully. Great solos and wonderful music. Also worth noting is that although the regular drummer is Ethan Ardelli, (a great younger player that I've mentioned in past blogs) subbing in for him that night was Fabio Ragnelli .He played the music so beautifully. Please check out this talented, musical drummer when you have the chance.
Then the Loueke Trio played, and it was so great to hear them live after enjoying their recordings for so long. The three of them have such empathy, developed during 12 years of working together. Lionel Loueke deserves a lot of credit by sticking with Ferenc Nemeth and Massimo Biolcati in the early days when they weren't well known. I've talked about nemeth's drumming before and how much I love what he does, and he certainly didn't disappoint. He plays so sensitively, always the perfect thing at the right moment. A wonderful night of music.
I wasn't done though, I trundled over to the Rex where Sax player Ryan Oliver was finishing the last night of a 3 night run with Victor Lewis. I've been fortunate to have seen Mr. Lewis a few times over the years, but I don't think I've ever heard him play with as much authority and vitality. After recovering from a dislocated shoulder last year, he's playing better than ever!
This experience has also been very important for me to realize (again) the power of live music. I think many of us are lulled into think youtube or live feeds (great and handy as they are) are no substitute for being in a room with them and feeling them create. I am vowing to make checking out people live a priority from now on.
I had this pointed out to me on the weekend, it's long but do yourself a favour and check out this version of the Bill Evans trio with the dearly departed Paul Motian playing great, as he always did.