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Thread: Stevie Wonder To Open Jazz Festival With Free Outdoor Concert!

  1. #1
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    Stevie Wonder To Open Jazz Festival With Free Outdoor Concert!

    It's amazing to me that nobody has posted that Stevie Wonder will be opening the Jazz Festival on June 30 with a free outdoor concert on the big stage between the Place de Arts and the Hyatt:

    http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/prog...t.aspx?id=9191

    My source in Montreal tells me a crowd of 200,000 is expected, which will certainly give the Montreal Police Department something to do. Hopefully their efforts at crowd control will be better than their pathetic display of uncontrolled chaos during the 2003 Iraq War protests (I had the misfortune of being involved in those traffic snarls starting at Pont Champlagne).

    Stevie Wonder is amazing! I wonder which of his great songs he will perform?

    I Was Made To Love Her (my favorite):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pYux5-d1Es
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsLWiJVdWkU

    My Cherie Amour:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OlG2ek-wzs

    Superstitition:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDZFf0pm0SE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE

    Sir Duke:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sIjSNTS7Fs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmUvVj2mxnY

    Isn't She Lovely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2WzocbSd2w

    I am going to do everything in my power to be there. I have been to the Jazz festival every year since 2002, and the best performance I saw live was Paul Simon's band which did an unannounced jam in 2006. I was lucky enough to be there when it happened, right in front of the stage.

    This is going to be an event!
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 05-18-2009 at 01:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the heads up.

    Look for me, I will surely be in the crowd!

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  3. #3
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    Wow

    Thanks EB. I'm making plans now. Of course, seeing him in a crowd of a 1/4 million means watching him on T.V. screens, not actually seeing him, but still.

    Let's hope the sound, visual and performance experience are as great as the Obama inaugural concert.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  4. #4
    A free outdoor Stevie Wonder concert is sure to bring out the crowds... I'll be there too.

    But considering this is the Jazz Fest, who else is excited that Ornette Coleman will grace us with his music? The last time he was in Montreal was 20 years ago!
    Amantes sunt amentes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agrippa
    A free outdoor Stevie Wonder concert is sure to bring out the crowds... I'll be there too.

    But considering this is the Jazz Fest, who else is excited that Ornette Coleman will grace us with his music? The last time he was in Montreal was 20 years ago!
    Jazz fest in name only it seems, but yeah, OC is amazing. I saw him years ago when I could actually afford a pass to see all the shows, back in the St. Denis Theatre days. One of the first jazz tunes I ever heard was 'Lonely Woman'.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    Jazz fest in name only it seems, but yeah, OC is amazing. I saw him years ago when I could actually afford a pass to see all the shows, back in the St. Denis Theatre days. One of the first jazz tunes I ever heard was 'Lonely Woman'.
    Indeed! That's what I was partially lamenting... they should just call it the Music Festival.

    That was my introduction to Ornette Coleman too though I originally heard it performed by John Zorn... with Naked City. Quite a band; check it out if your ears are open! The lament of the Naked City version, though with a bit more of a rock feel, intrigued me and I followed the track down to the original and discovered and was blown away by Ornette.

    The first jazz I was conscious of hearing and appreciating was Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. Everyone should have that one in their collection! This year marks the 50th anniversary of that album and Jimmy Cobb will be in town to celebrate with his band... didn't get a ticket for that though.
    Amantes sunt amentes.

  7. #7

    Ornette Montreal

    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    I saw him years ago when I could actually afford a pass to see all the shows, back in the St. Denis Theatre days.
    Sweet! Found it online and downloading it!

    It was actually 21 years ago at the 9th Jazz Fest... the setlist was:
    1. Song X
    2. Music News
    3. Guadalupe
    4. Honeymooners
    5. Latin Genetics
    6. Singing in the Shower
    7. 3 Wishes
    8. Happy Hour
    9. Bourgeoise Boogie
    10. The Good Life
    and the band:
    • Ornette Coleman, as, tp
    • Denardo Coleman, dr
    • Chris Rosenberg, g
    • Ken Wessel, g
    • Chris Walker, b
    • Pat Metheny, g (8 - 10)
    • Al McDowell, b
    • Badal Roy, tablas
    Amantes sunt amentes.

  8. #8

    Listening With Ornette Coleman, Pt 1

    Listening With Ornette Coleman
    from The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music
    By BEN RATLIFF

    THE alto saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman, one of the last of the truly imposing figures from a generation of jazz players that was full of them, seldom talks about other people’s music. People generally want to ask him about his own, and that becomes the subject he addresses. Or half-addresses: what he’s really focused on is a set of interrelated questions about music, religion and the nature of being. Sometimes he can seem indirect, or sentimental, or thoroughly confusing. Other times he sounds like one of the world’s killer aphorists.

    In any case, other people’s music was what I wanted to talk to him about. I asked what he would like to listen to. “Anything you want,” he said in his fluty Southern voice. “There is no bad music, only bad performances.” He finally offered a few suggestions. The music he likes is simply defined: anything that can’t be summed up in a common term. Any music that is not created as part of a style. “The state of surviving in music is more like ‘what music are you playing,’ ” he said. “But music isn’t a style, it’s an idea. The idea of music, without it being a style — I don’t hear that much anymore.”

    Then he went up a level. “I would like to have the same concept of ideas as how people believe in God,” he said. “To me, an idea doesn’t have any master.”

    Mr. Coleman was born, in 1930, and raised in Fort Worth, where he attained some skill at playing rhythm and blues in bars, like any decent saxophonist, and some more skill at playing bebop, which was rarer. He arrived in New York in 1959, via Los Angeles, with an original, logical sense of melody and an idea of playing with no preconceived chord changes. Yet his music bore a tight sense of knowing itself, of natural form, and the records he made for Atlantic with his various quartets, from 1959 to 1961, are almost unreasonably beautiful.

    Following that initial shock of the new came a short period with a trio, then a two-year hiatus from recording in 1963 and 1964, then the trio again, then a fantastic quartet from 1968 to 1972 with the tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman (who died three weeks ago), then a period of funk-through-the-looking-glass with his electric band, Prime Time. Mr. Coleman is still moving, now with a band including two bassists, Greg Cohen and Tony Falanga, and his son, Denardo Coleman, on drums.

    He has a kind of high-end generosity; he said that he wouldn’t think twice about letting me go home with a piece of music he had just written, because he would be interested in what I might make of it. But there is a great pessimism in his talk, too. He said he believes that most of human history has been wasted on building increasingly complicated class structures. “Life is already complete,” he said. “You can’t learn what life is. And the only way you die is if something kills you. So if life and death are already understood, what are we doing?”

    A week later we met for several hours at his large, minimal-modernist loft in Manhattan’s garment district. Mr. Coleman is 76 and working often: he is making music with his new quartet that, at heart, is similar to what he made when he was 30. On “Sound Grammar,” his new live album (on his new record label, of the same name), it is a matter of lines traveling together and pulling apart, following the curve of his melodies, tangling and playing in a unison that allows for discrepancies between individual sound and intonation and, sometimes, key.

    Unison is one of his key words: he puts an almost mystical significance in it, and he uses it in many ways. “Being a human, you’re required to be in unison: upright,” he said.

    Mr. Coleman draws you into the chicken-and-egg questions that he’s asking himself. These questions can become sort of the dark side of Bible class. Many of them are about what happens when you put a name on something, or when you learn some codified knowledge.

    Though he is fascinated by music theory, he is suspicious of any construct of thought. Standard Western notation and harmony is a big problem for him, particularly for the fact that the notation for many instruments (including his three instruments — alto saxophone, trumpet and violin) must be transposed to fit the “concert key” of C in Western music.

    Mr. Coleman talks about “music” with care and accuracy, but about “sound” with love. He doesn’t understand, he says, how listeners will ever properly understand the power of notes when they are bossed around by the common Western system of harmony and tuning.

    He’s not endorsing cacophony: he says making music is a matter of finding euphonious resolutions between different players. (And much of his music keeps referring to, if not actually staying in, a major key.) But the reason he appreciates Louis Armstrong, for example, is that he sees Armstrong as someone who improvised in a realm beyond his own knowledge. “I never heard him play a straight chord in root position for his idea,” he said. “And when he played a high note, it was the finale. It wasn’t just because it was high. In some way, he was telling stories more than improvising.”

    MR. COLEMAN’S first request was something by Josef Rosenblatt, the Ukrainian-born cantor who moved to New York in 1911 and became one of the city’s most popular entertainers — as well as a symbol for not selling out your convictions. (He turned down a position with a Chicago opera company, but was persuaded to take a small role in Al Jolson’s film “The Jazz Singer.”) I brought some recordings from 1916 and we listened to “Tikanto Shabbos,” a song from Sabbath services. Rosenblatt’s voice came booming out, strong and clear at the bottom, with miraculous coloratura runs at the top.

    “I was once in Chicago, about 20-some years ago,” Mr. Coleman said. “A young man said, ‘I’d like you to come by so I can play something for you.’ I went down to his basement and he put on Josef Rosenblatt, and I started crying like a baby. The record he had was crying, singing and praying, all in the same breath. I said, wait a minute. You can’t find those notes. Those are not ‘notes.’ They don’t exist.”

    He listened some more. Rosenblatt was working with text, singing brilliant figures with it, then coming down on a resolving note, which was confirmed and stabilized by a pianist’s chord. “I want to ask something,” he said. “Is the language he’s singing making the resolution? Not the melody. I mean, he’s resolving. He’s not singing a ‘melody.’ ”

    It could be that he’s at least singing each little section in relation to a mode, I said.

    “I think he’s singing pure spiritual,” he said. “He’s making the sound of what he’s experiencing as a human being, turning it into the quality of his voice, and what he’s singing to is what he’s singing about. We hear it as ‘how he’s singing.’ But he’s singing about something. I don’t know what it is, but it’s bad.”

    I wonder how much of it is really improvised, I said. Which up-and-down melodic shapes, and in which orders, were well practiced, and which weren’t.

    “Mm-hmm,” he said. “I understand what you’re saying. But it doesn’t sound like it’s going up and down; it sounds like it’s going out. Which means it’s coming from his soul.”

    MR. COLEMAN grew up loving Charlie Parker and bebop in general. “It was the most advanced collective way of playing a melody and at the same time improvising on it,” he said. Certainly, he was highly influenced by Parker’s phrasing.

    He saw Parker play in Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. “Basically, he had picked up a local rhythm section, and he was playing mostly standards. He didn’t play any of the music that I liked that I’d heard on a record. He looked at his watch and stopped in the middle of what he was playing, put his horn in his case and walked out the door. I said, ohh. I mean, I was trying to figure out what that had to do with music, you know? It taught me something.”

    What did it teach him? “He knew the quality of what he could play, and he knew the audience, and he wasn’t impressed enough by the audience to do something that they didn’t know. He wasn’t going to spend any more time trying to prove that.”

    We listened to “Cheryl,” a Parker quintet track from 1947. “I was drawn to the way Charlie Parker phrased his ideas,” he said. “It sounded more like he was composing, and I really loved that. Then, when I found out that the minor seventh and the major seventh was the structure of bebop music — well, it’s a sequence. It’s the art of sequences. I kind of felt, like, I got to get out of this.”
    [cont'd]
    Amantes sunt amentes.

  9. #9

    Listening With Ornette Coleman, Pt 2

    [cont'd]

    He talks a lot about sequences. (John Coltrane, he said, was a good saxophone player who was lost to them.) With regard to his Parker worship, he kept the phrasing but got rid of the sequences. “I first tried to ban all chords,” he said, “and just make music an idea, instead of a set pattern to know where you are.”

    I SUGGESTED gospel music, and he was enthusiastic. I brought something I felt he might like: sacred harp music — white, rural, choral music, about 100 voices in loose unison. We listened to “The Last Words of Copernicus,” written in 1869 and recorded by Alan Lomax in Fyffe, Ala., in 1959.

    “That’s breath music,” he said, as big groups of singers harmonized in straight eighth-note patterns, singing plainly but with character. “They’re changing the sound with their emotions. Not because they’re hearing something.” But then we were off on another topic — whether a singer should seek a voicelike sound for his voice. “Isn’t it amazing that sound causes the idea to sound the way it is, more than the idea?” he asked.

    Finally the listening experiment broke down. It’s hard to keep Mr. Coleman talking about anyone else’s music. His mystical-logical puzzles are too interesting to him.

    He is writing new pieces for each concert, and was leaving for European shows. “Right now, I’m trying to play the instrument,” he said, “and I’m trying to write, without any restrictions of chord, keys, time, melody and harmony, but to resolve the idea eternally, where every person receives the same quality from it, without relating it to some person.”

    He told a childhood story about his mother, who, he kept reminding me, was born on Christmas Day. After he received his first saxophone, he would go to her when he learned to play something by ear. “I’d be saying: ‘Listen to this! Listen to this!’ ” he remembered. “You know what she’d tell me? ‘Junior, I know who you are. You don’t have to tell me.’ ”
    Amantes sunt amentes.

  10. #10
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    The Stevie Wonder concert is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on June 30. Does anyone know how on schedule they stay with the opening night festivities?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
    The Stevie Wonder concert is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on June 30. Does anyone know how on schedule they stay with the opening night festivities?
    I think they try to keep to the schedule. If it gets a later start it would result in a shorter show as I don't think outdoor shows can run past midnight. I'm pretty sure they will do their best to make sure that the opening show of the festival will go off smoothly and on time.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  12. #12
    The FIJM always respects their schedule, particularly for the outdoor shows. Since they have so many stages and they are so close to each other, a show finishing late means it will be drowning out another show starting elsewhere. As a result, so that it can start on time, others finish on time... they're pretty serious about this.

    Having said this, don't expect to show up at 9:30pm and be able to enjoy the show. Unless you find staring at a screen enjoyable. If I were you, I'd show up at the very least an hour earlier!
    Amantes sunt amentes.

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