This is what it’s been like lately in MTL. Most people hide from the rain. But I welcome it. I loooove the rain! I say, bring it on! Rain makes everything better. Rain at the end of “Paranoid Android” in Vancouver. Rain at the end of “Man in the Mirror” for Wonder’s set. And today, rain during Alice Russell and David Rotundo Band and Enrico Crivellaro was wonderful. Today was a good day! Great music all day long! Recap after the jump!
This Halifax group, Gypsophilia, put on such a great show on the main stage. Lots of energy, and great humor, saying stuff like, we heard Stevie Wonder was on the stage a few days ago, we never thought Stevie Wonder would be opening for us! Har har har! Funny beans. Great jazz set and very interactive. Always egging the crowd on to clap and sing along. Great set!
BEST DISCOVERY OF THE JAZZ FESTIVAL SO FAR.
Since I had enough jazz, I decided to venture off to non-jazz stages and found myself settling at the Loto Quebec Stage where the David Rotundo Band and Enrico Crivellaro were playing. The electric guitar solos blew my mind. The soul from the harmonica was astounding. Though I don’t oft listen to blues, I knew this was blues when I heard it. Cold. Hard. Blues. Rotundo has such an energy, grace, and a smile that seduces us all to cheer as loud as we can. I think my most memorable moment was during the song “Can I Come Into Your Kitchen”. Not sure if this is the actual song name. The lyrics to this song are absolutely fantastic. The build up, the stops and gos of this song defined their entire sound for me, defined for me what blues are really about.
Can I come into your kitchen and cook all night long
Your stove is so hot it makes me wanna go down there and turn it on
I want to smell…
I want to lick…
And he leaves it there, teasing the crowd and leaving us hanging as he goes into the chorus. Donning a Habs shirt, Rotundo’s main talk was…CA VA BIEN?!?! They put on such an amazing performance that I decided to return to see their second show the same night. And it was just as awesome. I got to meet Crivellaro right after the first show, and told him that I’d be back!!! Surely enough, during the second show in the front row cheering and dancing wildly, he recognized me with a bow and returned my thumbs up! I am famous. Tee hee.
I had to sit down after Rotundo and Crivellaro. I circled Colin Hunter next, as the man to see. He sounded a lot like Sinatra as he delivered well known jazz hits such as Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”. Great voice. An OK show though. There wasn’t a large stage presence in comparison to the other artists I’ve seen this week.
Next up! The Argentinian (Que Bueno!) Federico Aubele. As with most latin music tends to be, his songs were slow and sensual. He seemed to have read my mind when he described what they were playing, a collection of love songs. He jokingly said that if you wanted to make out with the person next to you, or grab someone , it’s ok! It’s the effect of the music. It’s love music. And if you don’t feel anything, maybe you should see a shrink…maybe there’s something wrong with you! Ja! Gracioso, mate. The bassist looks like he’s possessed in this picture and in a way he was, being the most locomotive of the bunch, grooving and grinding his hips with the beats and playing the bass gently as to give that you know, love effect. The woman’s voice was fantastic as well. Overall a wonderful show that left me in a state of nostalgia. I really miss latin america. I really miss Buenos Aires (where Aubele is from). Such a wonderful show. Below are two songs that I really liked during the performance…though on the LP there is a woman singing it, and during MJF Aubele was singing…and I think I much prefer the latter. My favorite of the night was “La Esquina”, which means the corner. He explains to us that he grew up on this corner, saw a lot of things in the corner…a very important junction in his life.
I love the Bell stage. Last time it was the Samsung stage. Pretty much all the funk, groove, dance, rhythm, tropical, and the like artists play here. I remember being here every single day for the MJF two years ago. I discovered so many artists such as Pawa Up First (who return this year), Artist of the Year (who also return), Misteur Valaire, Forro in the Dark, and countless others. Alice Russell, walking up to the stage, seemed like an eccentric lady, with purple tights, black laced short skirt, and a pink bow standing out in her bleach blonde hair. Eccentric doesn’t even cut it.
She reminds me of Beth Ditto of the Gossip. Super strong voice paired with relentless stage presence. Funny thing is, I had Alice Russell on my computer since she released her newest album Pot of Gold quite a long time ago but never got the chance to listen. But now I have. It’s fantastic. Live, she kept us dancing, clapping, wooing away the rain so to speak. It was funky, jazzy, rocky, and all over the place. She even covered the White Stripe’s “Seven Nation Army”. Her and her band raised these mini flags saying “why not?”. Why not indeed. The cover was SICK. Just incredible. With the rain drizzling down, it made the performance even more surreal. There was also a bit of “Passin’ Me By” by the Pharcyde as well. Respect. Despite some technical difficults with the detachable keyboard—there was supposed to be a synth keyboard solo—the show went on and I don’t think the crowd even noticed the rain, the stabbing wet rocks underneath our feet because every minute with Russell was getting better and better. It was clear how much energy the crowd had despite the weather, Russell saying herself, mmmmmmmmmmmm so much energy! Lemme take a drink from the Energy Straw! Mmmmmmmmmm. What a personality! Jajaj I love it. It’s unfortunate that her LP doesn’t capture how ridiculously amazing her voice and aura are live, but they do her some justice. These are my two favorite performances of the night:
David Rotundo Band and Enrico Crivellaro encore!!! Their second show was less bluesy and seductive. Much more hard rock, hard jazz. But still a great show. So crazy.
I love this group now. THANK YOU JAZZ FEST!!!