Thursday, June 21, 2012

Festival Picks by: Ken Pickering / Rainbow Robert

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival Picks 
by: Ken Pickering (Artistic Director), Rainbow Robert (Manager of Artistic Programming) &
John Orysik (Media Director)

Click on the blue links to go straight to the artist page on the fest website. These choices are only the tip of the iceberg and on any given day they might be different. With such a wealth of talent at the festival - The Cookers, Eliane Elias, Mathias Eick, Angelika Niescier, Dianne Reeves, Trombone Shorty, George Benson, Colin Vallon, Médèric Collignon and many many more - these lists are by necessity incomplete. However - if they spark a little interest and get some of you out to listen - then it's all good!

John's Picks: 

Eliane Elias, Wayne Shorter, The Cookers, Francois Houle 5 + Benoit Delbecq and Janelle Monae
(all great picks - I'll be attending all of these shows as

Wayne Shorter Quartet - Masquelero 2003 at Montreal Jazz Fest

Ken's Picks:

Bill Frisell plays Lennon
 Jeez, I’ve been a big fan of Bill’s for his whole career – remembering that I booked his first solo concert way back at the 1986 fest. This Lennon project is exquisite, the band is a killer and Bill’s relaxed take on John Lennon tunes is spot on.

 This the 3 minute trailer for Frisell's "All We Are Saying" There's also a 15 minute version.

Spectrum Road
 I've always loved Tony Williams Lifetime, especially the first two albums: Emergency! and Turn it Over. Vernon Reid (Living Colour) and Jack Bruce (Cream) conceived this project - assembling a killer band to perform Lifetime tunes plus originals. The band: monstrous keyboard wizard John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood) and killing jazz / rock drummer Cindy Blackman – Santana (Lenny Kravitz). Get ready to be blown away.

Spectrum Road in Tokyo

Ig Henneman Sextet / Torsten Müller’s Distant Relatives
 Cheating a little by combining here. I go way back with Ig and Ab, a journey that started for me with the October Meeting in Amsterdam 1991. Ig combines sophisticated compositional strategies with top drawer improvising. This new kind of chamber music has an immediacy that’s compelling in no small part due to the amazing improvisers she works with Ab Baars, Axel Dorner, Marilyn Lerner, Lori Freedman and Wilbert de Joode.
Torsten Müller arrived in Vancouver over 10 years ago. A free spirited improviser to the core, Torsten does not compromise spontaneity – working only with musicians that are as quick thinking/listening as the music requires. Distant Relatives represents the best of our Vancouver improv scene with Peggy Lee and Dylan van der Schyff with special guests Xu Fengxia and Ab Baars rounding out the group. A special night at the Ironworks with two great bands.

Ig Henneman Sextet

Francois Houle 5+1 / Hexen Trio
 More cheating! These are both very dear projects to me – these cats are not only super heavy, I consider each one of these musicians to be a very good friend as well as obviously being monster musicians and bandleaders in their own rights. Some of the finest musicians around, these two groups perform back to back on July 1st.  The shows will serve as CD release parties for both bands, Francois Houle “Genera” (is one of the best of the year) on Songlines and Hexen Trio w. Paul Plimley, Barry Guy and Lucas Niggli on Intakt. These shows are among the last of the festival!

Terje Rypdal “Crime Scene” with Bergen Big Band
 First heard this dude on some early 70’s ECMs - Rypdal’s 1st and Jan Garbarek’s Afric Pepperbird and Sart. At the time I’d never heard a guitar played like that - maybe some Sonny Sharrock or Hendrix, but in jazz this new Nordic guitar sound was a revolution. Rypdal hasn't toured much for a long time, but he’s been touring in Europe with this Crime Scene project with big band plus Stale Storlokken (from SuperSilent). I heard this band at Moers in 2010 and they were really happening. Don’t miss this.. very rare opportunity to catch one of the major guitarists of the last 40 years!

Terje Rypdal "Crime Scene" at Saalfelden 2010

 Rainbow's Picks:

Janelle Monae 
Powerful delivery, styling threads, killers dance moves and tunes with a positive message make this 10 pc soul review a major festival highlight.

Incredible version of Tightrope at Glastonbury 2011

Get the Blessing  
A serious treat from the UK, killer beats laid down by the rhythm section from Portishead anchoring infectious brass heavy sideways grooves.

Get the Blessing - OCDC

Savagely real and surprisingly chill, introspective lyrics and bubbling brass loops make them one of Vancouver's deepest indie bands.

Brilliant recent discovery from the from the wilds of Norway, members of Atomic and The Thing bringing us some new post Ornette swing.

Near dangerous levels of punk and free jazz cred be rolled up into one deadly Dutch/Canadian trio.

Han Bennink on Cheese Kit (solo)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra-My favorite things Madeleine Peyroux-I'm all right Paco De Lucia-Entre Dos Aguas