Alt Folk / Alt-Pop / Contemporary / Contemporary Jazz / Dream Pop / Experimental Folk / Indie Folk / Indie Rock / Jazz / Post-Rock

Montreal Anti Jazz Police Festival – Day 2

par Frédéric Cardin

Day two (or rather, evening) of Montreal’s newest music festival, and almost the same result. Once again, three well-crafted and complementary acts follow on from one another at the Ursa  music club on Avenue du Parc. 

Listen to my interview (in French) with Martha Wainwright about the Montreal Anti-Jazz Police Festival

Martha Wainwright sings an intro song before giving way to the soothing, gentle, melodic folk-pop of harpist/vocalist Émilie Kahn (ex Emilie & Ogden), in duet with Thanya Iyer on pastel synth sounds (a Yamaha’s Reface CS for the techno-curious). We’re settling in quietly to keep us going until past midnight. If we want to! After all, you can arrive and leave whenever you like. Then came Ivy Boxall’s quintet (Christopher Edmonson for real), playing keyboard and sax. Piano, bass/guitar, trumpet and drums are combined in an expansive, epic sound panorama interspersed with calmer, atmospheric pauses. In terms of musical technique, it’s very good. The ensemble clearly has excellent potential, and can build something solid. That said, I have to give a bad mark for the stage attitude of the leader, who rarely seemed satisfied with what he was doing and cut short certain ideas by announcing that the product “isn’t ready yet”, and that it’s a “work in progress”. Unease. If you’re not ready, my friend, you need to rethink your working methods. Music lovers didn’t buy tickets to come and see a rehearsal (unless it was advertised as such!). Or get on with it, improvise a proper finish and don’t spend your set sulking and making us feel it. We call that professionalism. But, I repeat, the potential is great and only needs to be better presented.

Sarah Rossy – photo : Pierre Langlois

The second act begins with New Yorker Claire Dickson, whose dream-pop is steeped in strangeness and seasoned with experimental alt-folk. Claire sings with a beautiful voice, the full range of which you can only guess at as she generally uses it in sighing, sussing and whispering lines, which she is quick to manipulate, stretch and butcher in all sorts of ways thanks to her digital lutherie. A few minor problems with the logistics of her equipment made my friend Monique Savoie (from SAT), who was present and knows a thing or two about this field, cringe. Personally, I rather liked the result. The other artist on the programme for this 8.30pm set was Sarah Rossy. Sarah sang a duet with Eugénie Jobin the day before, and it was superb. This time, all the attention was on her (and her musicians, who were all excellent), and it’s easy to see why she’s considered one of the rising stars of the alt/indie scene. The young Montrealer packs an emotional punch thanks to a versatile and malleable voice, as well as being beautiful and tonally assured. But it’s how she uses it, and the music that supports it, that really impress. Her compositions take us back to aesthetic sources as rich as Zappa, Radiohead, Björk and maybe even (did I dream?) Prince, occasionally. I’m just mentioning names to give you an idea, but Sarah Rossy is much more than that. She has a strong musical personality, and a beautiful psychological transparency that gives her an irresistible charm on stage. Her rise has only just begun, believe me.

This second day of festivities concludes with the third act, at 11pm, performed by the Little Animal quartet (pedal steel, bass, drums, trumpet). Sensory power, slow but irrevocable musical constructions and epic cathartic climaxes make us hesitate to describe them: Post-Rock with Jazz colours or Jazz with Post-Rock accents? Whatever, it’s pretty trippy and contemporary, the way Bad Plus is, but in a visceral Montreal spirit. I said quartet, but yesterday it was a quintet, because alongside Tommy (Crane), Joe (Grass), Morgan (Moore) and Lex (French), we were lucky enough to find David (Binney) on sax, who added his touch of swirling flamboyance to this already pretty strong ensemble. Binney is spending the week in Montreal, both for the festival and for the launch of his album In The Arms Of Light (read my review HERE), which takes place at the O Patro Vys bar on Saturday 30 March. 

See you on Day 3, Thursday (what? That’s already today!). On the programme: Rémi-Jean Leblanc at 5.30pm, Bellbird and Parker Shper at 8.30pm, then Tommy Crane and Simon Angell with guests (surprises). And as always, the incomparable ambience of Ursa, a Martha’s song, and her home cooking made with love. 

See you later.

DETAILS, PROGRAMME AND TICKETS AVAILABLE ON THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE

Tout le contenu 360

Jeremy Gignoux – Odd Stillness

Jeremy Gignoux – Odd Stillness

Ensemble vocal jazz Bémol 9 – Hiatus

Ensemble vocal jazz Bémol 9 – Hiatus

Lyric women of today: discover 3 new all-female operas at Bourgie

Lyric women of today: discover 3 new all-female operas at Bourgie

The Fleeting Light of Love and Grief – Terminal 9

The Fleeting Light of Love and Grief – Terminal 9

Bēdu Brāļi – Ikdienas Dzīve

Bēdu Brāļi – Ikdienas Dzīve

Sarah Jerrom – Magpie

Sarah Jerrom – Magpie

Vancouver Turning Point Ensemble celebrates in Montreal with SMCQ

Vancouver Turning Point Ensemble celebrates in Montreal with SMCQ

Ballsy – Bisou

Ballsy – Bisou

Jacques Kuba-Séguin – Parfum no 2

Jacques Kuba-Séguin – Parfum no 2

Sarah Rossy – Seemingly Insatiable Waves

Sarah Rossy – Seemingly Insatiable Waves

Cyrille Dubois/Tristan Raës – Louis Beydts (1895-1953) : Melodies and Songs

Cyrille Dubois/Tristan Raës – Louis Beydts (1895-1953) : Melodies and Songs

Ruth Saphir – Accolades of Time

Ruth Saphir – Accolades of Time

Gabriel Genest – As It Is

Gabriel Genest – As It Is

Karma Glider – Sugarcane

Karma Glider – Sugarcane

Shannon & The Clams – The Moon Is In The Wrong Place

Shannon & The Clams – The Moon Is In The Wrong Place

FIMAV 2024 | Sélébéyone, or cultural intersections according to Steve Lehman

FIMAV 2024 | Sélébéyone, or cultural intersections according to Steve Lehman

Kaia Kater Talks About Her New Album Strange Medicine

Kaia Kater Talks About Her New Album Strange Medicine

FIMAV | Natural Information Society informs you of its great sounds !

FIMAV | Natural Information Society informs you of its great sounds !

Catherine Major – La mémoire du corps

Catherine Major – La mémoire du corps

Myriam Gendron – Mayday

Myriam Gendron – Mayday

CMIM – Piano 2024 | Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, first Canadian pianist ever to win

CMIM – Piano 2024 | Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, first Canadian pianist ever to win

CMIM – Piano 2024: The finalists’ penultimate stretch (Part 2)

CMIM – Piano 2024: The finalists’ penultimate stretch (Part 2)

Empress Of – For Your Consideration

Empress Of – For Your Consideration

CMIM – Piano 2024: The penultimate round of finalists (Part 1)

CMIM – Piano 2024: The penultimate round of finalists (Part 1)

Inscrivez-vous à l'infolettre