The complete indoor programming has been announced for the 32nd edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival. And while, as Peter Hum writes of the Ottawa counterpart, many will bemoan the big name pop headliners like Robert Plant and Peter Frampton, there's a good chunk of phenomenal jazz & world music in the program as well. Let's get to it:
David Binney Quartet (6 pm, Gésu) - one of the premier voices of modern jazz over the past 15 years, Binney brings his working band of David Virelles (the Cuban pianist that won the Festival's Grand Prix a few years back), Eivind Opsvik and Dan Weiss.
Milton Nascimento (9:30 pm, Théâtre Maisonneuve) - an absolute legend of Brazilian music with his haunting voice in tact. FIJM books these Brazilian masters only once in a blue moon. I already have my ticket.
Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos (8 pm, Théâtre Jean-Duceppe) - I wore out these albums, paying tribute to the tres master Arsenio Rodriguez. Traditional Cuban music mixed with Ribot's punky, bluesy edge. Ribot is one of the three hosts of the Invitation series; he'll also be playing with his rock band Ceramic Dog and the project Caged Funk.
Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman Duo (9:30 pm, Théâtre Maisonneuve) - My favourite moments of Mehldau's Highway Rider feature Redman.This video of them tackling Nirvana's "Lithium" is a fantastic preview.
Anat Cohen (10:30 pm, Gésu) - she wowed at L'Astral last time round with her powerfully swinging mix of modern jazz influenced by klezmer and choro.
Lee Konitz & Dan Tepfer (7 & 10 pm, Upstairs) - An undisputed master with a buzz-worthy up-and-comer. They're also two highly sensitive improvisers. At Upstairs, it'll feel like eavesdropping on a conversation.
Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society (9:30 pm, Théâtre Maisonneuve) - see: Grammy win. See also: Herbie Hancock's endorsement.
FLY (6 pm, Gésu) - this collaborative trio of Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard are three of my favourite player/composers. I still spin their first record obsessively. I believe this is their first time as a group at the festival.
Gretchen Parlato (9 pm, L'Astral) - considering she sold out Savoy for two nights last year, and that her new album The Lost and Foundhas garnered a lot of well-deserved buzz and is produced by FIJM darling Robert Glasper, this should sell out quickly and for good reason.
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society (6 pm, Gésu) - For those who don't already know, go here and find out why.
Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green (10:30 pm, Gésu) - Rudresh is deservedly becoming a regular here, and their collaborative albumApex was one of last year's best.
John Benitez Group f/ Yosvany Terry (7 & 10 pm & midnight, Upstairs) - See: my unabashed love for forward-thinking, burning Latin jazz. Benitez, among other accomplishments, is the bassist on Roy Hargrove's Habana record, my first real entry into Latin music and so he's important to me for sentimental reasons, aside from his deep pocket.
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet (6 pm, Gésu) - Don schooled us all in gospel at Banff in 2005, and even back then it was clear that this music communicated something very deep and powerful to him. With this band, he now communicates it to us all.
Sierra Maestra (7 pm, Club Soda) - put a legendary Cuban group in a small club and watch the roof explode.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (9:30 pm, L'Astral) - Indigone had the pleasure of opening for these guys at Sala Rossa a couple of years back. They've embarked on two ambitious projects recently, one re-working Beethoven and the other The Race Riot Suite written by their lap steel guitarist, Chris Combs. A unique and mesmerizing group.
Jaga Jazzist (11 pm, Club Soda) - the groovy, electro-jazz wielding Norwegians are back. Someone hipped me to them years ago and I've never seen them live.
Jean-Pierre Zanella Homage to Don Alias (6 pm, L'Astral) - the legendary percussionist lived here for a while and served as a mentor to a generation of Montreal players. Saxophonist Zanella, who embodies Alias' musical polyglot nature, pays tribute with a cast of Montreal's finest, and guest bassist Gene Perla.
Christian McBride & Inside Straight (6 pm, Gésu) - the bassist who salutes James Brown and Ray Brown equally brings his swinging, straightahead formation to town.