Hitting the Jazz Halls of Montreal

Posted by Jenny Good on July 4, 2010 2:30 PM

La Place des Arts was all aglow again, as its stages will be each and every night of the Montreal Jazz Festival but one of tonight's headliners will not even be showing up...

'Rakim', from the golden age of hip hop (and on one of the best hip-hop soundtracks of all time - Juice) was supposed to perform at Club Soda Saturday night in Montreal but his show was cancelled due to "Passport Issues..." However, that gave us an amazing opportunity to discover a new artist and see another great we already knew.  

Bonobo, the melodic, ambient, bass-heavy genius was playing at Metropolis. His dreamstate mutli-instrumental down tempo fare put the full house in a trance.  It's his amazing combination of magical elements that make him so brilliant. Beyond electronic sampling and track layers, Bonobo boasts a full band of guitars, keys, drums, trombone, clarinet and saxophone. Simon Green "Bonobo" is a British dj, music producer and musician himself, with an appreciation of many genres of music that he adds to his sparkling melange.  He takes me back to the time of Zero 7 and Amon Tobin being really huge, and they are all still great.  Check out the song 'Scuba' for the flavour, and 'Stay the Same' which they do with opening act Andreya Triana. Triana is the British Jill Scott, her sultry verve and heavy soul groove were outstanding on their own but played a perfect compliment to the floating ambiance of Bonobo under the signature flood of blue light.

Earlier in the Night over at Club Soda where Rakim was supposed to play later, we discovered an amazing new talent by the name of Elisapie Isaac.  What makes this sparkling gem so unique is though francophone and born in Quebec she also sings in her Inuk mother language Inuktitut.  She is also backed by a string quartet (who were rocking out as string quartets usually don't), a keyboard and the softest electric guitars of all time.  Although I could not understand many words of what she sang, her slow, wispy voice told a story of sound through pure emotion.  She ranged from high coos to low sultry ballads all backed by a beat but without a drum.  She told us stories between every song en francais, which were mostly sad or very serious yet she keeps the twinkle in her eye.  She is very enchanting, sounding a bit Mazzy Star and creates the mood of starlight and beautifully sad lullabies. She recorded her first solo album this year, which is very fittingly is entitled 'There Will Be Stars'.

by Jenn Good


Categories: Blog Entry , Music and Concerts