Firstly, my condolences to anyone affected by the collapse of the Minneapolis Bridge. A similar incident occurred in Laval, just north of Montreal, a few months ago and has resulted in an investigation and repair of many overpasses and bridges across the province. One structure that has been earmarked is an entrance to the Ville-Marie expressway, the main highway to downtown Montreal. Very frightening, indeed.
I just came from seeing Ariane Moffatt at FrancoFolies, and she never ceases to impress me. The last time I saw her was about three years ago, while she was still touring Aquanaute, a record of textural, albeit comparatively one-dimensional, trip-hop. Live, the music started to expand, with various English-language covers. The newer disc, La coeur dans la tête, and the live show, sheds the trip-hop for house, glitch, and chirpy faux-reggae on the single "Montréal." The latter has become ubiquitous; I remember the first time I was in a pharmacy and heard that song come on the radio. Tonight, the tune dissolved into a feature for drummer Jean-Phi Goncalves. I was struck by the balance Ariane and her bands have achieved between improvisation, tight pop songcraft, and inventive electronic textures and production. No surprise, given that both Goncalves and keyboardist Alex McMahon are in electro-whiz trio Plaster, and Ariane has collaborated with bands like Motus 3F and Karkwa. The electronic touches enhance the songs, as opposed to defining them - the tunes themselves are often strong enough to exist even in a bare piano/voice setting. Moffatt & co. are not beholden to definitive versions of songs, either, as evidenced in a radical electro-dancehall-funk revisioning of "Fracture du crâne." Apparently, the tour for this record is winding down, and I look forward to what she offers us next.
- I'll be filling in for Funky Revolutions on Saturday, August 4, 2 pm ET on CKUT. Per regular host Khalid M'Seffar's request, there will be a portion of programming surrounding Montreal Pride (Divers/Cité).
- Spectrum officially closes its doors Sunday, August 5th, with a free bash featuring Michel Rivard and DJ Ghislain Poirier. It'll be a strange evening for sure, with dancing feet and a few wet eyes. I'm still in shock that it will no longer be the nexus of Jazz Fest, or anything else, for that matter.
- ElectroJazz Spaceship touches down again at L'Absynthe Monday, August 6. Expect originals, a couple of covers, and open funky improvisations.
Ben Henriques - saxophones/effects; Olivier René de Cotret - guitar/effects; David Ryshpan - keyboards; Nicolas Bédard - electric bass; Kevin Warren - drums/percussion.