Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Roy Hargrove Big Band in Montreal

Last night in Montréal , Monday June 28, Roy was wearing a dark suit and Roberta Gambarini was lovely in a chiffon blue dress (this picture was taken in Washington DC 12 days ago). I was seated in the back of the lower level with my camera stowed away and listened to another riveting evening by this superb big band at one of the concert halls at the Place d'Artes.

Like the previous show, Roy took the mike, this time during "Autumn Leaves" but a highlight of the performance (amongst the many) may have been New Orleans pianist Jonathan Batiste who was not with Roy in Washington. Throughout the evening he was mostly in the background, helping drive the band and rhythm with his playing while exhibiting a deft touch. It was marvelous watching and listening to him soften his touch comping behind Roberta Gambarini's enchanting vocals. Than on "Autumn Leaves," he started a solo in a very Monk-ish way, deliberately playing some skittish, angular figures before a display of his technical virtuosity. Then he dazzled us on the opening of a hot latin number before the band kicked in.

Its a band of terrific soloists and ensemble playing and watching Hargrove dance around while Roberta was singing or listening to his soloists enhanced the marvelous evening. I had previously placed in my Amazon cart the album "Emergence," based on the DC performance. Last night's performance cemented that decision. Now to locate some Jonathan Batiste music.

For FTC regulation purposes, I purchased my ticket.

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