Thinky, drinky or slinky? This is what I ask myself when I look at the multitudes of performers at this year's Montreal International Jazz Festival.
And since the Montreal fest holds the Guinness World Record for largest jazz festival, I thought it might be helpful to narrow down the field by sharing my pick of the day based on this question: Which artist performing today truly embodies the essence of, you guessed it, thinky, drinky or slinky? (Call it the "TDS" factor.)
Thinky jazz may be challenging to listen to, and to play. Drinky jazz is fun, toe-tapping music. And slinky? Think romance and bubbly, possibly a little candlelight.
It’s a triple whammy night of music for you on Canada Day. You’ll get some groovy B3 organ from Dr. Lonnie Smith. You’ll also hear wicked bass and musicianship from Meshell Ndegeocello, and lastly you can hear some of the best talent Canada has to offer with 2012 Juno nominee Robi Botos.
July 1 pick #1: Dr. Lonnie Smith
Now in terms of “the place to go” 365 days a year for jazz, the Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill is Montreal’s jazz joint. To have an artist like Dr. Lonnie Smith perform there is a real treat, because you know you’ll experience jazz the way it was meant: in a small club with jazz food, jazz drinks and jazz ambience. Smith’s weapon of jazz is a Hammond B3 organ and you’ll see this guru drive his organ like a classic Porsche race car, the top down. Hang on for a groovy ride and a goofy time.
TDS: Thinky and drinky.
July 1 pick #2: Meshell Ndegeocello
Meshell Ndegeocello (don’t be afraid of her name – just sound it out – it’s easier than it looks) is a bass wrestler. She knows her instrument intimately and can make it do anything she likes. She’s mellowed over the years, but you’ll still hear challenging and complex musical ideas. Ndegeocello is what you would call “a musician's musician,” and she’s earned it. She’s remarkable.
July 1 pick #3: Robi Botos
Robi Botos is a Canadian piano player who has earned his reputation as a “go-to” guy.
He’s won all sorts of international piano competitions and has garnered Juno nominations to boot. I’m a big supporter of Canadian jazz excellence, and Botos is one of the top piano wrestlers out there.
Montreal Jazz Festival 2012: André Ménard's guide
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on Jul 01, 2012