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The Jazz Diet

By the time that experimental saxophonist Colin Stetson completed two long and elongated numbers – one that approximated the primal moans of a giant whale, the other the sounds of a wild boar crashing through the garrigue – I left the Maison Symphonique concert hall in Montreal and ordered a rare hamburger. It was a paleo diet type of moment.

Two nights earlier, the brilliant trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire’s “Moment in Between the Rest” so resonated with the sounds of a long-suffering waif that I became hungry for, what else, soul food – perhaps some on Montreal’s legendary poutine.

Montreal’s iconic jazz festival is still in full swing this week, a marvelous event now in its 38th season which features all sorts of music that might be considered mainstream jazz or even mildly related to that American-born form.  I was there for the first three days and saw parts of seven concerts (unfortunately, writers have to duck in and out to keep up) as well as snippets from the open-air venues as I scurried between the closed-door events. Some were held in large halls, others in intimate boites.

There was never enough time to have a proper meal in a city known for its restaurants, which had me matching what I was hearing in my head with what I wanted in my stomach.

Here’s where this train of thought took me.  In addition to Stetson’s paleo yearnings and Akinmusire’s soul-food cries, other artists called up differing cuisines and diets. The rollicking Gypsy Kings – Andalusian in heritage but raised in the Camargue of the Rhone delta – had me clapping my hands for the Mediterranean diet, with a dish of hearty cassoulet thrown in.

The Bad Plus with Kurt Rosenwinkel were so smooth and rich, even when they were rollicking, that I could imagine being served up a Parisian dinner of beautifully sauced cuisine with caviar on the side.  The almost-grown child prodigy pianist, Daniel Clark Bouchard, and his guests did such great covers of the standards that I could have been at the Blue Note carving up a juicy New York strip.

Finally, there was a French band, the improbably named Her, led by two men who sing in English.  Their style reminded me of a Euro pop throwback to the bands of the 80’s, one that you would hear in a smoky club that doesn’t allow cigarettes but has a constant crowd circulating to and from the bar.  It was my kind of band and my kind of diet – the drinking man’s diet, of course.

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This is the event for what young generation wait for months. At the time then we were young we also love to attend such shows but now need someone to write my paper don’t allow me to attend these shows. But I am sure that these shows help the viewers to refresh their mind and so they can show more productivity in their work.

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