Ottawa Citizen

Many don’t miss shows Jazz:

- DOUG FISCHER’S PICKS ALEX HUTCHINSON’S PICKS OTTAWACITI­ZEN.COM/ARTS

Richard Galliano Monday, June 30, 8 p.m. NAC, Fourth Stage

Forget any polka-based prejudices against accordions. Galliano is a wonder of melodic sophistica­tion, rhythmic verve and high drama — and he happens to be an virtuoso accordioni­st whose first love was bebop trumpet star Clifford Brown. The French musician’s Tangaria Quartet, which includes bassist Jean Philippe Viret, violinist Alexis Cardenas and percussion­ist Rafael Mejias Vega, makes huge-hearted music, drawing upon musette, tango and folk songs from the Latin world. Iro Haarla Sunday, June 22, 8 p.m. NAC Fourth Stage

“Don’t miss this show,” John Kelman was saying over lunch the other day. The Ottawa-based managing editor of allaboutja­zz.com had just returned from a jazz trek to Scandinavi­a, and he

Boy, was I wrong. The U.S. pianist and his trio were spellbindi­ng, and it felt like we were in a cosy jazz club. With exhilarati­ng versions of hits by Radiohead, Paul Simon and Cole Porter, Mehldau, 38, covers a lot of ground. And his catchy but substantia­l originals appeal to head and heart. Late Night Jam Sessions June 20-30, 10:30 p.m. Crown Plaza Hotel, 101 Lounge

Jam session fans have farther to walk from Confederat­ion Park this year, with the John Geggie-helmed sessions moved to the Crowne Plaza on Lyon Street. The trek should be worth it, particular­ly on opening night when odds are that members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and perhaps Wynton Marsalis himself, will appear. The Wednesday and Thursday night sessions could feature Canadian allstars, if trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonis­ts Christine Jensen and Seamus Blake feel up to jamming. couldn’t say enough about the classicall­y trained Norwegian pianisthar­pist. Melodic, melancholy, delicate, sweeping, unstructur­ed, restrained, abstract, remarkable — all are words Kelman used to describe her latest album,

Northbound.

The 80-year-old saxophonis­t has pretty much done it all in a career that began in earnest as a sideman on Miles Davis’s 1949-50 seminal Birth of the Cool sessions. But if you ask Konitz, it’s not yesterday that matters, it’s today. In fact, Konitz is probably more of an experiment­er now than ever. But his distinctiv­ely cool, elegant tone remains, whether he’s engaged in free improvisat­ion or reinventin­g a jazz standard. Lee Konitz Quartet Tuesday, June 24, 8 p.m. Library & Archives Canada Salif Keita Wednesday, June 25, 8:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

The last time the Golden Voice of Africa, as Keita is known in his native Mali, performed his infectious, highenergy Afro-pop in Ottawa, an entire church danced on the pews. Right here in Ottawa. In a church. Put Keita in a park packed with thousands on an early summer evening and it may be the party of the festival season. Nordic Connect Thursday, June 26, 6:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

Much has been made of the “connection­s” in this quintet featuring the Canadian Jensen sisters, trumpeter Ingrid and saxophonis­t Christine. There’s the sister thing, the Nordic thing (the Jensens’ roots are Danish, pianist Maggi Olin and bassist Matthias Welin are Swedish), the gender thing (three women on the front line) and the love thing (Ingrid and drummer Jon Wikan are married). But the real thing to know is that this is a flat-out, first-rate band in the tradition of Miles Davis’ mid-’60s quintet: tough, evocative and talented. Carlos Bica’s Azul Thursday, June 26, 8 p.m. NAC Fourth Stage

In 2005 a writer described the trio’s music this way: “Frank Zappa goes to Africa by way of Portugal and meets Charles Mingus.” You get the idea. The music of bassist Carlos Bica, guitarist Frank Möbus and drummer Jim Black is just as likely to be carefree as it is moody, filled by Mediterran­ean melodicism as it is powerful guitar bursts, or driven by African folk beats as it is throbbing electronic­s. Return to Forever Thursday, June 26, 8:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

More than three decades after the peak of their fiery fame as a trailblazi­ng jazz-rock supergroup, it’s hard to know what to expect from the reunion of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola and Lenny White. Even the musicians reported a few on-stage train wrecks during the first shows of their 45-city tour earlier this month. They should be in better shape by the time they reach Ottawa. But who really cares if they aren’t? The evening promises to be nothing less than a spectacle either way. Charlie Haden Quartet West Friday, June 27, 8:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

These days, Quartet West is more nostalgic for the cool West Coast vibe of the 1940s and ’50s than the innovative folk-inspired music it produced in the late 1980s. But any project involving Charlie Haden — bassist, avantgarde pioneer, composer, bandleader, political activist — is worth a serious listen. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Friday, June 20, 8:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

Festival veterans still recall JLCO’s impromptu, New Orleans-style march, weaving through a delirious crowd of 10,000, during the second encore of an electrifyi­ng show in 1999. They wowed again in 2001, and it’s a safe bet they’ll provide one of this year’s highlights. Best known for a reverentia­l approach to jazz’s mainstream roots, the band’s real secret is a combinatio­n of impeccably organic ensemble playing and a full lineup of restlessly innovative soloists like reedman Ted Nash. e.s.t. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) Sunday, June 22, 2:00 p.m. Library & Archives Canada

Pianist Esbjörn Svensson, e.s.t.’s namesake (but not leader — it’s a collective), likes to describe the Swedish trio as “a pop band playing jazz.” Certainly, they have a fondness for distortion and other electronic processing, and they’ve been climbing European pop charts for more than a decade, but it’s unmistakab­ly jazz. If you’re interested in hearing what the new millennium in jazz sounds like, this might be a challengin­g but recognizab­le place to start. Oliver Jones Tuesday, June 24, 8:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

A heckler once told saxophonis­t Phil Woods that he wasn’t doing anything new, since he sounded just like Charlie Parker. Woods handed the man his sax and said, “Here, you sound like Charlie Parker.” Montreal pianist Oliver Jones, similarly, has played his whole career in the long shadow of Oscar Peterson — but sounding like Oscar is hardly an insult. If what you’re looking for is dazzlingly infectious music that swings with irresistib­le force, the debate is irrelevant. Joel Haynes Trio featuring Seamus Blake Thursday, June 26, 10:30 p.m. NAC Studio

New York-based, Vancouver-raised tenor saxman Blake is the big name, and justifiabl­y so. He plays with the likes of John Scofield and the Mingus Big Band. But this show also gives Ottawa fans a peek at Vancouver bassist Jodi Proznick, who picked up three National Jazz Awards and a Juno nomination for her album, Foundation­s, this year. Her husband and collaborat­or, pianist Tilden Webb, also appears in drummer Haynes’s trio. Tara Davidson, Mike Murley, David Braid Quintet Saturday, June 28, 10:30 p.m. NAC Studio

The official jazz festival write-up dubs DMBQ (as the group is sometimes known) as a “supergroup.” That’s a bit over-exuberant, but there’s no doubt that each of the front-liners (not to mention bassist Jim Vivian and drummer Ian Froman) could headline any festival in Canada. The group first toured in 2006, and released a live album of original tunes earlier this year. Expect contempora­ry, mainstream jazz at its finest. Nimmons ’N Nine…Now! Sunday, June 29, 6:30 p.m. Confederat­ion Park

The sophistica­ted compositio­ns made famous by clarinetis­t and bandleader Phil Nimmons between 1953 and 1965, while significan­t in the history of Canadian music, probably won’t draw a huge crowd on their own merits. But the band, led by Toronto guitarist Mike Cadó, should. Reedmen Quinson Nachoff, John MacMurchy and Andy Ballantyne, in particular, make the show worth the ticket. FOR MORE JAZZ FESTIVAL PICKS FROM OTTAWA JAZZ FANS AND MUSICIANS, VISIT PETER HUM’S BLOG, THRIVING ON A RIFF, AT

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 ??  ?? Christine and Ingrid Jensen and Nordic Connect are tough, evocative and talented.
Christine and Ingrid Jensen and Nordic Connect are tough, evocative and talented.
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