Joshua Redman is a monster... and a blessing!

Yesterday was another full day with our kids - who just left for a week in Cape Cod - so we wanted to take in a few of the sights before their departure.  Doing a few days of vacation with them is a ton of fun - a whole different kind of holiday - as they are GREAT adventurers.  They are up early to walk new markets (unlike us) and they are always up for new surprises.  I will miss them now that they've gone but will enjoy our slower paced wanderings, too.

At this stage in my life I am certainly more of a wanderer than adventurer - and that seems appropriate.  Age and physical stamina have taken up residency in my bones and unlike Springsteen I can't keep rockin' til the light of day any more.  As is becoming clear to me:  pacing is everything. How did St. Paul put it?  "When I was a child, I thought, acted and partied like a child; but now that I am well into middle-age... I have to pace myself?"  

The highlight of our time at the Jazz Festival yesterday was Dianne's birthday dinner at a local French pub and the Johsua Redman concert.  Both were a total gas in very different ways.  It would seem that one of my callings this trip is to eat different types of wild meat:  I started with wild boar and then moved on to caribou.  I don't know what other Great Northern carnivore delights await me, but I am open to them all.

Redman performed at the Maison Symphonique de Montreal with his own stellar quartet - piano, bass and drums - along with an incredible string orchestra.  At the heart of the show was his new CD, Walking Shadows, a work of art that is sensitive, rich, melodic and nuanced.  The interplay between the jazz quartet and orchestra enhances both ensembles in ways that is both playful and energizing.  Sometimes melancholy and other times wildly sensual, this record is a MUST have.

Time and again, Redman gave space to his bandmates to shine - and they truly did.  And the crowd did not want to let him go bringing him back for two boldly different encores.  The first, a loving interpretation of the Beatles' "Let It Be" had the audience enraptured.  And then they brought the tune to a close with the traditional ending - the descending coda - Redman paused for 8 beat and then attacked the closing again.  "That's the way to jazz up a Beatles' tune" I said out loud.  And again and again and again they played the closing tag for another 5 minutes until the people were on their feet cheering.  And after yet another demand for an encore, they wrapped things up with a fast bop blues that was a perfect way to bring it all home.

Today we're going to wander the market and the hood before heading back to the festival for a host of evening freebies.  Now it is rest time cuz it is summer time and the livin is easy.


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