Then we went to Maison Symphonique de Montreal to see Wayne Shorter. Usually we hike Mont Royal and take the Metro but we were both feeling played - so we drove. Good thing, too because later there was an unexpected rain storm. But driving was only part of the unexpected blessing. First of all, the hall is incredible - it looks like this - and who can stay trapped in a funk while sitting in this place?
Second, a 12 year old piano prodigy, Joey Alexander, opened the gig. He is totally Mr. Asberger's - awkward and goofy while talking about his music - but damn can this kid play. He needs to work on subtlety to be sure, but what do you want for a tween? Mozart? And then Wayne Shorter and his crack combo took the stage (after an interlude of re-tuning the piano because Mr. Alexander pounded it to hell and back.) OMG... this was free jazz beyond anything I have heard or experienced. Was there a time signature? Perhaps. Clearly there were cosmic, mind boggling charts because these cats were all playing in the same key at the same time, but they had to be part of the stratosphere.
These weren't tone poems, but contemporary, improvisational art songs of the wildest and often most beautiful variety. They soared, they squawked, they rumbled and then exploded in ecstasy or anguish. And they pulled the listener in by the heart. What stunning intensity these players gave to each composition. And then they had fun, too.