Various Artists

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal: 20 Years of Music - 1980-2000

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The goal of this compilation is to feature a wide variety of the artists who have appeared at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal between 1980 and 2000. The selections are generally enjoyable, with mostly excellent sound. Blues takes up most of disc one, with Muddy Waters' take of "Hoochie Coochie Man" and Willie Dixon's performance of "I Don't Trust Nobody" easily eclipsing B.B. King's interpretation of the rather lackluster "Better Not Look Down." Rounding out the disc is "Blue Midnight" by David Grisman, the mandolin master of his self-described "dawg" music, and Béla Fleck & the Flecktones' unique fusion of bluegrass and funk in the challenging composition "Almost Twelve." An almost too-fast take of "After You've Gone" by clarinetist Eddie Daniels and vibraphonist Gary Burton is marred by the rather distorted sound of Mulgrew Miller's piano. But the magic is immediately apparent in Burton's duet with Chick Corea of "Falling Grace." Dave Brubeck's "Tritonis" is a savvy choice, as this lesser-known original showcases the pianist and tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi in a tense polytonal setting. Pianist Oliver Jones is joined by trumpet master Clark Terry, Red Mitchell, Herb Ellis, and Ed Thigpen for a driving original blues. Ella Fitzgerald was game but starting to fade when she recorded "They Can't Take That Away from Me," while Diana Krall is unimpressive singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Fortunately, both Dee Dee Bridgewater and Ranee Lee provide shining moments. The final disc is a catchall, ranging from the dark fusion of Miles Davis to the lighter sounding Pat Metheny Group, along with a swing medley by violinist Stephane Grappelli and a flashy Jean-Luc Ponty solo utilizing digital delay. All in all, it's a worthwhile set for anyone with wide-ranging tastes.

blue highlight denotes track pick