Ottawa Jazzfest - June 25

An excellent night of music as Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Allen Toussaint wowed the main stage at Confederation Park. Trombone Shorty blazed onto the stage and the energy level seemed to swell over and over again. Very interesting setup with tenor and baritone sax players, drums, percussion, bass, guitar and of course Shorty himself played wailing blues, tinged with elements of hip hop and blew the audience away time and time again. At one point Shorty, playing the trumpet, held a note for well over 2 minutes (it started as I hit the WC near the Elgin St entrance, through to getting back under the tree and then some. Crazy). Very entertaining show.

© David Barrett 2012

Toussaint, clad immaculately in a blue sparkling sequined jacket and shiny golden razor-sharp creased trousers, also showcased a wide range of styles and genres throughout his set, starting (and finishing the set, a really nice touch, I thought) in New Orleans with some Dixieland influences then going through a huge range of styles including disco, blues, folk, gypsy jazz, classical, funk- partially interwoven into a Toussaint mini-medley at one point. Marc Ribot, hunched over into his guitar was a notable highlight however each member shone at their turn to take the spotlight. About 4 songs into the set Toussaint declared that the Grateful Dead made "the next tune popular", then launched into Get Out of My Life, Woman; more of a Jerry Garcia Band number than the GD but I doubt anyone would hold him accountable for that.

The Soul Rebels in the OLG tent came out blazing, a wall of sound from a host of brass instruments, a sax player and two drummers. The dance floor was packed immediately and the sweat was flying in no time. The Soul Rebels add elements of hip hop mixed in with a New Orleans groove; they insist on your undivided attention and left me with ears ringing.