|Dave Laing, Éric Lagacé, Oliver Jones, Montreal 2014. |
Photo: ©Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Denis Alix
This was an evening about humanity, humility, and stellar piano playing.
In recent years, Oliver Jones has emerged from the considerable shadow of that other great Montreal jazz pianist Oscar Peterson (photo of both of them below) whom her reveres, and to whom modestly, he paid tribute last night.
If Martial Solal gets described as a "Monument National" in France, then that is exactly what Oliver Jones now is in Canada, and last night he showed why, again and again. He was in the company of arguably the most suave and debonair bassist in the world (and son of one of the great organists of our time) Éric Lagacé and the crisply creative drummer Dave Laing. Jones also welcomed a parade of guests onto the stage, but it was his night.
He delivered beauty and poise with every note, every voicing, every pause. What I found to marvel at, and to admire constantly was the ineffable mystery of how Oliver Jones is already deep in another tune before the listener even knows he has started to leave the last one. That was what made his joyous Gershwin medley such a masterpiece.
|OscarPeterson, Oliver Jones, 1989|
©Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Denis Alix