|The vast Montreal crowd with cellphones aloft|
Photo © Victor Diaz Lamich
(TD Stage, Place des Festivals. 2016. Montreal Jazz Festival. 4th July 2016. Report by Sebastian Scotney.)
"This is the best gig. Of. My. Life," said Jamie Cullum at one point last night.
Cullum was performing for the fifth time at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the world's largest. The first time had been twelve years ago, but this show on the festival's biggest stage was a special event and one which co-founder André Ménard has had in his sights for a good while. (see link to full 45-minute press conference below).
Cullum with his performance energy, musicianship, charisma, and that uniquely appealing voice, is capable of warming up any audience, but the Montreal crowd seemed to be on-side from the start. The vast throng in the square (perhaps 30,000 plus?) sang, clapped, swayed, and got caught up in the flow of the show. Cullum spoke in English, apart from one hilarious, surreal excursion into early-years French: "Je parle un petit peu de francais. Je m'appelle Jamie Cullum. Où est la piscine?"
An intrinsic part of this show, was a top-flight Montreal big band, with strong soloists such as powerful lead alto Jean-Pierre Zanella. Having performed with these forces at the Maison Symphonique last year, all the elements dovetailed well, with Cullum able to slip deftly in and out of the pre-ordained set list, with the support of his own regular super-adaptable band of Rory Simmons, Loz Garratt, Tom Richards and Bradley Webb.
Definitely a night to remember.
|The first of two piano leaps|
Photo ©Benoit Rousseau / FIJM
|Jamie Cullum spurred on by the Montreal Big Band.|
Photo ©Frederique Menard Aubin/ FIJM
|Down among the crowd. © Benoit Rousseau/ FIJM|
|Jamie Cullum Photo © Benoit Rousseau/ FIJM|
SET LIST (Thanks Marc)
Get your way
Just one of those things
Please don't stop the music
Don't you know
Took a pill in Ibiza
Love for Sale (interchangeable small band)
These are the days
All at sea/high and dry
You and me are gone
When I get famous
What a difference a day made
LINK: Full video of Jamie Cullum's 4th July Montreal press conference
NB: All photos used here by permission and subject to copyright