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Thursday, July 06, 2006

In Montreal

So, I've arrived in Montreal, caught up with various people and commenced soaking up the festival; some of the music's even Jazz!

The highlights are numerous:
  • Catching up with lots of friends. Meeting various new offspring.
  • Becoming an uncle! (Congratulations Graham and Joanne and their new (first!) daughter Madeline Grace!) (This is not related to my trip of course, but it was expected to happen while I was travelling.)
  • Gadji-Gadjo, think Cossack meets gypsy meets Jazz. These guys have a great sound.
  • Marc Atkinson Trio, what this man does with a guitar needs to be heard to be believed.
  • Alister Spence, an exceptional pianist. (There are a couple here, of course; I neglected to take note of an earlier one's name)
  • The not-Jazz "Homage À Paul Simon" on Tuesday night. As I love his music however, this was fantastic. I particularly like a lot of the music that he did with Art Garfunkel decades ago, most of which was covered. The show opened with Leonard Cohen speaking Sound of Silence. Sadly Paul Simon himself did not appear. Perhaps he was resting for his performance on Wednesday night, for which tickets sold out ages ago.
  • Swing Tonique's "Minnie the Moocher", en Francaise!
  • Seeing (and being caught in) my first thunderstorm and torrential rain for years.
The lowlights are few:
  • Too many thunderstorms! This is not how I recall Montreal in July.
  • Mobile phone problems. (The Vodafone UK SIM almost works: SMS in/out, voice in, no outbound calls though. I bought a Fido Canada SIM which mostly works, unless you are in the UK, an Orange customer, and want to send me an SMS. Ugh.)
Sadly, it all comes to an end in a few days, but then I'll be off somewhere entirely new: Prague.