Arriving at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2012 on 6/29, it was my 5th fest in 6 visits to Montreal, though it had been 10 years since my last trip there (I went 5 years in a row prior)…
On my 1st visit to Montreal, I saw Wayne Shorter receive an award from the festival (with my father), and 15 years later he was the featured performance of our trip (link to my vid here). The Wayne Shorter Quartet is a welcome return to acoustic jazz for the legendary saxophonist, who has a prolific recording history of over 50 years.
Some of the other great (and free) shows for us during this fest were: The Souljazz Orchestra - more funk than orchestra (link here), Heavy Soundz (latin/ rap/ funk), Corey Harris & Rasta Blues (link here), and Sidi Toure - amazing African artist… plus midnight DJ sets from: Ghostbeard & Poirier, and Jazz Amnesty Sound System (DJ sets, 1 of many things setting this fest apart).
Montreal remains one of my favorite cities in North America, and the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal is 1 of the reasons why.
David Rodigan guest set on GPWW -
2 legendary UK Djs discuss the history of reggae from pre-reggae ska and rock-steady - thru to today’s dub-step on this installment of the taste-maker ‘Gilles Peterson World Wide’ radio show (on BBC). Rodigan’s anecdotes of his history as a world-renowned sound-clash dj, and his dub-plates are priceless.
At the end of the of the interview (link in the title of this post - then 2nd set link on the page), Gilles engages in a studio “clash” with Rodigan, alternating some crucial selections. Gilles isn’t the reggae specialist that Rodigan has been for decades, but he pulls some great tracks, much to the respect of Rodigan.
This is 1 of the best GPWW shows (usually more diverse) posted by Giant Step, who I have been a dj/ tastemaker with for years, since my early days as a promoter collaborating with them and booking/ promoting their artists, including Groove Collective in the mid-90’s.
An intro. quote from the Giant Step site:
“Gilles brings into his studio the legendary DJ David Rodigan, known for being an influential figure within the Reggae genre. Rodigan takes us on a musical journey through the history of Reggae…”
The Revelations: 'He's A Hustler' -
This is a great funk track that I discovered from a mix that my long time amigo aka dj syd made for me. The link is about the best that I could find to the tune, and well worth a listen (or many). It sounds like this is not the typical sound for this act, who also does some neo-soul, but I’ll take the funk on this one, and great lyrics too…
A pic of Gregory Isaacs live @ mx3 west end Negril, JA circa ‘98, from the vault. This is a vintage pic, taken by my long time amigo Kev, when he & I were in JA. The legendary Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs was a prolific recording artist and has many unmistakable hits with his unique roots reggae vocal style, at times lovers rock, like Night Nurse, and other times dancehall, like Rumors (click the photo to link to this song on youtube). Gregory passed away last year, and was also known for being in and out of trouble, but his legendary tunes live on…
Treme is back! -
The new season of Treme has begun on HBO, and while it’s forward a couple years in the NoLa time-line from the prior season, the characters were seamlessly re-introduced. The show is by far the best on TV, and brings back memories of my years as a student/ music journalist in New Orleans.
The density of music and cultural references is profound, and often leads to me interacting with posts on the HBO blog, Treme facebook page, Nola.com, etc. This is the only show that really generates that type of response from me (much like living there once did), and hits a deep nerve, re-igniting my passion for the city and it’s music… read my posts on the comment string of this blog, here (if they don’t delete them), or on FB here…
My bro Paul (www.paulgozzo.blogspot.com) recently gave me a great gift of mixed I.P.A bottles, so I had to document the taste test (over the course of about 2 weeks), as well as add a couple other IPAs that I have had recently to the review.
As any aficionado of I.P.A will likely agree, there is a quality difference between a fresh brew-pub IPA draft, like Bottle Rocket IPA at Portsmouth Brewery in NH (http://portsmouthbrewery.blogspot.com), which I will consider an ‘11’ vs. this bottle taste test scale of 1-10, or a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA fresh on draft, also an 11, and anything bottled.
So the following is how these IPAs in bottles stacked up in my ranks (in no particular order), and taste profile, based on this taste test:
Mojo- Boulder beer company. This IPA has some great citrus zest, a bit of orange rind, but is short on hops. It is refreshing, and could be enjoyed even into summer, but if you were looking for that big hop taste, it’s not here, so score is a 6.5
Hopfish- Flying fish brewing co. A decent hop taste, with a bit of lemon zest, and light enough to be enjoyed into Spring, kind of like Mojo. Overall good drinkability, but not the brewpub hop bomb that I’m looking for sometimes. An ok 6.
Bison- Ukiah, CA. A nice smooth IPA, and the beer has an almost orange hued copper tone. Again, no big bang hops, but a well blended mix of 3 hops and very smooth, plus it’s organic, so a 7 for this beer.
Southern Tier- not sure why it’s called that, when the brewery is in NY, but it hits the hops on the head. I read the label and learned that it is brewed with 4 hops and 4 malts, well that 4th hop must make a difference (Bison had 3 hops), because this one had just the right hoppiness to score a high 9.
Shipyard- Fuggles IPA- a tasty IPA from this infamous Maine brewery. It has a unique, if heavy, taste that reminds me of summers on the Maine/ NH coast. It is a good beer, deep copper, but not quite the hopper I’m looking for in my IPA round-up, so I have to drop it to a 6.5
Hop Karma Brown IPA- Terrapin (Athens, GA). With that name, cool label, and Athens base and all, this ought to be good beer, and it is… A ‘brown ipa’, so it sort of tastes like a black & tan. The label says 5 varieties of hops and 7 malts, wow. And it claims “a head on collision between a hoppy west coast IPA and a malty, complex brown ale”. Well, the brown ale won that collision. It isn’t a hop bomber, but a very smooth beer of dynamic originality and it stands on it’s own, so, I have to give it an 8 here.
Indica- Lost Coast brew (Eureka, CA). Another great label. I’ve had this 1 before, there’s a sweet finish to this beer. This would go great with some tacos from Jalisco in Eureka. Smooth and full-bodied, sure, but not quite “radically hopped” as it claims. Still, it’s a good beer, and another sweet 7.
Avery Brewing co.- Boulder, CO. A good, if basic IPA that claims a “citrusy, floral bouquet” and delivers that. They also write on the label: “by hop heads, for hop heads” - not quite, but I like the balance in hops for having more than 1, so score it 7.5
Hop Ottin’ IPA- Anderson Valley Brew co./ Boonville (Mendocino county, CA). A great beer from wine country, and apparently from a solar powered brewery (www.avbc.com). The label has some ‘Anderson Valley dialect’ boasting “In an intriguing balance, sun-drenched malts coat rich hop undertones”. I like this beer a lot, despite that it isn’t a hop-bomb, and have to give it a solid 8.
Eel River- (Scotia, CA) This beer is certified organic, and Eel River was the 1st in US to earn that distinction. I’ve had this beer before (as well as many other good IPAs that didn’t make this review), and I like it. I drank it with some spicy Penang curry and it held up. In the scope of this lengthy taste test, it keeps pace and it’s in the mix @ 7.5
Lagunitas- (Petaluma, CA) Something about this bottle, maybe the large stamped letters on the front: IPA, told me that this is going to be a good 1… and it is. This beer doesn’t focus on some floral bouquet upfront, or citrus effects, but cuts straight to the hops (see beer advocate info. here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/220/916/). The simple type print on the bottle calls out a “raging hop character”, and it’s close. 8
Saranac- (Adirondack, NY) Another great beer from the makers of my favorite Black & Tan. The label tells you that it “is very hoppy in both aroma and flavor from the generous amounts of cascade hops…” and it is, because they don’t try to dance with bouquets, so it scores a straightforward 8.
Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA- read above that it is high-ranking on draft (11!), but in the bottle it comparatively disappoints, if slightly (and if expected). With better distribution now, this may be the best IPA on your grocery shelf. Named after Dogfish Head, Maine (even though the brewery is in Delaware?), this brewery has some great beers. I give the 60 minute IPA in a bottle a solid 8.
Harpoon IPA- from Boston and Vermont(?), and a better than average IPA with decent hops, but not a dynamic taste profile and sometimes heavy. This IPA will always do ok with some chips & salsa, but if you are stepping up the menu, you may want to step up the IPA. Overall only about a 6 on my bottled IPA scale, though one that I frequently drink due to availability.
Stone- (Escondido, CA www.stonebrew.com) I’ve never been to their brewpub, but I’d like to go. From the makers of the ‘Bastard Ales’, the Stone IPA is perfection of hops in a bottle. They claim, “If you’re a hop-head like us, then you’ll love our Stone India Pale Ale! Medium malt character with a heavy dose of over the top hops! Generous “dry hopping” gives this beer its abundant hop aroma and crisp hop flavor.” This is it, a 10 in a bottle (maybe an 11 if I had a draft). Cheers.
listen up! -
my blip.fm dj stream deserves props… or, at least a listen. click the - listen up!» link above and… hear why!
Crucial Roots! -
An article that I wrote too many years ago, while living in New Orleans, now republished online for your reading pleasure… and listening pleasure, if you can catch Ben, who still performs in New Orleans and recently released Delta Dub, and an album called Voodoo Reggae, a brand of his own sound and available on his site: http://benehunter.com/#/sounds/4537298877.