What is great jazz? This question can have lots of different answers, depending on whom you ask it to. There are different tastes, different currents of thoughts. Some like their jazz pretty classical and keep it with cool with Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald…. Some like it more experimental with Miles, Monk, Coleman… These different currents lead to today’s musicians who take it coolly (Krall, Bublé) or wild (Redman, Molvaer…) and there are those who blend jazz with rap (Glasper), lounge (Truffaz) or rock (Bad Plus) leading to a variety of new jazz.

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(Photo: Nico Pelletier, RREVERB)

Misc is a trio that plays in the more traditional turf, as the three guys who form this band play traditional instruments: Jerôme Beaulieu on the piano, Philippe Leduc on double bass and William Côté on drums. Does that mean they are ordinary? Hell no! These three friends play a very energetic jazz, which stays somehow melodic most of the time. As anything, it depends on what other music style you are comparing it to. I find it pretty melodic as Beaulieu always comes back to the main notes the song is built on.

The very energetic bassman Philippe Leduc dances with his instrument, and showed a lot of nice licks all through the concert. Being a guitarist myself, I am always amazed of how violinists (which includes double bass players) can play fretless so fast and so precisely.

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(Photo: Denis Alix, FIJM)

The three amigos played the first three songs of their first album under the name Misc (La fin, Messenger, and one of my favourite Unlucky). Then they went back to the Man on the Moon Suite, one of the first one they wrote together, probably around when they met at Montreal University where they all studied music.

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(Photo: Nico Pelletier, RREVERB)

A few surprises after that in Respirer dans l’eau from French Quebec songwriter Daniel Bélanger, followed by Les années molles, which included a bit of industrial beats, both a featured on their new album (Full review, in French, is available here).

Misc nails it. Every time. And yes, they make great jazz!

 

MISC played L’Astral on July 2, 2016, part of the Montreal Jazz Festival.

All our articles on the Jazz Fest are here.

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.