I was at the Montreal Jazz Festival this past week and just got home. I saw three very special sets – Steve Kuhn with Steve Swallow and Joey Baron captured my spirit and uplifted everyone; Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn together fed the brain and intellect with its intricacies; but Enrico Pieranunzi was the one that went straight to the heart. My God it was like being carried away on a cloud, breath-taking and visceral and visually and aurally stunning as he painted pictures with his fingers.
It was a great week for people watching and music listening with lots of outdoor shows, crowds, good food, and camaraderie. The city is lovely, full of parks, bike paths, great neighborhoods, and great food. And the birthplace of Leonard Cohen (599 Belmont Avenue if you are looking).
I cannot recommend it strongly enough both as a place to visit and for the remarkable Jazz Festival.