A red t-shirt with Montreal Jazz Festival on it…

There were a couple of things I hadn’t gotten to share, so here we are.  Sunday we went on that river cruise I told you about.  It was very nice.  The food was good, the singing well above par.  Really, though, the thing about the cruise, is that it’s a cruise.  It was very nice to glide  out to the St. Lawrence Seaway, while eating good chow, and listening to some nice smooth easy jazz.  The singer, Sonja Johnson, has earned a Juno (the Candian equivalent of the Grammy, work with me here) and several other music awards.  Her delivery was refreshing and she didn’t try to overpower the ongoing conversations during dinner.  (Quite frankly, sometimes the background noise was almost overwhelming.  The acoustics on the were  great if you were listening to the music and horrendous if you were being forced to listen everyone’s conversation.  I like  listening to other people’s conversations, but this was a little much.)

 

It doesn’t matter much one way or the other, it was a very nice evening, and the best part of all of that was the fire works. Sunday was Canada Day, and they celebrate just like we do.  The city of Montreal set off a bargeful of fireworks and the captain of our little cruise boat, actually turned us around and took us back out to the mouth of the piers and let us sit back and enjoy the show from front row seats.

 

Monday we took an amphibious tour, which was pretty redundant in a couple of ways.  We saw all the things we’d seen on a previous bus tour, which made the only thing worthwhile was the river part.   That however would be the same river cruise we’d taken the night before, with fireworks.  Sorry, day late, dollar short.

 

This was our last night at the Festival.  We had tickets to the Bessie Smith tribute. This was probably the best show we saw all weekend.  I enjoy jazz fusion, cabaret (lounge) and standards, but I am partial to the blues.  Especially the brand of blues Bessie Smith made famous.  She opened with “Get Outta’ My Way”, and then walked us through the brief highlights of Bessie’s short life.  She sang and talked about the sad short life of Ms. Smith, using the piano, bass and sax players as foils to her story telling.  We sat in the second row and the concert was set up as a stage play.  It was an excellent vehicle to present a poignant and powerful tale of self-destruction, interspersed with the music that fuels and soothes at the same time.

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