Tuesday marked the premiere of Craig Pedersen as the host of November’s The Montreal Sessions, and he brought with him a new approach to jazz, both classic and experimental. A man of many talents, Montreal’s own Pedersen is a trumpet player, composer, and educator, and is the frontman of the Craig Pedersen Quartet. No newcomer to the improv jazz scene, Pedersen has released a total of eight albums since 2011, and published a book on exploratory trumpet techniques in 2014. Clearly, we couldn’t have a better man for the job!
In the first hour, Pedersen played music that he has enjoyed, from artists he admires and uses as inspiration for his own work. The set was a combination of recorded and live tracks, and flowed from freeform jazz to musiques actuelles, and returned occasionally to classic jazz, with vocals and without.
In the second hour, Pedersen had guest performer Elizabeth Millar on the show for an interview and live performance. Pedersen and Millar have collaborated together on the album The Sound of the Mountain, and their conversation was effortless and flowing, with the pair alternating questions for each other about their different techniques and approaches to music. Millar is a free-improvisation clarinet player who believes in expressing a “sound language,” making modifications to her clarinet to create different, non-traditional sounds. The two musicians talked about memory and spatial awareness in improv music, and how it helped create a special form for the genre.
In the last half hour, the pair performed some of their collaborations from The Sound of the Mountain, using their instruments to improvise a very complex blend of sounds and rhythms.
We’re definitely interested to hear what Craig Pedersen has in store for next week! Tune in Tuesdays from 3-5 pm for the month of November for some new sounds coming out of the jazz world. The full-length show is available for listening in the archives here.