I'm currently submerged in the Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium. And submerged isn't just a reference to the rain that came through yesterday (hardly noticeable in my perpetual indoor state). This event is total immersion into creative music from all angles. The colloquium side wrapped up yesterday with an abundance of academic research on the subject of improvisation - much of it deserving of more processing as I prepare to say more about the intellectual work being done in this area. For once, my brain feels full.
The ears are hardly neglected, even as the brain remains sated. Francois Houle has been a real treat to hear thus far in his appearances at one of the workshops, his group Safa yesterday morning and he's due to take the stage with Aeriels in less than an hour from now. His instinct for bending his intonation and the contrast between his breathy quiet against his soaring fortissimo on the clarinet compliments his incredible, improvising adaptibility.
The Guelph Jazz Festival is unique. Not just because they host a colloquium. This total immersion in the world of this music, its sounds, its ideas and its passions is complete. These folks "get it." One may be left scrambling to sleep, eat or blog in the spare minutes between compelling events. The abundance of ideas leaves the brains in knots that will need to be worked out and reflected upon over the months ahead.