Young/Donato duet concert

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Folks, if you somehow have access to Canada's COOL TV channel, don't miss the Dave Young / Michel Donato duet concert that's aired from time to time. I caught it last night and was completely floored by those two guys. Just bass, nuthin' else.

    Part of the Montreal Jazz Festival concert series. Not sure what year this was, but it looked quite recent.
  2. Damon. i'm not hip to Donato.....except for Brazil's Joao, the pianist. Tell me?
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Paul, Michel Donato is a long-standing fixture on the Quebec music scene. I believe he was just elected Canada's "jazz player of the year" or some such honorific. He's a French-speaking person and has stayed pretty much within the Quebecois scene, which is plenty substantial enough to sustain a career. (Sitting here in anglo Winnipeg, even I'm not overly familiar with Donato. Any Quebecker would know tons more. Francois?)

    He's recorded in the past with Oscar Peterson, Bernie Senensky and Bruce Cockburn, along with plenty of other Canadian names not quite so well-known.

    He's in his late fifties, early sixties, but just had a debilitating stroke fairly recently. We'll see how he recovers.

    He is every bit the equal of Dave Young as a bass player, an improviser, and all-round musician. If you know Dave Young's playing, you know that's saying quite a lot indeed. In comparison to Young -- and you see the contrast so beautifully in the duets concert -- Donato is fluid where Young is dry; dark against Young's light; lyrical emotion against Young's clear thinking virtuousity. If Young is Paul Desmond, Donato is Cannonball. I don't know anything about the instrument he's playing recently, but his tone is very "old wood-ey" to my ears -- really rich, dark, chocolately. He's an absolutely amazing, top-notch player. Together they're totally astonishing. I lack sufficient adjectives to express my admiration for these two guys' playing.

    I guess the fact that our very own senior jazz warrior and low-B purveyor -- that is you yourself, MISTER Warmbaton -- isn't familiar with him tells me that Donato doesn't have the recognition outside of Quebec that he so richly deserves. Beautiful player.
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    This page has some clips of Donato in 1996.
  5. I like this statement Damon! Creative Analogy!
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Donato is probably Quebec's top jazz bassist ever.

    Quoted from

    Michel Donato was born in Montreal on August 25th, 1942, into a family drenched in musical tradition. His grandfather was an accomplished violinist, while his father juggled the saxophone, flute and piano, and his cousin, like Donato tested his wares on the acoustic bass. At the ripe age of ten, Donato began his musical training on the accordion. Shortly thereafter, he shifted his studies to the piano, and finally to the bass at age fourteen. Under the guidance of Roger Charbonneau, Donato studied for three years at the Conservatoire de Québec, while making his first appearances on Montreal’s vibrant club scene, including a stint with his father at the famous ‘Palais D’or’.

    The 1960s saw the beginning of Donato’s long and illustrious professional career. Over the course of the decade, the young bassist developed and even excelled in the company of some of music’s most respected luminaries, including Art Blakey, Sonny Greenwich, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Carmen McRae. What is more, the sixties also marked Donato’s initial forays into the studio- recording an album with Nick Ayoub in 1964, and collaborating on several radio programs for Société Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    As the seventies approached, and after successful jaunts through Europe and North America, Donato made the difficult decision to leave his Montreal home for the evergreen musical pastures of Toronto. In the years that followed, he gigged relentlessly in clubs, studios and on television- climaxing in 1971, when an invitation came for Donato to join the world-renowned Oscar Peterson Trio. Needless to say, the honor was his, and for the next two years Donato toured the globe, playing and recording with one of jazz music’s premier ensembles. When the Peterson gig came to its fluid end, Donato returned to Toronto and filled the bass chair for the house band at Bourbon Street, the city’s top club. There, he and his rhythmic mates provided stellar backing for scores of visiting jazz greats: Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Zoot Sims, Art Farmer and Gerry Mulligan, to name a few.

    In 1977, Donato returned to Montreal with renewed creative vigor, almost instantly recording successful albums with Félix Leclerc and François Dompierre. Following this, Donato embarked on the second of his major collaborations- this time with the trio of legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans. Rounded out with the masterful vitality of drum giant Philly Joe Jones, this edition of the Evans trio- though short-lived and admittedly transitional- has only recently received the distinction it deserves. Unlike many of Evans’ previous ensembles, which sought to mine a lush, singularly collective sound, this group was marked by the merging of three highly distinctive sounds into one galvanized whole.

    During the eighties, Donato continued to seek out new and interesting endeavors that would keep his fiery creative spirit engaged. He taught at McGill University and L’Université de Montréal, began an eight-year partnership with vocalist Karen Young, and re-asserted himself as one of Canada’s most versatile and prolific jazz musicians. Also in the eighties, Donato began his long-standing association with Montreal Jazz Festival. Over the years, he performed on the summer stage with everyone from Louis Hayes to Joe Morello, Oliver Jones to Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Toot Thielmans, and even a 1984 reunion with Oscar Peterson.

    In recent years, Donato has remained continued to play regularly, while composing a handful of feature film scores (among them the award-winning music to the critically acclaimed film, ‘Les Muse Orphelines’). Donato has also collaborated in double bass experiments with both Henri Texier and Chalie Haden, while keeping a steady list of ensembles with pianist James Gelfand. In 1995, He was awarded the prestigious Oscar Peterson Award for excellence in Canadian Jazz, and to this day remains committed to teaching and developing young musical talents.
  7. Jeeze, I guess I asked for it......impressive, Thanks Francois!