[JPL] More on JVC Newport

Tom Mallison tomthejazzman at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 15 22:41:09 EDT 2006

There were many other great moments are Newport this past weekend.  Steve Schwartz captured some of the magic that happened on the smaller Waterside Stage as well as the news article written by Jim Gillis in the local Newport newspaper.

Avishai Cohen's intensity on the Pavilion stage had the crown on their feet at the conclusion of his set with a special rendition of Caravan.  He had flow in in the night before from Israel for this one time performance and then left to fly back to Israel Sunday night.  Many of us witnessed Avishai at the Jazz Week Summit in June and knew he was a great player and he did not disappoint.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band had everyone on their as the did the 2nd Line around the Pavilion Stage doing SAINTS and Feet Don't Fail Me Now.  It was interesting to talk with Sandy Jaffe about Preservation Hall being open only two night, Friday and Saturday, until recently when she received a donation to open up the club on Thursday nights.  She told me the problem was not with lack of tourist, but the real lack of musicians who had moved out of New Orleans and have decided not to return to the city.  She also mentioned at over 70% of the residents of New Orleans still do not have power or gas and that the water pressure is at only 30%.

Sarah Morrow, Trombone, flew in from Paris for a wonderful performance and actually did two performances on Saturday as she filled in for Luciana Souza who had to cancel and return to Brazil due to the critical illness of her mother.  She will be back at Newport next year.

James Carter gave great performances as he played with his Organ Trio and also jammed with other artists.  James is the clothes horse of the jazz world.

Friday night with John Pizzarelli was special with a hot big band.  He was joined on rhythm guitar by his day, Bucky,  who also did a duet with John during one stage of the performance.  The crowd at the International Tennis Hall of Fame still leaves much to be desired as many are their to be seen and talk all through the performances.  The MC should do more to control the crowd so that the musicians don't have to be the bad guys.

Dave Brubeck, being the artist who has played Newport the most number of times, gave a spirited performance with hot licks from Bobby Militello.  Dave at 85 still can whip up some wonderful cord combinations and creative musicianship.  Dave as usual was accompanied by his wife Iola.

The crowd was disappointing all weekend, however there were over 1,200 walk ups on Saturday so Benson and Jarreau did sell tickets. The small crowd on Sunday might be attributed to several factors.  Chris Botti was on and then off the schedule prior to being finally back on the schedule.  Believe me, he held the crowd which usually begins to leave during the late in the day performances.  Maybe gas prices were a factor, or was it all of the FREE jazz concerts taking place on weekends all over New England, or could the $70 per ticket price be a little overboard.  Anyway, the weather was great and the music was inspirational.  If you missed it,  mark your calendar for next year.  They recorded selected artists on Sunday for a PBS special that usually runs Thanksgiving week.

It was great seeing many friends in radio at the festival while still wondering where some of you were.  Thanks to WGBH and their crowd from bringing bus loads of listeners down for the festival.  It was good seeing Ron Gill, Steve Schwartz, Eric Jackson, Al Davis, Jeff Turton, Chuck from Hartford, Derrick from Rochester and Arnold from New York among those floating between the three stages.

It was especially good to see George Wein back at the Festival this year after the passing of his wife Joyce the day after the festival last year which had necessitated him missing the event last year and his own personal sickness two years ago.

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