tr at wfcr.org
Wed Aug 13 05:58:22 EDT 2008
One thing to be said for the new Newport operation is that they knew enough
to reach our Development Department to purchase a few weeks worth of
underwriting and offer a few dozen ticket giveaways. But I didn't hear a
word from them, and so relied on their website for promotional purposes.
"Jazz à la Mode"
Monday-Friday, 8-11 p.m.
WFCR 88.5 FM
NPR News and Music for Western New England
131 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003-9257
tr at wfcr.org
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Jazz" <drjazz at drjazz.com>
To: "Jazz Programmers Mailing List" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:41 PM
Subject: [JPL] Newport
> This week's sponsor: Lisa Hilton
> Composer/pianist Lisa Hilton's latest release, ''Sunny Day Theory'' heads
> to jazz radio next week. Hilton is joined by top talent Lewis Nash on
> drums, Larry Grenadier on bass and Brice Winston on tenor sax. Eighteen
> time Grammy winner, Al Schmitt recorded and mixed the 12 track release.
> What is the ''Sunny Day Theory''? Hilton smiles, &quot;My engineer
> Larry Mah made me laugh recounting a 'Foggy Day Theory', so I countered
> with a 'Sunny Day Theory' which basically assumes that difficulties, if
> embraced honestly, create opportunity for growth. Life can be
> challenging: I've realized after a rough year that the complex can be
> dealt with one step at a time, that there can be depth in something as
> simple as a melody, beauty within the blues, and that with tomorrow there
> is always the hope for a sunny day.''
> ''Sunny Day Theory''/Ruby Slippers Productions promotion by Jane
> Smooth mix of jazz legends and new faces in Newport
> By Steve Greenlee, Globe Staff | August 11, 2008
> NEWPORT, R.I. - The people who program the annual jazz festival at the
> water's edge here always manage to assemble a balanced mix of the music's
> most respected practitioners, its most promising upstarts, and crowd
> pleasers who can sell tickets. This year the JVC Jazz Festival outdid
> itself with a perfect blend of the old and the new, of the highly regarded
> and the highly entertaining.
> Over the course of two days in Newport's historic Fort Adams State Park,
> 28 acts spread out across three stages, without a dud in the bunch. The
> range of styles touched nearly every corner of what could be considered
> jazz or its outliers.
> There was the tasteful, sympathetic interaction of bassist Charlie Haden,
> guitarist Bill Frisell, and pianist Ethan Iverson, who gathered just for
> the occasion. There was the infectious Latin jazz of Guillermo Klein y Los
> Guachos, the pulsating funk of Soulive, and the rock-band attitude of the
> Marco Benevento Trio, which covered songs by Led Zeppelin, My Morning
> Jacket, and Deerhoof. Then there were the superstars: jazz icons Sonny
> Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, and the marquee pop names of
> Aretha Franklin and trumpeter Chris Botti.
> With music playing concurrently on the three stages, it was impossible to
> catch more than a fraction of the action. Yet we sampled just about
> everything, and - it being the season for such things - we feel moved to
> hand out some medals.
> *Event*: The Newport debut
> *Gold medal*: Ledisi. If there had been a roof at the park, the singer
> would have torn it off the sucker, with her hot-and-steamy blend of R&B,
> funk, soul, jazz, and hip-hop. Drawing largely from her Grammy-nominated
> album "Lost & Found," she jokingly threatened to stop her set and go home
> if the people in the audience didn't stand up and shake their booties.
> They obliged.
> *Silver medal*: Melody Gardot. The 23-year-old chanteuse, disabled at 19
> when a car struck the bike she was riding, more than lived up to the hype
> surrounding her. She hypnotized us by opening with a bluesy tune called
> "No More My Love" that was accompanied only by her own snapping fingers.
> *Bronze medal*: Lettuce. The seven-piece funk outfit, whose members met as
> teenagers at the Berklee College of Music, played a tight set of greasy
> funk that recalled James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Earth Wind &
> Fire. Joined by JB's trombonist Fred Wesley, the band generated so much
> excitement that hundreds of people skipped Aretha's set on the main stage
> so they could hear the whole head of Lettuce.
> *Event*: The veteran performance
> *Gold medal*: Sonny Rollins. The titan of the tenor sax hadn't played
> Newport in more than 40 years, but last night he owned it, with a
> hard-blowing set that closed the festival. He improvised endlessly on the
> repeating two-bar figure that serves as the framework of "Sonny Please."
> He played ahead of time and against time, punctuating phrases with quick
> jabs, shrieks, and honks. Be it burner or ballad, he blew and blew, and he
> never ran out of ideas.
> *Silver medal*: Wayne Shorter. The legendary saxophonist's quartet -
> including pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian
> Blade - constitutes one of today's finest working groups. It brewed up a
> fiery marriage of postbop ideas and free improvisation that dispensed with
> conventional notions of structure. Each song bled into the next, with no
> regard for boundaries. The music was at once coarse and gorgeous.
> *Bronze medal*: Chris Potter. It was hard to keep track of how many times
> he took the stage - with Dave Holland, with Herbie Hancock, with Marco
> Benevento - but his star turn came with his own group, Underground. The
> quartet - which includes Adam Rogers on guitar, Craig Taborn on Fender
> Rhodes electric piano, and Nate Smith on drums - played modern postbop
> laced with fusion and funk. Leading off with the tune that gave the group
> its name, the band put on a veritable clinic in extended improvisation,
> each musician feeding off the other three to build momentum.
> *Event*: The crowd rouser
> *Gold medal*: Esperanza Spalding. The Berklee grad (class of '05) and
> Berklee instructor (hired in '05) drew four or five times as many people
> as the small stage was intended to hold. Most of those who showed up
> couldn't even see her. It mattered not. The joy created by the effusive
> bassist and singer flowed through her audience. When she scatted and sang
> wordless vocals through a celebratory tune called "I Adore You," the
> feeling became mutual.
> *Silver medal*: Aretha Franklin. She's still got it, and she delivered it,
> with a set that included her biggest hits - "Respect," "Chain of Fools,"
> "Natural Woman," "Freeway of Love" - and some nice twists, including a
> version of "My Funny Valentine" that began as a soulful ballad and evolved
> into a tour de force of R&B. One complaint about the sound: Her big band
> and gospel choir sometimes drowned her out, and the speakers crackled at
> several points.
> *Bronze medal*: Chris Botti. I am not yet a convert to Botti's
> buttoned-down instrumental pop, but there is no denying the power of his
> opening and closing numbers. He blew a furious flurry of notes during a
> funky take of "When I Fall in Love" and then allowed his terrific backing
> musicians to stretch out. He afforded them the same luxury during the
> closer, "Indian Summer," which featured a riotous drum solo by Billy
> Kilson. Too bad most of what came between was milquetoast.
> *Event*: The audience irritant
> *Gold medal*: The airplane dragging a banner advertising auto glass that
> flew over the main stage during Ledisi's beautiful rendition of the
> Beatles' "Yesterday," right when she sang the line, "There's a shadow
> hanging over me." There sure was, and it ruined half your song.
> *Silver medal*: The cigarette and cigar smokers who puffed throughout the
> festival, with no regard for their neighbors at a lung's length away on
> every side. Would it kill you to step away from the masses when you need
> to light up?
> *Bronze medal*: All the boors who think it's OK to yak incessantly during
> the music. True, the lawn at Fort Adams is not a jazz club, but there were
> half-hour breaks between sets. Save your lengthy conversations for then.
> /Steve Greenlee can be reached at greenlee at globe.com
> <mailto:greenlee at globe.com>./
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