[JPL] Newport

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Wed Aug 13 10:39:04 EDT 2008

Tom Reney wrote:

> 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.

I think I remember us doing grantor credits for the folk festival but I 
don't recall us doing grantor credits for the jazz festival. Maybe it 
was just for a short time and I just forgot.

The contact I had with them was pretty late in the game. They contacted 
our Program Manager and he forwarded the email to me after which I 
contacted their press office. There was some talk of trying to get 
someone on my show to talk about the festival. Christian Scott did come 
on my show last week.

In the past Sue Auclair would have tried to get George on the show. Also 
since she would have been aware that a number of those artists have 
Boston connections, Sue would have investigated the possibility of 
getting one of them on the show if they were going to be in the area. 
Actually I saw that Christian was going to be at Berklee last Thursday 
so I wrote Newport's PR person and asked if it was possible he could 
come on my show the night before. In the past, I think Sue was so aware 
of what was going on that I would never have had to ask. She would have 
known about Christian's appearance and asked me about an interview.

Eric Jackson
Mon - Thurs 8 pm - mid.
89.7 FM WGBH Boston

> Tom Reney
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> ----- 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
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>> heads to jazz radio next week.  Hilton is joined by top talent Lewis 
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>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>  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>./
>> © Copyright <http://www.boston.com/help/bostoncom_info/copyright> 2008 
>> The New York Times Company
>> -- 
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