Lloyd Townsend, Jr.
jazz at imaginaryrecords.com
Wed Aug 13 16:52:42 EDT 2008
At least Newport still has *some* jazz. My wife & I planned a trip
to Switzerland this summer to include hitting Montreux for the "jazz
festival" there -- only to find out, when they finally released the
schedule (after flights had been booked, of course) that there were
only a COUPLE of jazz-oriented programs the entire two weeks of the
We skipped Montreux.
Prop., Imaginary Records
jazz at imaginaryrecords.com
On Aug 12, 2008, at 10:21 PM, TomtheJazzman wrote:
> 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
> ''Sunny Day Theory''/Ruby Slippers Productions promotion by Jane
> I certainly have a different opinion regarding the JVC Newport
> Festival. The URBAN music did not fit with the other
> performances. Aretha is not what I am talking about. Le;isi and
> Anthony Hamilton certainly did not fit the mold of this Festival
> and had very few followers there.
> Chris Potter really showed he is the heir apparent to the Michael
> Brecker followers in his performances with Dave Holland, Herbie
> Hancock and Marco Benevento. Anat Cohen, say ANOT, was awesome
> with George Wein as was Esperance Spalding. The Mark Rapp band
> played some very tasteful selection with a new release coming next
> month. He plays a cool trumpet. It was good to see and hear
> Jimmy Cobb playing with George Wein, expecially being the lone
> survivor of the Kind Of Blue Band with Miles. Jimmy has a new
> release on Chesky. Another of the highlights was Warren Vache with
> John Alred on Trombone.
> Lionel Loueke did not disappoint in his own set or while playing
> with Herbie.
> Many of us commented we were disappointed that Chris Botti played
> the same set Friday night and Saturday afternoon with the same
> jokes and comment. Mark Whitfield and Billy Childs were killers as
> was Billy Kilson on drums. Ledisi did the same set both Friday
> night and Saturday, but she has only one CD and not much book so
> that could be expected.
> Herbie did a wonderful set as did Sonny Rollins.
> The new organization, Festival Network is learning and will get
> better. Most and generally the festival was good but not one of
> the stronger festivals. I thought the attendance was down quite a
> bit from previous years.
> Those are my few cents worth.
> Dr. Jazz wrote:
>> 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
>> ''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
>> *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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