Saturday, August 8, 2009

Newport 2009 - Day 1

What a great day. The weather was perfect, bright and sunny (as evidenced by some very unfortunate tan lines on your's truly...I was wearing a Kufi. Use your imagination....) and not too hot. The music was wonderful! I heard:

The Cedar Walton All Stars - Cedar with Lou Tabackin and Curtis Fuller. Lou is always a treat to hear and what a privlidge to hear Curtis. One of the only (if not THE only) bone players to play with Trane. The music was right out of the hard bop/modal genre. Cedar's great tunes sound great with the tenor/bone combination.

Esperanza Spalding - How is it that I have not been listening to her for the past couple of years?!? Killer bass player, that goes without saying, but her vocal work really knocked me out today. Informed to my ears by Betty Carter as well as artists like Stevie Wonder, there is an element on her upper range that just grabs at my heart. I'll be visiting iTunes soon.

Joshua Redman - Josh hit with his double trio, which at times covered the entire spectrum from solo to sextet, with all mathematical combinations in between. I haven't checked out much of Redman's music in the past few years. Hearing him today makes me realize what I have been missing. The music was exploratory, very textural and formally VERY interesting. No head-solos-head.

Branford Marsalis - When I was in high school, Branford was my hero. I begged my father to take me to hear him when he would come through Chicago/Ravinia etc... I have gotten away from listening to him in the past few years, but today was a nice reminder of how much I like him. A good mix of standards and originals, his set was full of mastery. Branford's harmonic sense is quite original while keeping touch with history and his rhythmic concept is just amazing. He can shift gears between upper and lower neighbor meters with more ease than anyone I can think of. His soprano tone is to die for!

A great day of music and I can't wait for tomorrow...Photos follow...

Esperanza Spalding


Joshua Redman

Esperanza Spalding

Branford Marsalis

Esperanza Spalding

The crowds

The NPR Command Center

Cedar Walton, Curtus Fuller, Lou Tabackin



1 comment:

d0nnatr0y said...

Hey Greg! The best thing about living in Newport is the jazz fest! I remember going back in 1995- what a great experience! Thanks for the write up & pics- keep them coming!