I cannot believe that we are approaching the last night of the 2012 Jazz Festival in Rochester. In a year with more cancelled shows because of weather and air traffic delays than I can remember, there have been terrific shows every night.
Lat night we started in Kilbourn Hall with Roy Hains. He is over 80 and a superb drummer. As is typical of many older performers, he would as soon talk as play. He started his introduction with some soft shoe tap and some story telling and give and take with his group and the audience. Someone shouted out “play some music.” Roy asked who that was, he shouted back “your producer”, it was John Nugent one of the two producers of the festival. Roy then hit the drums and except for one more verbal exchange he played some wonderful standards and it was a pleasure and a joy to hear some great standards well played.
We moved on after picking up some food to Abilene where Peter Karp and Sue Foley were playing some wonderful country music. Peter played on a National Steel Resonator Guitar when he wasn’t on the keyboard and I won’t pretend to know what Sue was playing on, although it was shaped like a Fender with some interesting patterns on it. The sound was great and not overbearing as it can sometimes be. The show was marred for us when a clutz in a Volunteer Green shirt banged into me sloshing some of my beer onto Carol. He smirked and kept on moving without so much as an “oh sorry”. The gal behind the bar gave Carol some napkins to do a preliminary cleanup. From there we moseyed over to Christ Church for some way too mellow trio work by Orlando LaFleming. We were still jumping from Abilene and it was hard to slow down, especially since the Church has no AC and inadequate airflow, it was HOT in there.
We decided to move on to Montage. This was hindered by the set up of another free stage on Chestnut Street which is the street one needs to take to get to Montage. We worked our way through the crowd and the loud sounds coming from the stage provided by Jimmie Vaughn & the tilt-a-Whirl Band Featuring Lou Ann Barton. In Montage we saw the stage set for way too many people. Carol counted to 21 as the group kept entering in front of us. This stage seems packed with a quintet on it. These were all Eastman students performing under the leadership of Ryan Truesdell playing the music of Bill Evans. Some of the music came from two of his recordings, but much of what they played had been rearranged by Evans for a concert at the Apollo in 1959 and has never been recorded. The group was really good and once again we were hearing some classic jazz even if the particular arrangements had not been heard since 1959.
Tonight is another mishmash and I may report tomorrow, if I have the energy, on what we actually get too. We are planning on starting at Hatch, which is the acoustic only, solo venue. JoAnne Brackeen is reputed to be a superb pianist and this is the venue for that kind of performance.