We have been having a great time on Jazz Street for 9 nights. Now we must recreate our day to day life without the planning, reading reviews and 6 to 7 hours a night waiting in line and attending performances. Last night required some additional logistical planning because huge crowds were expected on East Ave at Chestnut St where George Thorogood and the Destroyers: 40 Years Strong were entertaining for free. This plugs that section to any easy access to Montage or Xerox. this did not matter to us as our plan had us staying on one side of the congestion.
We got in line for Newport Jazz Festival:Now 60 in Kilbourn Hall at 3:40 for the 6 PM show. This seemed extreme as we had gotten into a show on Thursday arriving after 4, but we were only just a few minutes ahead of the line filling to sell out proportions. By 4:15 the line had extended from the front of the hall down the side alley and around the corner onto Swann where we were and then out to East Ave and past the Ticket office, it was there that the line counters started telling people that they were unlikely to get into the hall. To understand the draw here are the performers in the group: Anat Cohen, who sold out everything she did in her last time at the Festival, Karrin Allyson/vocals, piano, Randy Brecker/trumpet, Larry Grenadier/bass, Peter Martin/piano, Clarence Penn/drums, and Mark Whitfield/guitar. If you want to know more about them and the rest of the performers Rochester Jazz link will get you all the information you want and more. Once they closed the door with 450 in the seats and maybe 50 standing room there was very little movement and I doubt many from the long line left outside the door made it in to the hall. All of the performances were over the top and when the set was over the audience stood in place applauding and screaming for MORE. And MORE we got, with superb encore performance with Karrin taking the piano from Peter Martin for the intro and giving us the best singing of the performance and then the band members each did another solo before wrapping it up. We exited and bought an Anat Cohen CD to have her sign in the Merchandise Tent. There we met and had a chance to talk with her and several of the group, they seemed as buoyed by the crowd response as the crowd was by their performance.
We then stopped to get some food at Ludwigs before continuing on to Lutheran Church, one more time, to hear Susanna. Her sound was ethereal and interesting, but it couldn’t hold our attention. I suspect part of it was that our heads were still full of the high energy from the previous performance. We left and went to the Big Tent as we had planned, to hear Ester Rada. She had performed on the street as an opener to the big group on the Chestnut and East Stage on Friday and the buzz was very good. This was a very high energy performance by an exciting Ethiopian Israeli with 7 Israeli musicians in her band. It was wonderful as I listened and realized that in more than one song the language was neither English nor Hebrew but must have been Amharic. I don’t think that there has been any singing in Amharic at the Festival before. Once again we were floating on a sense of joy and energy as we exited the tent after the show and headed to Max to see if we could get in to hear Cyrille Aimee perform.
The door was open and the line was moving as we joined it. They stopped the line as we got to the front. We were held there for a few minutes while they determined if there was place along the wall for us to stand. We got in before the show started. We leaned on the wall until we realized we had our line chair with us and we could take turns sitting. Cyrille is a coquette, very cute especially in the lacy short skirted frock she was wearing for the performance. Her vocal control is wonderful and her use of scat was a delight to us. Also she sang in French as well as English and her songs were fun. We especially enjoyed her song based on train travel in India One Way Ticket to Somewhere. This is a different version although the bowl in the same. This was our last number for the 2014 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.
We went on to to the Jam at the Plaza Hotel, but it seemed anticlimactic and we decided to take a “One Way Ticket to Somewhere” as our lead for next year’s Festival!
|John Nugent, Producer and Bob Sneider at the Jam|