XRIJF Day 7

We are down to just the two of us now as Avi flew back to his folks in LA. It was pure joy for us to see this young man soak up the music for four nights, not to mention just having a grandson with us. It took us some time to figure out what we were going to do. We started at Harro with Youn Sun Nah. I am going to have link here to Ron Netsky, City Newspaper, for a superb review that I find right on. We found seats at a table with people we have sat with at many other Fest events and after some refreshments we were captivated by the voice and performance of this young lady. After staying for the inevitable encore, in this case a bit forced as she cut the set short at 45 minutes and was dragged back by a screaming audience, we headed for Christ Church.

Some how I got it in my head that Phronesis, the group name, meant there would be a saxophone, wrong. But the trio were really fine and Daniel Kushner agrees in his City Newspaper review. The acoustics in this huge old stone church leave something to be desired, but the sound people have plenty of experience in getting the sound out to audience. Other than some hiss in the system (second set) the sound was great, so was the performance. However with a tight schedule of people to hear we left before the last number and headed to Hatch where Manuel Valera, Cuban born, was solo on the piano. Have never heard an improv on a Chopin work before. Netsky also reviewed this performance and again I find his writing right on.

We stayed through the encore and headed over to Xerox for Walt Weiskopf Quartet, keep reading Ron’s review for more on this. We were really enjoying the Jazz experience, more fine saxophone, actually the only one of the evening, and superb performances by the rest. I suspect we have reached a point where “merely” excellent performance of fine Jazz no longer brings us to our feet. We expect it and want more. So off we went to Ariel Pocock Trio at Max to split the 10 PM slot into two groups. Too many excellent groups! Here is another interesting voice with fine range and unusual intonation. Her piano playing is as good as we’ve heard and we may hear her again tonight, solo at Hatch. She really needs to lose her bad jokes and childish patter between pieces, she is much too good a performer to let that stuff get in the way. As I said we had to split because we wanted to hear Dakha Brakha at the big tent. They are billed as a Ukrainian Folklore group and they certainly look the part, if a bit over the top with their costumes. We were in Ukraine and never saw anything like those outfits. The 20 minutes we were there were as energetic as anything we have attended this week.

Tonight I think we will start with 4 by Monk by 4 at Kilbourn, which means getting in line at 3:30 to get wristbands for the 6 PM show. Then around the corner to Hatch to hear Pocock again then to Xerox for Tessa Souter who we have heard in the past. Finally on to Max for Ronnie Foster Organ Trio. This is just the initial framework on which I expect we will build and improvise.

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