76 posts categorized "RIJF 2007" Feed

The Rochester International Jazz Festival...now in High Def!

RIJF logoOur local PBS station, WXXI will begin broadcasting performances from the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival in high definition on Sunday at 7:00 pm on WXXI-HD 1011/DT21.2 and PBS-HD. The show, has played on PBS stations nationwide, but will now be presented in high-definition.  The series is six-hour long episodes shot in the historic Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, including:

  • Bill Frisell Trio: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 20th, 4 a.m. Monday and 11 p.m. July 25th.
  • Geri Allen Trio: 7 p.m. on July 27th, July 28th at 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. Aug. 1. We interviewed Geri Allen last year.
  • Harry Allen Quartet: 7 p.m. on Aug. 3rd and 11 p.m. Aug. 8th.
  • Christian Scott Band: 7 p.m. on Aug. 4th, 4 a.m. on Aug. 11 and 11 p.m. Aug. 15.
  • James Moody: 7 p.m. Aug. 17, 4 a.m. Aug. 18 and 11 p.m. Aug. 22.
  • Don Byron’s Ivey Divey: 7 p.m. on Aug. 24th, 4 a.m. on Aug. 25th and 11 p.m. on Aug. 29.

Check the schedule.  They did the same for the 2008 RIJF, so we look forward to seeing those films.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Bonerama goes back to high school . . . Pittsford-Sutherland, that is

I was contacted recently by Ben, a student at Pittsford-Sutherland High School (which, by the way, has a Business Department with kids learning marketing . . . surprise, surprise), who let me know that Bonerama, a great New Orleans brass funk band fronted by no less than four trombones, will be playing a concert at the school to benefit the Arabi Wrecking Krewe of New Orleans, which is a nonprofit that has organized volunteers, many of whom are musicians or former musicians from the New Orleans area, to provide disaster assistance to victims of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Proceeds of the benefit will go to help rebuild homes for musicians in NOLA.

Many of you might have heard Bonerama play one or more of a number of great sets at the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival, including one that we really enjoyed at the Montage where the combined firepower of those four frontmen almost knocked us off our chairs. If you missed them at the festival, you should really try to catch them. Check out their cover of the Led Zeppelin tune The Ocean on the band's MySpace page to see (well, hear) what I mean.

Bonerama's coming to town (OK, near town) on December 6th at 7:308:00 pm (based on the group's website, they're also holding a workshop with the students, which is cool). The concert will be at Pittsford-Sutherland's auditorium (the high school is at 55 Sutherland Street in Pittsford, NY) Adult tickets are $12 and student tickets are $10. They will also be available at the door for $12 per student and $15 per adult.Tickets will be sold through Wegmans stores.  The Sutherland Jazz Band will also be performing.

Come out and hear a band that really has to be heard live to be appreciated and support a great cause at the same time!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

I thought I was late . . . Another voice heard on the RIJF

I actually haven't forgotten that I had promised another post on the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival. Still have that one in the works (had to wait at least until my Geri Allen interview was posted), but just noticed in my Allaboutjazz.com feed in the left panel that Robert Iannapollo has written up his thoughts on RIJF 2007 for the online magazine.  Thought you might want to read his take on what we all agree was a great 6th Annual RIJF.

Here they are:

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Flash! Jazz Pianist Geri Allen Does Interview with Rank Amateur!

On June 8th, the first evening of the Rochester International Jazz Festival, I conducted my first "jazz interview" with pianist Geri Allen. It was a wonderful experience.

Ms. Allen invited us into the "green room" at Kilbourn Hall in the Eastman School of Music, where she had performed a killer early set in Kilbourn kicking off the 6th Annual RIJF.  While I've edited out an interruption toward the end, and made a few other adjustments to try to make it easier to hear me or Ms. Allen, it is pretty much as we recorded it.  I left it as is as I think it is a true document of the experience.  Clearly, my interview style could use some work but I think that Ms. Allen more than made up for that with her thoughtful responses. This is an artist that knows herself and where she is going.

In addition to Ms. Allen's voice and mine, the other voice you'll hear on the podcast is my wife Dianna.  She promised me going in that she'd just take notes . . . but anyone who knows Dianna knows that when she hears something that moves her, it is impossible for her to contain herself. I think you'll agree that her participation was invaluable in making the interview a unique document. 

Pardon the sound quality, but my "professional" equipment was a Griffin iTalk microphone plugged into my iPod Nano. The delay in posting this interview is my bad timing . . . it took me a week after the end of the festival to have the time to do the editing (and learn the Audacity software I used to do the editing). By that time, Ms. Allen was near to leaving for a European tour and I had promised I'd send her a copy to hear before publishing it on the blog. We finally connected over the weekend and she wrote it was "good to go".  So, here it is ... a bit over 11 minutes:

Jazz@Rochester Interview with Geri Allen

I note one thing . . . Geri Allen indicated all she needs to come back to play in Rochester is an invitation.  Someone going to step up?

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

You Never Stop Learning . . . RIJF 2007 Provides Some Lessons

Now that I'm done casting my "greater blogger than thou" stones, I think it is only fair to look back with a critical eye on Jazz@Rochester during the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival. While this year was a year where a bunch of new doors opened and this blog had unprecedented traffic and impact on festival-goers, I couldn't help but feel that I hadn't really fully realized the opportunities that were presented.  This post is just a mea culpa of sorts, to show that I'm not oblivious to my many shortcomings (I am oblivious to many things . . . just ask my wife), and a sort of blueprint for next year.  I'll just list a few bullet points:

  • While I had a media access pass (as well as the Club Pass that I bought LONG before receiving the media access), I asked for it much too late and with my other responsibilities to work and our business didn't have enough time to do the leg work to set up the interviews even for the artists for whom I requested contact information and be ready to conduct an interview that wouldn't be a waste of their time.
  • I did an interview with pianist Geri Allen on the first night of the festival. It was a wonderful experience. I think that despite my less than stellar interview skills, Ms. Allen provided me some real gems about her and her music (and I hope to be publishing the results soon in these pages). However, the experience also gave me an appreciation for what goes into doing them well and I dropped further efforts.  There were others doing interviews of the artists SO much better (I've been listening to the whole lot of them since, Jason, and you're a pro!). Although I want to try the interview thing some more, I need to find a niche.
  • I admit it . . . my moblogging from the festival became old pretty fast.  I want to think about how I use it in the future as I think it is a great tool (as do Jason and Seth) that has potential for adding a great immediacy to coverage. I'm thinking of doing more "man in the street" (or more "person in line") interviews and "on the spot" reports. What would you like to know?
  • I was unable to really provide images in posts (although, again, so many people were doing a really good job of that), which I love to include when possible.  With the media access pass, I was more restricted than if I'd just been there as a "civilian".  I didn't have the additional photography credential necessary (or perhaps I misunderstood?). My camera really wasn't up to the task, anyway.
  • I didn't write enough.  I didn't have my laptop with me at the festival and at the pace I was hitting shows wouldn't have had much time to do any real writing if I had.  That left me the option of writing when I came home at 1-2 am most nights of the festival (with a few extending beyond 3 am), and then going into work (at which I sit at a computer and write).  This 46 year old body can only take so much.  I had so much to say, but I knew that something had to give.  That's why I'm still writing about the RIJF almost two weeks later.

OK, enough with the hair shirt. This blog and what it has become over the past years I've been writing it, who it has introduced me to in the Rochester jazz and blogging community, and the opportunities it has created made this year's RIJF a watershed for me.  Also, it was a lot of damn fun!

OK, one more to go . . . wherein I'll join Seth in putting some things out there for next year's Rochester International Jazz Festival.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Traditional Media Try Their Hands at the New Media Thang . . . Keep Trying!

During the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival, the traditional media in Rochester continued their flirtation in using social media tools to reach additional readers. The "alternative" newspaper City Newspaper incorporated the RIJF into the music "blog" they started last year. The daily Democrat & Chronicle also had a "blog" (although the critic's podcast that they ventured last year did not return).

I use the term "blog" here loosely.  Both are called "blogs" and bear a resemblance to a blog in that they have posts in reverse chronological order, written in a less formal and "personal" style, and monthly archives. However, that is where the resemblance ends. The problem is that there is no "social" in their "social media." They never really joined the conversation and community that was forming around this year's RIJF, content to just continue to write articles that could have just as well been published in print.

Our merry little band of bloggers and podcasters (Seth, Ken, Jason, Tracey, Jane and others) wrote about the 2007 RIJF, published photos, linked to and commented in each others blogs. That's how we originally found each other (Ken and Seth have been blogging the RIJF for much longer than I have). This year we really started to form a community online.  We also linked to and sent trackbacks to both the D&C and City Newspaper blogs, in part as an attempt to draw them into the community, but mostly because they were providing different perspectives on the artists we were hearing (and hearing artists we weren't) and we wanted our readers to be exposed to yet other sources for information about the RIJF.  I can't speak for the other, but I held back an impulse to not link to the D&C and City Newspaper blogs.  It seemed to me that they were either not interested or couldn't be bothered with joining our conversation or leading their readers to the many other voices covering the RIJF. The fact is that the writers in the D&C and City Newspaper blogs were using their credentials to gain access to artists that I didn't have (to be fair, however, it is probably that I didn't take advantage of the access I had). Although I had a media pass, I never really felt in the club and often felt like I didn't know the secret handshake. Oh, and then there's that pesky day job in legal publishing, the 20+ years of age, and a body that really shouldn't be staying out until after 1 or 2 am for 9 days straight.  The access (and stamina) of the young D&C "bloggers" Anna Reguero and Jann Nyffeler (except for one post by the more veteran reporter Jack Garner) resulted in some interesting and, at times, compelling, writing about the artists and their experiences of the RIJF that I wanted to share with my readers. That's one reason I blog—to aggregate the sources of information that are available about the subject I'm passionate about, i.e., live jazz music here in Rochester. However, if you look at the D&C or the City Newspaper "blogs" the only links you'll find in the D&C blog are those in the few comments or trackbacks that I (and perhaps one other) left on them (City has some more comments, but is also linkless). Why is that? 

While it may just be inattention, I think it is more about not really "getting" it.  By not joining the conversation and community that is developing, the D&C and City Newspaper are squandering one of the best tools for being "found" and read on the Internet—the blog. The choice may have been conscious or not and may partly be a result of the fear that traditional media have of the inroads being made by us in the blogosphere into what was once their sole province.  As we tell blogging clients, the conversation will be going on with or without you.  It would be so much more interesting for all of our readers if it's the former rather than the latter.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

What Just Happened Here? Some Thoughts On RIJF 2007

As I said in an earlier post, I have quite a lot to say following this year's Rochester International Jazz Festival, which was a watershed for me and for this blog. This will be one of several posts exploring my thoughts and feelings.

This year's RIJF was my introduction into being part of "media" and this blog's introduction to so many new readers (over 1200 unique visitor dropped in during the nine days of the festival). It was about hanging out with my friends and fellow new media folks Ken, Seth, Jane, and Jason.  It was about seeing my friends on Jazz Street and in the clubs, including those who I only really meet during the RIJF. It was about meeting new friends. It was about finding new sounds, dancing and clapping, and hearing world class musicians play compelling, innovative music. Mostly, this year's RIJF was a blast!

I haven't disclosed it before in the blog, but this year the publicity staff at RIJF (thanks, Jean!) gave Jazz@Rochester and I a media pass and contact information for a list of artists whom I hoped to interview. This access provided me the cred, I guess, to set up an interview with Geri Allen and get pretty far in sitting down with Fred Hersch, Trio Beyond, and others (by the way, the I hope to have the results of the interview with Ms. Allen up here soon as a podcast). It was a wonderful opportunity, but ultimately it was one that I used somewhat sparingly for a number of reasons. After I sat down with Ms. Allen (with my wife Dianna), I realized how much work it is to do interviews (and gained some respect for those who do it in a more professional capacity).  I didn't want to ask the usual questions, I wanted to get the artist to talk about their music in a new way (at least from what I was hearing) and found out in that first interview how much work it was to be prepared enough to find the way to that result.  In addition, there was a lot of legwork involved just in setting up the interviews.  I plan on doing more of it in the future, but decided this time not to waste the artists' time and keep others from getting the limited time with them. Before this year I had been only an observer, a fan. Now I was a participant. I wasn't entirely ready for that, especially given the need to continue to try to keep to my 9-to-5 job (OK, I was on Jazz Street at 4:30 most days).

That said, the media pass represented something else that I had felt was already happening before this year's RIJF--the arrival of Jazz@Rochester as something more than a hobby.  Although last year had seen some toes dipped in the water, this was also the year that a community of those who are using new media like blogs, moblogging and podcasts came together and formed a community focused on bringing the Rochester International Jazz Festival to Rochester and the world in new ways. I plan on exploring this some more later.

Nearly 1,200 people came to my site during the nine days of the festival and many of them found the RIJF site through Jazz@Rochester, which is a lot for a site like that focused on one narrow subject in a limited market. I'm sure Ken, Seth and Jason experienced a major uptick in their traffic as well. I received a number of emails and comments from people who had never been on the site before. In line at Kilbourn or elsewhere, when I told my line-mates about Jazz@Rochester I often heard "Oh . . . I've been on that site!" or "You're the one who does that...?" or "Oh . . . you're a blogger...." While I felt that I wasn't able to fully realize some of the promise these new technologies have to offer, my missteps and the things I was able to accomplish provided guidance for what worked and what didn't that I'll be using in next year.

Blogging really is about conversation.  Really.  In addition to a conversation between bloggers, this thing works best when there is a conversation between the person publishing a blog and those who read it. So, tell me what you think of what went on in these pages during for the 9 days of the RIJF. What worked for you?  What didn't?  What was helpful?  What was just plain old lame?  What would you like to see more of in the future?  Leave a comment by clicking on the comment link below and tell me what you think.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Looking back . . . Some missing highlights from the RIJF

My life during the Rochester International Jazz Festival was frenzied at best. Nine days of music from around 4:00 until the wee hours of the next morning.  I missed writing about several nights, including some that have left a lasting impression on me, so this post is to catch those "missing posts":

  • Trio Beyond: I was looking forward to this concert as I had their most recent CD Saudades (AllAboutJazz.com review here) and had already begun wearing a groove in the it. With masters at the helm, including John Scofield on guitar, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Larry Goldings on organ, Saudades is a two-CD record of a blistering live set in tribute to Tony Williams' jazz/fusion group Lifetime. I came into Eastman Theater and saw the double Leslie speakers of Larry Goldings' Hammond B3 and knew that all was right with the world (I have a thing for the B3). John Scofield twiddled with his guitar and brought out incredible sounds, DeJohnette showed us how it is done on the drums and Goldings made that B3 sing and laid down the bass.  It was unfortunate that so many of those who came for Jean Luc Ponty didn't stay to hear the whole set.  I realize they were very different sounds and some were wondering why they were programmed together (although I expect it was for the very reason of the juxtaposition of their very different approaches and hope that some of the crowd would stay and be exposed to some new sounds).
  • Bonerama: I couldn't help thinking that these 6 guys playing trombones (four of them), sousaphone, guitar and drums from NOLA seemed to me to be a group of band nerds (weren't the nerdiest band nerds in your high school mostly trombone players) who found a way to be cool. Although, this night (I saw the 6pm show on Tuesday) I wouldn't say they were "cool", but rather a hot mess of sound. Think of the firepower of that kind of brass in the smallish confines of the Montage Grill (they were making the tent flaps move in the Big Tent the next day, for chrissakes!).  We were up on our feet stomping and clapping within minutes. An infectious groove and really masterful playing kept them there, although it took a while for our ears to quit ringing.
  • Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts: Matt Wilson was one of my surprise finds of the RIJF. I'm very glad I gave it a chance and went to hear their 10pm set.  Wilson is a very inventive drummer, using all parts including flipping the drum over and getting a scratchin thing going like he was MC Matt. His band—Danny Gary Versace on piano, Dennis Erwin on bass, and Matthew Rodriguez on trumpet—were tight. Wilson's range and inventive choices were shown by his set, which began with a tune by Rashaan Roland Kirk and ended with  singalong of John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance with Wilson walking out of the house with a snare drum strapped to his neck. A highlight was the tune Free Range Chicken, which Wilson proclaimed was a "combination of jazz and good farming practices."
  • Midaircondo: Another find I didn't expect.  While I was afraid at first no one would get a chance to hear them as they fiddled with their huge assortment of electronics in the heat of the Reformation Lutheran Church.  John Nugent was standing at the side and almost had that look of "when do I tell them that it ain't going to happen" when, miraculously, the sound came to life and the performance began.  The two women of Midaircondo (at least this night) are sound sculptresses, layering electronic and sample sounds with their voices and a bass flute and saxophone. The computer geek in me wanted to know more on how they were doing it, but the music was often beautiful and compelling.

I've left so many out of this, but I really felt compelled to get something in this blog about these acts, all of which were groups that I might have missed (OK, I was going to Trio Beyond regardless) and all of which I will now want to hear more from.  I'm adding Wilson's new CD Scenic Route and Midaircondo's Shopping for Images (when the Bop Shop gets an order in) to my list of must haves. I already have Saudades and Bonerama's Bringing It Home.

Now let the wrap up posts begin! I have a lot to say about the last nine days of jazz and will start to explore my thoughts on what this year's RIJF meant for me, for my fellow travelers, and perhaps make some suggestions for next year, and hopefully a podcast of my first interview with Geri Allen (there is some editing and vetting to do on that, but I think you'll love what she had to say).  Seth—a machine of jazz this past nine days taking in a whopping 36 different acts—has already begun to turn a reflective eye on the festival.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

I Blinked and It Was Over . . . Day 9 of the RIJF

After reacquainting myself with my jazz widow Dianna and our cats, I am finally ready to sit down and write something. These last nine days of the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival have been a blur of wonderful music, street food, and having a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I intend to explore the festival and some of the music in more detail in later posts for the rest of the month, including a wrap up episode (for this year) of the "Da Jazz" podcast with Seth and Ken (we will be recording it at one of the venues showing live jazz). I have a whole list of posts I'd like to do, along with continuing my usual posting on the local jazz scene and jazz music in general. You should also check out some of the other blogging (and podcasting) on the last day of the 6th Annual Rochester International Jazz Festival, including: Ken, Seth, Jason, D&C bloggers Anna Reguero and Jann Nyffeler, the cold storage over at The Refrigerator, and City Newspaper's Ron Netsky. You should also to head over to the D&C's jazz coverage to check out Jeff Spevak and the last reviews by Jack Garner and Will Yurman's photo essays (there's a lot of material and I'm never sure about the staying power of D&C links, so I'm just directing you to the festival's special section on their website). But first, a few notes on last night . . . .

The final night of the 2007 RIJF was just right. While Ken spent some time with his family and some ice cream, Seth and I (with my wife Dianna) caught Bill Frisell Trio in Kilbourn Hall. The set was fantastic, with mixmaster Frisell at the controls creating intricate layers of sound with his guitar and the many effects boxes at his feet and hands, backed by two great musicians—Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums. I couldn't help but thinking that we has toying with the capacity crowd in the hall along with the knobs on his guitar as he and the band kept moving from one composition to another, giving the audience little time to react (or clap). Kept people on their toes, but in the end the long standing ovations allowed them to get it off their check. Like Don Byron, Frisell had a story about the Eastman School of Music, in which Kilbourn Hall is located.  He noted that while in high school he had applied to Eastman for clarinet.  While they accepted him, it was only into the music education program, not performance. Frisell said "f*ck that" and started playing guitar. So, if you're keeping score, that's two clarinetists, both rejected by Eastman, who both who went on to become world-class jazz musicians (one considered the foremost jazz clarinetist).  Go figure....

From Frisell, we all went over to the Reformation Lutheran Church to hear the Jens Winther European Quartet, which had a smorgasbord of European talent appearing with Dane Jens Winther on trumpet.  Although it was hotter than blazes in the sanctuary, Winther's group was hotter.

After some fine culinary repast on Jazz Street (ok, it was a cheeseburger), we headed over to Montage.  We almost blew it as the club was almost full by the time we arrived.  We found a place on the wall near the middle.  After MC Jason Crane whipped us into a lather, the Avishai Cohen Trio hit the stage. After a smokin opening number, Cohen announced that as he and his bandmates, Shai Maestro on piano and Mark Guiliana on drums, had been on a world tour and the RIJF date was the last gig on the tour.  The were "tired but happy" and he promised us a great show.  It was more than great. As Jason said as he exited the Montage—"holy crap." We had just experienced performance with so much energy,  musicianship, and sheer excitement that we just felt spent.  When we went in, we were discussing going over to catch the last after hours at the State Street Bar and Grill.  When we left we knew that anything we tried to do after that performance would seem lame in comparison. Our 2007 RIJF was over.  Tie a tag on that toe.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The Last Day Begins . . . RIJF 2007 Slides Into Home

Preparing to head out in a little while for the last day of the 6th Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Bill Frisell, Avishai Cohen and Jenns Winther Quintet are on the bill of fare.  I may catch the after hours with Ken and Seth as we close up with our last "Da Jazz" podcast (at least until next year). 

With weather that was almost supernaturally perfect for Rochester, it looks like this RIJF is going to be a record-breaker, easily topping the 80,000 in attendance from last year.  The Nordic Jazz Now series of concerts over at the great new venue in the sanctuary of the Reformation Lutheran Church have been a resounding success.  With few glitches and help from Ma Nature, John Nugent, Marc Iacona and Co. have pulled off another memorable RIJF (at least for me).

I'm writing this short post mostly to draw your comments.  Let us know how the RIJF has been for you.  Just click on the Comments link at the bottom of this post and fill in the form.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

From Ivey Divey to Toots . . . Day 8 of "Da Jazz"

After the tragic loss of the magical 21+ minute opus we completed last night covering three whole days of the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Seth, Ken and I gathered at the after hours gig at the State Street Bar & Grill last night and taped another installment of "Da Jazz" for Day 8 of the RIJF.  Our thanks go out to Jason Crane at The Jazz Session for use of some recording equipment, which explains the vastly improved sound quality.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

I'm Skipping Ahead . . . Day 7 of the RIJF

Although I've posted on a number of other voices and places for you to check out, I haven't written anything about what I've heard since Day 4.  I was hoping to rely on the marathon podcast that I made with Seth and Ken last night to cover that, but due to the technical difficulties set out in the prior post, my audio version is probably history.

I'm going to cut bait and go ahead and write a quick note about Day 7 of the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  I caught James Moody in Kilbourn to start out the day.  Like Benny Golson, it wasn't much of a musical highlight, although local "Friends" Bill Dobbins, Phil Flanigan and Mike Melito did a great job of backing him when he chose to play, he didn't choose to play much.  He told and sang some jokes and caught almost everyone in the crowd by announcing the former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was in the audience and then, once everyone looked around toward where he was pointing, saying "sorry ma'am."  Like Benny Golson earlier this week, Moody's been doing this for a LONG time (he was playing with Dizzy and Monk 61 years ago, for chrissakes!).  Although I don't go in for worship, there's something about these "old heads" of jazz and listening to them talk or play provides some people with a connection to a bygone era of jazz music that they lament passing. 

While I was taking in Congo Square, Ken and Seth saved me a chair in the Jason Moran and the Bandwagon in Montage.  I caught most of the set and the encore and it was another unique voice in music that I'm going to want to hear more.  Moran is a fantastic pianist and played a smokin set with Tarus Mateen (playing yet another oddly shaped bass; I've seen quite a few this RIJF, although I suspect a number of the other chopped down versions are really TSA specials--means of getting through airport security easier) and the killer drumming of Nasheet Waits.

The highlight of the night and of the festival, I think, was the performance of the new epic jazz score Congo Square by Wynton Marsalis, leading the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Odadda! group of Yacub Addy. We were privileged to be the first audience on a tour featuring Congo Square, although it premiered in New Orleans (of course).  I think everyone there was floored by the piece and especially the performance with the interweaving of the African rhythms and big band swing, and the call and response, a tradition in African culture that has many echos African-American culture. Everyone knew they had seen and heard something wonderful (see Jason here and here; Netsky here' Reguero here; and it will be the subject of Jack Garner's last review before retirement, as he notes here).  Sitting near the stage, I didn't care if others had found it lacking.  I know how my wife, who is African-American, experienced the performance of Congo Square—deeply, spiritually, and with her entire being.  I was filled with joy seeing her with tears in her eyes as the emotions overtook her and she couldn't help herself from shouting out.  That is what great music is all about.  While I regret not joining in what I hear was a great night of after-hours sets involving Wynton and other members of the LCJO at State Street Bar & Grill, and elsewhere, Dianna's smile at the end of that experience was plenty consolation.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

And Then There Was None . . . The Perils of Technology

After last night's last set by Jason Moran and the Bandwagon, I sat down with Seth and Ken to record a podcast about what we've been up to the past few days.  Our day jobs and lives had taken a toll, so we had three days of the Rochester International Jazz Festival to cover.  We recorded a 21+ minute epic podcast that I think would have been one of our best.  But we'll/you'll never know . . . .

When I tried to download it this morning from my iPod (we've been using an iPod Nano with a iTalk stereo microphone to record these podcasts), I found that somehow it was wiped clean (or at least its software thinks so).  Sh*t happens. . . . Unfortunately, I was relying on that podcast serving as my "record" of the last few days of the festival.  I'll try to write something up as I've had some terrific musical experiences over the past 3 days. 

Our new blogging, podcasting and moblogging friend at the RIJF, Jason Crane over at The Jazz Session has offered to loan us some of his extra equipment so we can wrap this baby up (Jason, I should have taken you up on your earlier offer . . . .).  Thanks, Jason.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

I'm Sure You're All Waiting with Baited Breath . . . .

I've again run out of time to write before the time nears to head back down to Jazz Street at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, so I will not be able to post on my experiences hearing some of the acts over the past couple of days until, it seems now, after the end of the festival.  I have my notes and memories (supplemented my fellow bloggers and writers) so I'll try to write up some impressions on the past few days of the RIJF soon.  I wanted to get my "forward-looking" posts out there and have done that.  Enjoy! See you on Jazz Street and right here later.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

One Great Push and Then It's Over . . . My Picks for the Rest of the Fest

Since I'm off today, I think I'll do one post to set out my initial picks for the rest of the Rochester International Jazz Festival. These are based on my personal choices in music, but I'll search out and find some additional information for you on them to help with your decision on whether or not you want to join me or go in search of something or someone else to hear.  On with the picks!

Friday, June 15th

Don Byron's Ivey Divey

Although this late in the RIJF I tend to let my whim and what I hear "on the street" guide me, I'm likely to take in the early set at Kilbourn by impossible to categorize clarinetist Don Byron, appearing (I think) with Jason Moran, who is playing tonight with his Bandwagon, and Jack DeJohnette, paying his respects to the a bass-less trio that Lester Young formed to record an album of the same name—Ivey Divey.  Check out a 2004 Village Voice review, an interview with NPR's Terry Gross, and Ron Netsky's Spotlight in City Newspaper. The RIJF writeup is here.

Madeleine Peyroux

If Madeleine Peyroux is opening for Dr. John (I was caught off guard by a perceived, if not actual, switch in the line up of Trio Beyond and John Luc Ponty), I plan on catching her set at the Eastman Theater and then moving on.  I have seen Dr. John numerous times and would rather catch other stuff out there after Ms. Peyroux sings.  If I'm wrong and Dr. John is opening, then I'm outta there for both.  Although there are always the comparisons to Billy Holiday (and her voicing does sound make her sound like Lady Day), Ms. Peyroux's singing and choices of song are uniquely her own.  For more information, check out her "official MySpace page," a fansite, a video of her singing "I'm Alright, a video of her performing "Careless Love" live in Spain, "and a video of her performing Bessie Smith's "Don't Cry" "Don't Wait Too Long" on Italian TV. Her RIJF page is here.

Outdoor Free Music: Toots & the Maytals and Maceo Parker (or something else)

OK, it's not jazz, but I have had been listening to the Toots & the Maytals album Funky Kingston since the early 1980s (see their MySpace page here. Check this video of one of their early hits and this one of the great hit "Pressure Drop"—this is what I remember. Twenty five years later, we'll see.  I may not feel like braving the expected crowds or may just shuttle back and forth across the Inner Loop to hear Toots and Maceo who will be at opposite ends.  On the other hand, I might just throw that all away as mere nostalgia for my heady youth and head over to see the Afro-Caribbean sounds of Omar Sosa, perhaps with a mojito from Max's. It's all up in the air and will depend a lot on the weather, how I feel, and how much I want to be jostled by the crowds.

Saturday, June 16th (the end . . . .)

Bill Frisell Trio

The last night of the RIJF will be back to the way I like it, with a Kilbourn show and a Montage show sandwiching something else to be decided. Guitarist Bill Frisell was one of the "keepers" I took away from a previous jazz festival, and I'll want to catch his trio perform.  In addition to the quite lengthy notes on his RIJF page, check out the video of Frisell on the Night Music TV program hosted by David Sanborn awhile back in the 1990s, and a 2004 fireside chat interview on AllAboutJazz.com

Avishai Cohen Trio

I've listened to a number of cuts off of bassist Avishai Cohen's last studio album Continuo and look forward to hearing him perform at Montage (which by the way has been a great venue this year).  For more information on him and his music, check out his MySpace page, an article on a 2003 interview with the artist in AllAboutJazz.com, a video of the Trio performing a cut off Continuo live, and his RIJF page.

What's Sandwiched Between?

Between the 6:00 and 10:00 sets and/or go back to church to catch another great Nordic Jazz Now set by the Jens Winther European Quintet and perhaps a bit of the NOLA sounds of Soul Rebels. I'd like to catch the hip-hop influenced jazz of Andy Milne's Dapp Theory, who on their site note that Phil Upchurch said that they are "The band Miles would have, were he alive today." (RIJF page here, and check out the video here), but it won't work unless I can't get into Frisell or Avishai.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The After After Hours Spot . . . the Flat Iron Cafe

This morning at 2:00 a.m., I left the following the end of the last set of the after hours gig at State Street Bar & Grill at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and headed over to Flatiron Cafe down the street to see what would transpire at the jam sessions that are starting up there each night at 2:00 a.m. Although I always enjoy hearing the after hours house band of Bob Sneider, Mike Melito and Phil Flanigan, there wasn't much happening last night other than some really talented students of Bob, plus two members of 5 Corners Quintet from Finland.  I wanted to say hello again to Tom, the owner at Flatiron and check out the scene so I headed on over (don't know where the energy came from, but Tom's large cup of coffee was a great help). Aaron Stabell's Bending and Breaking band was playing and I really enjoyed the set.  While some members of Christian Scott's band and sax player Timo Lassy of the 5 Corners Quintet were present, by the time I left only Scott's drummer had sat in and Lassy had left without playing. However, talking with the owner I found out the night to be there was the previous night when it all had come together beyond his wildest (well he has some even bigger ones for tonight's session) dreams.

In the early hours of Wednesday, those who were at the Flatiron Cafe were in for a real treat as Wycliffe Gordon, Robin Eubanks and Gray Mayfield, as well as members of Bonerama showed up and jammed with the musicians Quinn Lawrence put together for the event (how many trombones does that make?).  New blogger for the Democrat & Chronicle Anna Reguero was there and apparently it was an amazing night (as listening to Wycliffe blow often is...).  As Anna put it:

Big shots like these guys don’t come to jam sessions at 3 a.m. in small cities to show off. For example, Gordon plays in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra — trust me, he doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone. They come because they love to play — anywhere and with anyone.

That is what makes these after-hours gigs special.  When they click, they REALLY click and leave you with a music experience that is indelibly inked into your memory.  The after after hours gig at the Flatiron will be going on until the end of the festival.  Who knows who will show up each night?   

Continue reading "The After After Hours Spot . . . the Flat Iron Cafe" »

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Another Traditional Media Outlet Jumps on the RIJF Blogging Bandwagon

I just discovered through pure happenstance that there is a "blog" over at the Democrat & Chronicle this year chronicling the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Hell, I'm LOOKING for stuff about this year's festival and hadn't found them yet (although, to be fair, I haven't been looking much on the D&C festival site for the past few days as I've been too busy listening to jazz).  Written by a team including Anna Reguero and Jann Nyffeler (Jeff Spevak and Jack Garner, who are listed on the masthead have yet to make an appearance), it is blog-like in that it is written in the reverse chronological and, props to them, allows comments and trackbacks.  The writing is personal and contributes to the conversation out there about the RIJF. While I think they're still missing the "social" in the social media of blogs, I'm glad to have yet another voice out there promoting what we're all pulling for—luring people out of their cocoons to see live jazz and other music here in the Rochester area, both during the festival and, more importantly for Jazz@Rochester, throughout the year.  Keep at it!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY. Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Tomorrow I'll Be Rested and Ready to Blog, But Today . . . .?

OK, fatigue and trying to maintain the rest of my life in some semblance of normality (OK, that's a load of crap . . . there's no normality, but it's so much fun!) finally had the better of me (and apparently Ken and Seth). Hence no podcast for June 12th's meanderings at the RIJF (my own recorded notes from last night ended up on the cutting room floor). While I've managed to keep up with seeing more than one act each night, my ability to keep up with posting on them has waned. Since there are so many others are writing about the performances, I will wait to do my post(s) on last night's and tonight's explorations of the Rochester International Jazz Festival sometime tomorrow (I will be taking a day off from the day job). Only the one other post out today, but that one was necessary to keep ahead of the schedule for performances.  I may moblog some though, and don't know whether Ken, Seth and I will be getting together for another installment of "Da Jazz" podcast later tonight or not. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

My Listening Habits for June 14th at the Rochester Jazz Festival

My listening for the evening of the 14th will be contingent upon how long Marsalis and the LCJO will be playing in Eastman. I hope to make a 10pm set, although after last night (12th with Ponty/Trio Beyond) I'm not sure:

James Moody & Friends

Like Benny Golson, James Moody has been a fixture in the firmament of jazz for a long time.  I'm not as familiar with his work so will be looking forward to this set.  A 2005 article and biography of Moody can be found on AllAboutJazz.com. There's a 1998 interview with Moody on Mel Martin's Jazz and Saxophone Site. His RIJF page is here.

Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Yacub Addy:"Congo Square"

I'm really looking forward to hearing this exploration of the roots of jazz and African-American culture in Eastman with Wynton and the LCJO collaborating with Ghanaian master drummer Yacub Addy.  In addition to the RIJF page, there is a great video of their pilgrimage to New Orleans to present the piece available on the JALC Screencast page and a podcast of highlights and interviews.  Jeff Spevak's article in the D&C is available here for the next few days (I expect it will thereafter become a dead link).

Jason Moran & The Bandwagon

I'm intrigued by Jason Moran's jazz "upbringing", but know little of his work to date, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to catch the 10pm set. In addition to the RIJF page, there is an assortment of streaming MP3s on his site if you'd like to check them out and get a flavor. Moran has a MySpace page (or someone has built one based on him, that is... see if you can make much of it out...design could use some work) where some of the music is available to stream.  There's a video or two on YouTube.

As for the rest. . . .

If physically possible, I would also like to have caught a set by Catherine Russell (see her MySpace page, and videos here and here), the blues of Corey Harris (see the RIJF page and video here and here playing Howlin Wolf's Sittin On Top of the World with Taj Mahal).

Let us know what you are hearing in the comments....

See you on Jazz Street at the Rochester International Jazz Festival!!!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Updates from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

So, What Are You Going to Hear Wednesday? My Picks for June 13th

I was so busy keeping up with things between the start of the Rochester International Jazz Festival on the 8th and now that this was the first opportunity I have had to get back to putting out some details on what I'm planning on hearing during the festival.  We last looked into what would be good to hear on June 12th.  Now on to Wednesday, June 13th. There are a number of artists that I want to see and not enough time or time slots to see them.  So, here's where I plan to be listening for the evening of the 13th:

Christian Scott Band

I heard some tracks by Christian Scott and want to catch this Nu-Jazz trumpeter at Kilbourn Hall.  Scott mixes a lot of influences into his playing and writing.  In addition to his own site, check out Scott's MySpace page for 4 cuts and some video. There is a review of his new album Rewind This (on Concord Jazz) on AllAboutJazz.com.  His write up and a couple of MP3s are up on the RIJF site here.

Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts

I've been feeling more adventurous up to now, so have opted for Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts over Hilario Duran (which before the festival was my first choice), but mostly because he is described in several places as having a wacky sense of humor, which is applied to his band leadership.  For more about Matt Wilson and his music, you can listen to the title track from his new CD on Palmetto, read a 2003 review on AllAboutJazz.com, or read the information provided by the RIJF.

Other Than That . . .

If I'm not in Eastman hearing Brubeck, I'll be trying to choose between the soul stylings of Miss Bettye LaVette, Nordic Jazz Now Presents Ilmiliekki Quartet (RIJF page), or perhaps Bonerama if I miss them on the 12th.

Let us know what you are hearing in the comments....

See you on Jazz Street at the Rochester International Jazz Festival!!!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

"Da Jazz" . . . Days Three and Four of the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival

Here's the third (and fourth!) edition of Da Jazz for June 10th and 11th, wherein my friends and fellow bloggers Seth (Cup O' Books) and Ken (Fretful Porpentine) join me to just sit around and talk about our experiences at the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  No great jazz criticism here—just three guys sitting around a table.  This one was recorded at the Montage just before we saw the 10pm set by Robin Eubanks' EB3. Let us know what you think about your 3d and 4th day of the RIJF in the comments.

So here it is...the third (and fourth) issue of Da Jazz...

"Da Jazz", No. 3

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take a Look at What's in the Fridge . . . Another Great Source for the Jazz Festival in Rochester

Despite knowing of its existence for several years and the great pictures and commentary that are put up during the Rochester jazz fest, I've been remiss in reminding you to check out local website The Refrigerator.net, the "coolest spot in virtual Rochester" and their coverage of the RIJF.  It's always a great source to get a flavor of this festival.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Day 3 of the RIJF . . . A Little Bit of Dis, a Little Bit of Dat

I have only a short time to write it this afternoon before heading out to Day 4 (busy at the day job, don't you know....).  Sunday at the Jazz Festival in Rochester was another day of diverse sounds. 

The day started out with Fred Hersch Trio, including Hersch on piano, Drew Gress on bass and Nasheet Watts on drums.  Hersch's piano takes Irving Berlin standards, Ornette Coleman, Monk, or the Walt Whitman epic poem Leaves of Grass, and creates beautiful tapestries of notes on the piano. Gress and Watts were tight and wove additional colors into that tapestry.  Another great Kilbourn Hall musical experience. One thing I haven't seen reported much on yet was his comment during the 6:00 p.m. set about the RIJF that it is a "great festival . . . I wish New York City had a festival like this..." to thunderous applause (we have sort of a complex about NYC and like to hear such comparisons from time to time).  We're glad you think so, even if it might of been a bit of pandering to the audience.

Followed that up with the freer jazz of Danish saxophone and composer Lotte Anker. Her and her band mates on piano and drums (sorry that I didn't get a chance to get their names) required I put on a different set of ears.  I've always had an ear for this type of music, but it takes me to a completely different place than others. Obviously, it's not about melody, but more about the construction of placing notes and sounds, in this case slews of notes, together with other notes and sounds. Finding the structure in what often sounds like cacophony is intriguing. Sitting on the left side, I found the sound bounces in interesting ways that added another level of complexity to the sounds emanating from the stage.

Caught most of Benny Golson, playing with Antonio Ciacca on piano, local drummer Mike Melito, and Dennis Irwin on bass.  While he didn't play that many songs, a lot of people enjoyed the monologues on growing up with and playing with Coltrane and other icons of jazz between the classics he did play like Mr. PC and I Remember Clifford

Ended the evening at Max's with Lalo, whose "band" of one very talented guitarist Jack West, playing a custom-made 8-string guitar the the entire rhythm section, including bass and drums.  Ending with Aerosmith's Sweet Emotions was a great cap to quite diverse evening of sounds for me.  Ken and Seth also made Lalo's set, but the fatigue overcame them, so an anticipated 3d "Da Jazz" podcast will have to wait (in fact, podcasting will be much lighter over the next few days as the requirements of the day jobs begin asserting their mighty pull on us). 

Check out the stylings of Ken, Seth, Jason, Tracy, and two from City Newspaper (Frank and Ron) for more perspectives on Day 3.  See my Day 4 picks here.  See you on Jazz Street!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Check Out the Locals at Bernunzio Vintage Instruments While You're at the Jazz Festival in Rochester . . . .

Bernunzio Vintage Instruments is open each evening during the Rochester International Jazz Festival and is presenting live music in their new show room on 875 East Avenue, including:

  • Tuesday, June 12th, we will have Steve Greene Trio with Tina Albright at 7:00PM
  • Wednesday, June 13th, the Dan Eaton Band with Josh Pincus with perform at 7:00PM
  • Thursday, June 14th, a double header with Margaret Explosion at 5:00, and at 7:00PM classic swing music with Jim Davis and the Turtlestone Trio
  • Friday, June 15th, guitarist Kinloch Nelson at 7:00PM

Stop by during the Rochester Jazz Festival and enjoy the talents of our local performers and check out the expanded digs at Bernunzio Uptown Music.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Pictures of a Jazz Festival

Will Yurman of the Democrat & Chronicle is doing another multimedia slide show on the D&C site--Jazz Stories from the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  These composites of the sights and sounds of the Rochester paint a picture of each day of the festival and really give you a flavor of the festival.  Keep' em coming, Will.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Moblogging Gains Another Convert . . .

Jason Crane, most recently of the podcast show The Jazz Session, has jumped on the moblogging train and is posting news updates via phone over at The Jazz Session while he gathers interviews and material for his great podcasts from the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Jason is a pro at this sort of stuff, so you should check him out.  Of course, feel free to continue to come back here for the somewhat rawer mental meanderings of this rank amateur.

Continue reading "Moblogging Gains Another Convert . . ." »

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Lessons Learned in Day Two of the RIJF

As I noted in my "Da Jazz" podcast with Seth and Ken, the second day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival didn't quite gel as well as the first.  However, that's not an uncommon occurrence when you're attending a 9 day festival that has you going non-stop from around 4pm until the wee small hours of the next morning.  Of course, you hope the fatigue doesn't catch up with you on the second day—but it did. One thing I can say is that the programming by the RIJF staff this year, adding the additional start times and multiple "middle section" time slots between the 6:00 and 10:00 pm shows allows more flexibility in planning.  My bud Seth has explored the reasons this works in his post for the second day of the fest over at Cup O' BooksJazzKen also has another perspective, as does Seth. Netsky and De Blase at City Newspaper also have their takes on the day.

One of the catchwords for my day was crowds and how to avoid letting them get in the way of hearing the music you want to hear.  They and my early onset fatigue were to blame for my feeling that the evening didn't completely gel. 

RIJF Street Scene 2007

Street Scene RIJF 2007

Most of the day did gel. Day Two started out great with the Randy Brecker Quintet featuring his wife Ada Rovatti on saxophone, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Steve Johns on drums, Steve La Spina on Bass and David Kokoski on piano.  The rhythm section was tight, with Kokoski repeatedly taking solos that just kicked butt. Ada Rovatti is a fine sax player and a number of the pieces in the 6:00 pm set were her compositions.  I left there and headed over to see Zanussi 5, part of the Nordic Jazz Now series, over at the Reformation Lutheran Church.  Much has been written or podcast about this group and their performances, so I'll leave it to others.  I just didn't know saxophones could make noises like that . . . .

It was here where things started to come apart a little. I went "next door" to the Harro East venue to catch some of Tiempo Libre.  Leaving there at 9:00pm after seeing probably half or more of their blazing set, I set out for Gibbs Street for some street meat via a "quick peek" at the Los Lonely Boys on East and Chestnut.  That's where I blew it.  I ended up wading through a crowd for 20 minutes just to get to the food vendors on Gibbs and really not being able to see or hear much of the band. By the time I had my hot dog and began walking toward my next venue, High Fidelity to see singer Tessa Souter, I was later than I wanted to be and found no place to sit or really even to stand.  Taking a place on the wall near the bar, I heard a few of the songs in her set before the noise coming from a group near me and from the exit area, plus the discomfort of standing there, compelled me to leave.  However, rather than checking my program for alternatives, I just walked back to the car and headed over to the after hours gig early.

Lessons learned . . . .Take heed!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

"Da Jazz" . . . Day Two of the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival

Here's the second edition of Da Jazz for June 9th, wherein my friends and fellow bloggers Seth (Cup O' Books) and Ken (Fretful Porpentine) join me to just sit around and talk about our experiences at the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  No great jazz criticism here—just three guys sitting around a table (in this case on the floor at the Crowne Plaza Hotel just outside the State Street Bar & Grill where the after hours sets are underway). Let us know what you think about your second day of the RIJF in the comments.

So here it is...the second issue of Da Jazz...

"Da Jazz", No. 2

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF, No. 1

Live Update from RIJF, No. 2

Live Update from RIJF, No. 3

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an observation or interview on the street, suggestions for later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival Comes to Life . . . Day One

As you can hear in my moblogging meanderings in the multiple posts on June 8th and the wee hours of the 9th, I put about 10 hours into Friday's opening night of the Rochester International Jazz Festival and, strangely enough, was up and ready for more by late Saturday morning.  The evening started out with an early arrival around 4:00.  I always try to get there early to see the place fill up with people and watch the transformation from Gibbs Street to "Jazz Street".  John Nugent, Marc Iacona and other staff were bouncing back and forth through the street fixing last minute details.  Unfortunately, early in the evening there was an accident at one of the food vendors in which two of the vendor's employees were seriously injured, one with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  Mostly everyone that night didn't know that had happened; the only evidence was the vendor was not open.

About 5:15, I joined the line for Geri Allen Trio at Kilbourn Hall and, after Dianna showed and we went in, we were treated to a fantastic opening set for this year's RIJF. The excitement in the air as Kilbourn filled up was palpable.  Ms. Allen's mastery on the piano was complemented her band, which included drummer Jimmy Cobb, a man who has been an icon of jazz longer than I've been in this world, and Kenny Davis on bass.  A short time after the set ended, Ms. Allen invited Dianna and I into the heat of her backstage green room for an interview. It was a first time for me and was a wonderful experience, thanks to Geri Allen's graciousness and the thoughtful insights she offered about the performance at Kilbourn and what she drew from the audience, her music, and the experience of playing jazz.  I recorded it for a podcast and hope to offer it here after the festival.

Walking in the cooling rain remaining from the thunderstorm that had just passed, I met up with my friends and fellow bloggers Ken and Seth as they departed the Peter Asplund set at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation and, after a short time with Canada's The Shuffle Demons in the Big Tent (it seems to be getting bigger each year, eh?), we headed over to Max's at Eastman Place to catch bassist Esperanza Spalding. She seemed transported as she hunched over her travel bass playing with attitude but offset with her beautiful lilting vocalese.  She's all of 22 and has all the attitude you'd expect of her youth, but that attitude appears to be backed up with musical talent and an intelligence about the music (as evidenced in the videos I posted links to earlier).

After Spalding's set was over and the crowds left, Ken and Seth and I recorded the podcast that I posted earlier today.  I was then cajoled to head over to State Street Bar and Grill for the after hours sets hosted by Bob Sneider.  The music was good, although not too many of the artists joined in this first night and I cut out just after 1 a.m. and went home to bed.

Check out some other thoughts on the first day by Ken, Seth, Ron Netsky and Frank DeBlase (also here) in the City Newspaper. You can also follow new blogger Tracy Kroft-Symonds as she Twitters around the RIJF.  Feel free to leave your thoughts on the first day in the comments to this post.

I'm going to resume my posts on the rest of the festival (starting with June 13th) tomorrow.  Now I have to get my stuff together to head over to Jazz Street for Day Two!

 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Inaugural podcast of "Da Jazz" . . . Day One of the 2007 RIJF

My friends Seth and Ken, whom I met through blogging the Rochester International Jazz Festival, and I are pretty much just some regular guys who like to write and are geeky enough to do it online.  Last year we came up with an idea to just sit around and talk about our experience of the RIJF and record that and put it up on the blogs as a podcast.  In our minds we were going to be something like Bill Swerski's Super Fans for jazz.  Just three guys sitting around a table—let us know what you think about your first day of the RIJF in the comments.

Da Jazz!, No. 1

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.  Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an interview on the street, suggestions for the later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY. Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an interview on the street, suggestions for the later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here.

Live Update from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.