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).