Again I let too many days pass and now we're getting down to the wire on getting these posts out before the festival starts itself on June 12th. I'm falling down in my quest that this Rochester International Jazz Festival is not going to turn into another job. As I said, this year I want to concentrate on having fun! However, these posts serve two functions, they allow me to map out where I might want to focus during the festival and, I hope, give you some idea on how you can catch a number of sounds each night and information additional to that on the Festival's site on at least some of the many jazz and other musical tastes that may find fulfillment during the festival. Here's how my Sunday, June 14th is shaping up:
- Starting at 4:00 pm, the Eastman Theatre will become a big movie house. In the mid-1970s, WXXI produced a series of one-hour jazz programs that were shown nationally on PBS. Most of the programs were filmed in Rochester’s Top of the Plaza, which is how the series got its name, At the Top. This year there will be video from that series, with sets by the Bill Evans Trio, the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, ending with a special episode from the second season of WXXI’s Rochester International Jazz Festival series, that presents an overview of last year's festival and includes excerpts from many of the performances, street scenes and interviews with some of the musicians and jazz fans. I checked this out last year and saw some great footage of the Buddy Rich big band. If I can get out of the office by 4:00 I may do that again for a bit. I may also spend some time listening to one or more of the great high school jazz bands from around Rochester or get a reprise of Jon Cleary, who will be over at Harro East.
- For my first Club Pass gig, I'll head over to the Xerox Auditorium to catch Jonas Kullhammar Quartet. Kullhammer has been in town before playing in one of the shows put on by the Bop Shop, but I was never able to get to the gig so I'm looking forward to getting a chance to hear him at his 6:30 pm set. In addition to the cuts on Kullhammer's MySpace page, check out this video of a Stockholm gig from 2007.
- Since this night appears to be developing into mostly envelope pushing, my next stop will be Christ Church to catch the 8:45 set of the Neil Cowley Trio from the "Made in the UK" series. Keyboardist Cowley is one of the "post-jazz" musicians who with the Trio creates concoctions from various genres building on a jazz foundation. Some have drawn connections to E.S.T., although Cowley has taken great pains to not let their music influence the directions he takes with his compositions. Luckily, since they are from Generation at least X, the Nate Cowley Trio has a lot of stuff out there on the interwebs where you can get a taste, including their website and MySpace page, and they're on Twitter. Here's a good video of the Trio performing "Dinosaur die" in Paris last year.
- There is a chance that I'll feel like overdosing on the folks from Scandanavia, so I may instead choose the 7:30 set of Dane Søren Kjærgaard at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, if only because his playing floored me when he appeared here at last year's festival with Blake Tartare. Here is a video of Kjærgaard with a group playing his Ballad for Leo (Mathiesen) in 2006. This is what he's been working on lately with Torben Ulrich (be prepared it's quite long), but there's no indication what Kjærgaard is bringing to Rochester.
- I'm actually going to finally make it into Kilbourn Hall to get my head straightened back out with Ernestine Anderson. This woman may come out with anything from the blues or jazz songbooks and has been doing that for 5 decades. But it will be just what I'll need toward the end of the third night—comfort food for my ears. Here's a video of her dishing some of that out in Japan last year.
This night shaped up with a lot of music that, for the RIJF, will be outside the mainstream (except for Miss Anderson, that is). That's just the way I roll ....
As I announced earlier, Jazz@Rochester is also on Twitter and I have created a widget, which has its own page to help you follow the conversation about jazz and the XRIJF on that micro-blogging platform. For those who want to begin the conversation now, start using #XRIJF as a hash tag (if you're on Twitter, you'll know what I mean) and help me spread the word to use that during the festival. If you'd like to access Jazz@Rochester on your smart phone, please try the new mobile site.
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