Day Two of the Rochester International Jazz Festival is going to be one of those eclectic nights you find yourself having at the fest. There is a lot of variety (even for those who's taste in "jazz" venture toward Southern fried rock) to sample from. Although I'm only touching the broad swath of music that the folks at RIJF have concocted for the first Saturday (which you should check out in its entirety), here's how my evening on June 13th is shaping up:
- As on Day One, I'm not hitting Kilbourn Hall at all on June 13th. Not that I don't think it would be great to see Hammond B3 monster Joey DeFrancesco, but the fact is I caught him at Iridium in NYC in February and I'd like to keep that gig he did with Larry Coryell in my ears a bit longer. I have never heard trumpeter Terrell Stafford and his Quartet play, so will catch them first at 6:00 pm at the Montage.
- On my way over to the next stop, I'll pause to have a beer and conjure up some memories of my former home town while catching a bit of Chicago bluesman and Alligator recording Artist Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, who is scheduled to begin playing at 7:00 pm. He's playing the Club Pass Tent on Sunday as well, so if I need some more of that home town cookin I'll see if I can catch it then.
- After getting a bit of blues, a beer and perhaps some "street meat," I'll head down Chestnut, pick up a bottle of water (you'll understand when you go there) and head inside that great space to hear the group Nordic Connect, another in the Nordic Jazz Now series. This group is a special project of leader, trumpeter/composer (and Canadian) Ingrid Jensen, a featured soloist in the Maria Schneider Orchestra when they were here in January. Jensen is joined for this project with Christine Jensen, Swedish pianist-composer Maggi Olin, her husband and drummer Jon Wikan (who although Alaskan-born has a Norwegian background), and Swedish bassist Mattias Welin. Listened to some of their new CD Flurry and know that their music will be perfect for that space and looking forward to sitting back in the pew, taking a breath, and listening.
- The way the RIJF is scheduled now there are a lot of choices in the 7:00 to 9:00 pm range. You usually have some "change ups" in mind to provide flexibility for your mood or what you're hearing on the wind. As I have some flexibility this night due to my not hitting Kilbourn, I may postpone my Nordic Connect-ion until 9:30 pm or otherwise mix it up and head over with those who love that deep sound to catch some of SMV, a supergroup touring this summer that unites gods of bass Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, at the Eastman Theater at 8:00 pm. Perhaps they are trying to do some of the demolition for the new Theater annex without hiring a contractor?
- I'm going to tie up the evening (that is if there are no change ups and I don't head out for after-hours jams) with Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, who will be kicking out the New Orleans jams in the Club Pass Tent at 10:00 pm (also, if changes prevail, at 8:30). I've wanted to see this UK ivory tickler, who transplanted to his heart's true home on the Gulf Coast, in a live show since I first heard his song "So Damn Good" a few years ago (I couldn't get the infectious shuffle groove and its lyric says it all ..."I feel so damn good that I'll be glad when I've got the blues ... I'm so down being up that I'll be winning when I start to lose"). To check him out catch "Mo Hippa" (a live cut off his new CD by the same name) and some other cuts (including "So Damn Good") on Cleary's MySpace page. If you're just needing to get your groove on, then you may also want to catch returning group Papa Grows Funk, who'll be appearing twice on the Jazz Street stage (for free, too). Cleary and the Gentleman will also be gracing the stage at Harro East on Sunday.
I'm going to start kicking these Preview & Pick posts out now as fast as possible. I hope to do try some different approaches in Jazz@Rochester coverage throughout the Festival, focusing more on the conversation about the festival rather than try to keep up with posts on "what did I hear tonight". Main thing is I intend to have some fun and hang with all of my old "jazz fest" friends. Come here (or the new mobile site) to find out more as we get closer to June 12th.
As I announced earlier, Jazz@Rochester is also on Twitter. For those who want to begin the conversation now, let's start using #XRIJF as a hash tag. I'm going to be doing something special to pick up that conversation on the site soon.
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