From legends to lunacy . . . June 15th at the XRIJF
While the XRIJF is in town, the jazz goes on elsewhere in and around Rochester

Notes from June 16th at the Rochester jazz festival: Dafnis Prieto, Lionel Loueke and everything in between

XRIJF imageMy sixth evening of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival started out in line for the Dafnis Prieto Sextet in Kilbourn Hall. While I heard that others thought it was too loud (and if you were sitting further back in Kilbourn while he was soloing the echoes would have made it more like a cacophony), there was a lot going on from where I was sitting. His drumming is both agressive and intricate, using multiple surfaces to set up complex rhythms. He showed a lot of versatility, moving from Cuban and other Latin rhythms to standard be-bop drumming with ease. His band was all stellar, with three horns up front of Peter Apfelbaum, Felipe Lamoglia on sax and Mike Rodriguez on trumpet (who blew some wicked solos), backed by Manuel Valera on piano, Charles Flores on bass and, of course, Prieto. I sort of wandered around as I expected a line at Max for guitarist Lionel Loueke and his trio, listening to a bit of Soul Stew and a bit of Sidsel Stromnes' singing over at the Nordic Jazz Now series before sitting down and talking with friends and meeting new ones in Max waiting for Loueke. While I was expecting something else from Lionel Loueke Trio (which Loueke ended up delivering at the end of his set), that doesn't mean I wasn't enjoying it. Loueke at times was processing his nylon-stringed guitar through something that made it sound almost like an organ. When he turned to a songs from his album Karibu, he vocalized through the guitar al a Peter Frampton. I was expecting to hear more of a mashup of the West African and other roots from I had heard on his album—the clicking, the vocalizations. What he played sounded more like standard trio fare. That's what happens sometimes; Loueke wanted to try something different out with his trio of bassist Massimo Biolcati & drummer Ferenc Nemeth. Sometimes magic happens that way...

My body finally said "STOP!!!" and I went home and have taken a day off from work to get a bit of rest. I get back to it tonight with an ambitious schedule (although something may have to fall out...).

To read what others are saying out there, here are some links about the festival from the local media Democrat & Chronicle, City Newspaper, and other bloggers and sources when I find them (keep checking back on their sites as well for continued coverage):

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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