Perhaps I didn't relax enough, but the past few weeks (months... haven't had a day off since beginning of the year) seemed to catch up with me. Jury is still out on whether I'm sick or just some tree has started spewing its stuff into the air, but it took the wind out of my sails last night toward the end of Nicolaj Hess & Global Motion + at the Nordic Jazz Now Series.
Started out with the Jazz Passengers, a reunited band that was originally formed in 1987. This group, fronted by original founders saxophonist Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes were out to have some fun playing for us in Kilbourn Hall, mixing in social activism, comedy, a lot more singing than anyone expected, and some general sonic mayhem and glee at times, but always bringing it home. It is probably the only time the Peaches & Herb triple platinum hit Reunited has been heard on the Kilbourn stage (lyrics revised to suit the bands recent getting together and recording an album of the same name).
Went over next to the Nordic Jazz Now Series to catch Nicolaj Hess Global Motion +. Although all of these great young musicians are now based in NYC, they hail from all over the world. The music, composed by Hess (there was also one wonderful composition by saxophonist Mark Mommaas before I left) was almost classical in sound at times (as was Hess's piano playing). Pulling in global influences, it was rooted in jazz and sounded wonderful as it filled the great sonic space of the Reformation Lutheran Church.
Caught some of Ronnie Scott's All-Stars but left and then, after wandering around a bit, realized what I needed to do and went to my car and drove home. My throat had started hurting earlier in the evening and I had started feeling more than a little run down earlier (as might be expected anyway on the schedule I've been keeping the last 3 days). Decided to listen to my body for once. I may or may not come out tonight depending on what my body's telling me then (and if I think I'm actually sick, I won't be, as I'm sure you don't wanting me sharing that in addition to posts and tweets, etc). If I did, I'm sure I'll be starting with the legendary Jim Hall in Kilbourn and, if I have enough energy the rest of my picks for Monday. It's been going around, so maybe it finally caught up to me. Will suck if I have to sit out part of the festival, but I've heard some great sounds already, so I'll muddle through... if so, please listen to jazz amongst yourselves.
Hope to see you on Jazz Street....