There's more than movies at the Little Theatre.... Local ROC talent at the Freed Maxick Jazz Tent
The heat also rises ... Day 2 of XRIJF

One day of XRIJF down, 8 to go... Notes from the festival

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra at XRIJF
Photo by Jim Dolan

A few notes about Friday, the first night at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Although I missed my "sweet spot" on the corner by just a few minutes (even I didn't think that the line would be around the corner into the alley off Gibbs by 3:45), I got a pretty good spot in line for Christian McBride and Inside Straight. While I stoof there for the first half hour of more than 2 hours of waiting, I started to get itchy.  

First night of XRIJF and here I was stuck down the alley. Then I thought, I saw Christian McBride and a good bit of the band when they were here last year under his drummer Ullysses S. Owens' group's appearance here for Exodus to Jazz. Finally, after finishing my beer to help further my contemplation, I decided to get out of line and get out into the world that is the opening night of the XRIJF. Good decision...

In the end, I found the very small line for NYC saxman Noah Preminger and his quartet, which included guitarist Ben Monder. I had heard some of Mr. Preminger's work and had heard some good things about him, but had resigned him to the "wish I could fit it in" group of my picks. Preminger's music was a great mix of more modern post-bop and some ethereal work on the guitar by Monder was also a treat.  Freed from the shackles of my self-imposed itinerary, I had found something new to listen to.  

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, part of the Nordic Jazz Now series at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, was a treat—funny, crazy, incredible musicianship. Finished up the night with Patricia Barber, who as a Chicagoan who I used to hear in and around that great city when I lived there, holds a special place. Her singing and her music were beautiful and quirky, I always expect something different from her and in over 1 and a half hours of playing she and her killer band only played one song from her older albums (it was a request).

This is likely to be my approach throughout the festival.  Although there are some artists and groups that I definitely won't miss, I want to keep my mind and ears open to opportunities to hear something new. See you around Jazz Street...

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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