A variety of great music on the first night of XRIJF
So far the draft plan has held ... Day 3 at the XRIJF

Oh what a night... of music at Day 2 of the XRIJF

IMG_4620Started out the second day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival at my first Kilbourn Hall concert this year and one of my 2017 Picks, the Billy Childs Quartet. Childs and his stellar quartet of Dayna Stephens on saxophone, Ben Williams on bass and Ari Hoenig on drums. Childs started the set with a burner and barely came up for breath for the rest of the set.  Playing older and some from his new Mack Avenue disc Rebirth. It was one of those performances where at the end, the entire audience spontaneously jumps to its feet in a standing O... amazed at what they just experienced.  Damn. Good. Music.  Mike drop.  As for new experiences, this was my first with the new line system for the first performances at Kilbourn and Max's. Showing up sometime after 3 pm, I got my purple wristband and then came back about 5:15. The lines for those with wristbands are inside and color-coded.  Finally found my way to the purple line just before the line started to go in.  Much like it was under the old system, I was guzzling my beer before getting to the door... All in all, it works for me and let me go write my first post after getting my wristband at my "office."

IMG_4629After a hiatus, I headed over to the Christ Church for the Neil Cowley Trio.  Neil Cowley just attacks the keyboard, repeating chords or figures with a crescendo of intensity until he's pounding them to pieces.  I wondered on Twitter whether there was anything left of that Steinway for the rest of the week? Their hard-driving set was not all fury, there were moments of humour (the UK spelling, of course) and introspection ... which gave us a needed aural break from the onslaught. Again... Damn. Good. Music.  Mike drop....

IMG_4631I had to stay to the end of Neil Cowley ... just couldn't leave.  That meant that Max's was full-up by the time I walked up for the Igor Butman Quartet.  One-in-one-out. Was inside within 10 minutes.  Got a place to stand in back and listen (which was all I could do given that there was a post between me and the band). But that's what I was there for (saw the band play with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra on Day 1 and could remember what they looked like anyway).  What I heard was fantastic, but after the first two I was musically spent....

Took a chance on the after-hours jams at the Radissson Riverside Hotel.  It's a new venue this year for the jams.  All I can say now is that it is different.  I like the fact that they've added a new  jam, coordinated by local sax player Karl Stabnau, that gives those that are not at XRIJF to play jazz a chance to participate. I'll let it steep a bit more and check it out again later next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

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