Another night at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, another night of diverse, compelling sounds for my ears to take in. I don’t have too much time to write this post, so we’re going to get right to what my ears took on the 6th night of RIJF:
- Started out at Kilbourn Hall with Raul Midon and Lionel Loueke, two completely different musicians, but who, as Loueke noted when he started the set, are “two brothers from other mothers”. They played separate and then a small set together in the middle. Loueke weaved his beautiful guitar with his signature vocalese that incorporates clicks inspired from the Xhosa language. Raul Midon came out and they played a set together that was awe-inspiring as they both glided across their guitars, interweaving and riffing off each other. Midon continued solo with a selection of songs from his Grammy winning albums, including the title track off his most recent “Bad Ass and Blind”. They finished up together and the audience stood, dumbstruck by the artistry.
- I hoofed over (Midon and Loueke went long) over to the Lutheran Church for Swedish reedist (mostly sax and a cool baritone clarinet last night) Thomas Backman and his quartet. The music alternated between achingly beautiful, jagged, and anthemic. Keyboardist Joselfine Lindstrand wrote the lyrics to Backman’s originals, which she sang with a beautiful and sometimes haunting voice backed up by the drummer Julia Schabbauer. Some may remember Backman from a group a couple years back Klabbes Bank.
- I finished the 6th night at the Temple Building Theater for Kandace Springs. Although vocalists are not usually my first choice, I always love those who also have chops on an instrument other than their voice. Her voice was beautiful with an incredible range as her and her trio romped through a set that included a wide range of songs starting with Carousel, with forays into the American Songbook, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Sade, with a little “cadenzas” of Oscar Peterson and Chopin (she’s classically trained). Springs voice and singing was powerful, smoky with a side of Saturday night and Sunday morning.
What’s on for my ears tonight? Here’s the three I think I’ll hear:
- George Coleman Quartet (Kilbourn Hall)
- DH's Random/Control (Lutheran Church of the Reformation)
- Elda Trio (Christ Church)