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May 24, 2007

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival


I buy tickets to the BDJF and Flynn Center for the Performing Arts for two reasons. One, I'm on a fixed income and this is the only way I can support the local performing arts scene. Two, I feel free to praise or criticize  any performance on my radio program. It's very much like being a food critic. I am not obligated to grovel to the folks who give out free comp passes.

   The following listed are concerts that I've purchased tickets for and the reason why:

6/01/07 - Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Septet - I don't believe that there are any local DJs that play more Latin Jazz than me. I've played three hour programs of Latin Jazz at WRUV without repeating any artist. I think this program will be great start to the festival.

6/02/07 - Kenny Garrett  - I like what Kenny does musically, but the REAL reason that I'm going to this concert is Pharoah Sanders. The last time I saw him play was either at the Five Spot
or the Half Note (when it was on the corner of Spring & Hudson) and that was in 1965 or 1966.
Here I go again, talking about ancient history. These clubs have been out of business for decades.

6/03/07 - Mamavig & Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey  - WRUV has several CDs of JFJO recordings and there is not a bad one in the bunch. Don't know much about Mamavig as an ensemble, but the individual musicians are first class.

6/04/07 - Miguel Zenon - Miguel was born in Puerto Rico and has incorporated some of the traditional music of the island into his latest album, but it doesn't have that pronounced "Latin" feel to it. That CD may land in my personal top ten list of 2007.  I think this performance will be the "sleeper" of the festival.

6/05/07 - Christine Jensen Quartet & Bourassa/Tanguay/Derome - Finally, some musicians from the Montreal area. The BDJF should have done this years ago. I've played music from CDs of both of these ensembles that were donated to WRUV by the BDJF and  think highly of them.

6/06/07 - Esperanza Spalding Trio - She has been on my radar screen for some time, because I read the Boston Globe daily and I started seeing her name being mentioned even while she was a student at Berklee.

6/07/07 - BassDrumBone -The 30th Anniversary Tour - I have seen several performances in each decade this group has been together. Free form music in nature, but easily accessible and boy do they have fun  on stage which draws the audience in.

6/10/07 - Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project -  Glad to see more  women players being invited to BDJF.  I'm looking forward to this event, because I have thoroughly enjoyed every concert that the BDJF Big Band has been involved in and I'm not a huge big band fan. I'm sure there are some ringers on the band stand, but I recognize a lot of familiar faces there too.

I will be posting comments about these concerts on the following day after each performance.

May 24, 2007 at 12:47 PM in L.J. Palardy | Permalink


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This review from London/April of Kenny Garrett may have some relevance for June 2, assuming that the personnel is the same:

By Jack Massarik, London, Evening Standard
April 13, 2007

Fashions in music come and go, but Kenny Garrett continues to ignore them all and concentrate on doing what he does best - carving out impassioned, marathon altosax solos that swing very hard. Coming from a generation inspired by peak-period Miles and Coltrane, the great Detroit saxman sees nothing wrong with maintaining their creative lines of enquiry, and rightly so.

It's demanding work, physically and mentally, but the rewards can be exhilarating. Garrett's opening alto-sax solo, a searing romp through the China-flavoured centrepiece of his current album, Beyond the Wall, took more than 15 minutes to unfold, during which his latest group built up a mighty momentum that, despite all the technical advances in jazz worldwide, only the best US rhythm sections seem able to create.

Much of this had to do with the lavishly hirsute Jemiah Williams, a brilliant young drummer who demonstrated how to set a burning pace without overpowering his colleagues. His extended 16-bar exchanges with Garrett, full of deft, swooping tom-tom rolls, were models of fluent technique and quick thinking.

Ivan Taylor, a double-bassist whose surging forward motion recalled the great Curtis Lundy, maintained the excitement while another newcomer, Benito Gonzalez, attacked the keyboard in the percussive, high-energy style of a McCoy Tyner or Kenny Kirkland.

This taut mood softened for Qing Wen, a stately piece that combined Chinese harmonies with a lightly Latin beat. Garrett then turned to soprano sax for a charming gospel duet with Gonzalez, followed by Japanese and Korean folksongs that lent an oriental edge to his tone, a muezzin call-to-prayer sound.

A rousing version of Happy People rounded off an evening of top-class original music delivered with complete commitment and just a dash of showmanship. Uncompromising jazz at Ronnie Scott's? This week, yes. Occasionally it's just like old times.


Even though I have strong reservations about Garrett's most recent album, BEYOND THE WALL, I very much look forward to Garrett, Sanders, et al.

Posted by: Dell | May 25, 2007 2:57:21 PM

Burlington's lineup should include drummer JAMIRE Williams, Benito Gonzalez on piano, and Nat Reeves on bass, as well as Pharoah Sanders.

Posted by: David Beckett | May 27, 2007 5:35:35 PM

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