Saturday, June 25, 2011

7 for the weekend--- RIJF Day 3 + 4 = 7 full sets

It was time to bring my amazing analytical skills out of the closet, I mean was I not the man who scored better than 99% of those taking the GRE back in the late 80's. Day one we got to town a bit late so that explained the 2.3 hours/sets. Day two was more like 2.67 hours/sets. So there I was with Friday's schedule as we wound down in bed after Thursday's jazz.

And I nailed it! Four full sets on Friday (consider this: we saw four hours of jazz within a five hour time frame!!!!!) and Saturday we saw three full sets, the three we most wanted to see.

Disappointing: The sax player was grounded in NYC because of monster thunderstorms, but the Italian bass player we saw on Wednesday grabbed hold of a young trumpet dude and created a great show, though we had hoped to see Mirko Guerrini...

Then it was the band that had me highly excited, the bass player, Dan Berglund, from the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (or E.S.T.) had his new band in the US for the first time and we were there. Tonbruket where we first heard steel guitar played in a jazz band.
Then to see a pianist, who the program said had been compared to Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde (sax) played beautiful duets (and inspired a CD purchase). I loved their originals, and their take on Gershwin's Embraceable You was a highlight of the festival.

Watch them talk about being a duo and listen to them play ...
And why not have a second batch of Nordic Jazz for the evening, though it would be our last for the festival. In The Country, a trio of dudes (the vibes player in the video was not with them) who took up running to be in shape to go on tours...

A leisurely and tasty dinner led to us missing the earliest of shows. The night started with solo guitar work by Martin Taylor, who was hoot between tunes and showed why his students flock to see him play standards and his originals, like this one: True, which became the theme to a Japanese TV show about poets boxing each other.

When we saw that jazz composer/conductor Dave Rivello had been taught by Bob Brookmeyer and that Maria Schneider liked his music, well we were there to see him conduct his 11 piece band and left with a CD in hand.

We left the amazing jazz orchestra to hear 38 Special blaring one of their big hits at a free concert (no rant about them playing at a jazz festival, since we had plenty of jazz to see and lots of folk were having fun in the street) and quickly ducked into the closest jazz venue, which is where we wanted to go any which way. And in the same setting where we ended the festival two years ago, we saw the full set of Ben Allison, yet another bass player, as he led his trio which included a trumpet and guitar. and that is that!


  1. I am still rather envious, there are no jazz festivals anywhere near me these days. So I have very much enjoyed enjoying these vicariously with you :-)

    Thank you.

  2. Kwee- I am glad I can fill a gap in your life. I wish Philly had a festival like Rochester, but then we would not have such a great reason to visit our friends in NY ;')


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