JazzFest closed Sept. 21 with 14

hours of community programs.

Saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master

Jamey Aebersold conducted a spirited improvisation master class. Historian/author

David Williams guided drummer and club owner Al Coleman, trumpet player

Clifford Ratliff, pianist Carl Hines and guitarist Steve Weakley to reveal the

influence of Crispus Attucks High School teachers on their successful jazz

careers spanning the past half century.

Indianapolis-based jazz groups

bringing their distinctive styles included headliners Adam Thompson, Sophie

Faught, Jared Thompson, Sunset Stomp, Monika Herzig and Ratliff at Yats.

Appearing at the Jazz Kitchen were

Farrelly Markiewicz Quartet, Unity, Bill Lancton MG6, Trilogy and Zach Lapidus

in what many named "the best Herbie Hancock

Tribute band."

Perhaps the most touching,

awe-inspiring moment during the 11-day festival was when Everett Green invited

Brenda Williams back on stage and the two improvised an endearing duet.

Reflections from various stops

along the JazzFest 2013 music trail:

Zach Lapidus Trio inaugurated the

first live performances at Brugge with an atmospheric program, bringing 40+

into communion with each other on the upper terrace framed by softly floating

clouds against powder-blue sky. Lapidus on keys, Jesse Wittman on bass and Greg

Artry on drums spun off from recognizable tunes to doodle their way through

low-key concurrent conversations, moving to chatty whimsy or introspective

commentary. Listening to each other filtered through their own thoughts about

where they want to be going, they took us along if we're so inclined or let us

wander if that was preferred. [see Beer Buzz column for more about Pub Creep].

At Butler's Eidson-Duckwall

Recital Hall, clarinetist Shawn Goodman and pianist Gary Walters extended

standard charts through their engaging relationship. Four of the eight pieces

were from the new CD Not Your Benny's Goodman including Wayne Shorter's dreamy, bluesy "Infant Eyes;" Sarah Vaughn's sultry swing version of George

and Ira Gershwin's "Embraceable

You;" JohnBlackburn's and Karl Suessdorf's

"Moonlight in Vermont,"a

tempo-changing journey into the reaches of land-and-sky-scape; and Thad Jones'

airborne "A Child is Born."Having first heard "Chaz Carter"

on Walters' solo piano album Moments in Time, the addition of Goodman's

clarinet created an aural pas de deux, reaching into the soul of Walters'

tribute to the late bebop saxophonist/clarinetist Chuck Carter. The program

continued to cross genres and decades withFreddie Hubbard's colorful "Little Sunflower," Richard Rodgers'

and Lorenz Hart's confessional "It

Never Entered My Mind,"and the whimsical, meandering "Dear Old Stockholm,"nicely

up-tempo from the Miles Davis cover as I recalled it.

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane met an

enthusiastic reception at his Jazz Kitchen debut with hyperkinetic drummer

Jonathan Blake, soul-searching bassist Dezron Douglas and

deliberately-passionate pianist David Virelles.

Plumbing the expansive vocabulary

of post-bop jazz with its jumbling notes ordering themselves into tricky

rhythms and complicated harmonies, the foursome viscerally enjoyed each others' meandering improvisations. Yet much as these forays

engaged, particularly through Coltrane's robust playing, what enthralled was

Coltrane's homage to his mother, Alice Coltrane, with Charlie Haden's "For Turiya."

Veering from the haunting rendition on his newest album, Blending Times,

Coltrane's live arrangement brought the four players to another level of

ethereal spirituality – the silences seep in, memory enfolds.

– Rita Kohn