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
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