Voices at Large

I Survived The 50th MJF


I just got back from the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival and, boy, are my ears tired... and my feet... and my back. There was so much music spread out over the fairgrounds, I think next year I may buy myself one of those Hoveround scooters. Definitely the highlight for me was seeing the iconic Dave Brubeck Quartet on Sunday night. Joined for a few tunes by legendary guitar man Jim Hall, Brubeck awed the crowded arena with haunting melodies that built to a phenomenal climax with "Take Five." Another fantastic performance was delivered by rising star Christian Scott, who played selections from both his debut and sophomore albums to a standing-room-only house on Saturday night. Later, I caught the Gerald Wilson Orchestra with Kenny Burrell. The tuxedo-clad musicians unveiled "Monterey Moods," offering waltzes, swings and other addicting sounds.

I wasn't able to see the Joey DeFrancesco Trio, but fellow Concord staffer Jeffrey Spector did and said, "He once again proved he is the king of the Hammond B-3 organ." Other powerful performances included a colossal set from Sonny Rollins and a charmingly intimate turn by new mom Diana Krall. I'm not going to lie, if you didn't go to this year's Monterey Jazz Festival, you missed a number of great shows. The good news is you may be able to catch this year's outstanding performances on future releases from Monterey Jazz Festival Records. The label debuted this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival with live recordings of renowned icons such as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.

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