Submitted on behalf of Gloria Ellis
The City of Pasadena held its sixth annual Old Pasadena JazzFest July 7th and 8th 2001 on two beautiful sunny days at Pasadena Central Park. The park was filled with jazz lovers of all ages. There was plenty of good food as well as a variety of refreshing beverages. In addition to all of the wonderful music, good food and drinks there was the beautiful artworks on display at the festival too be sold. There was something for everyone at the Old Pasadena JazzFest.
On Saturday, the 7th of July Peter White a fantastic guitarist got the crowd fired up and to participate as well with his inspirational style of smooth jazz. Peter has played with the late Grover Washington jr., whom he also dedicated "Midnight in Manhattan" to. It was a rhythmic and smooth sound that surely delighted the crowd. It wasn't hard for Peter's band to keep the many jazz listeners mesmerized with their natural flair for the art Jazz. Dave Owens on (drums), Johnny Masomo on (bass), Greg Vail on (sax), and David Spartan on (keyboards) and (vocals). Peter concluded his set with a hand clapping and toe-tapping rendition of "Wake up Everybody" with David Spartan singing vocals.
Bobby Caldwell put the smooth in "Smooth Jazz" with his soft and sultry sound. Appearing for the first time at the Old Pasadena JazzFest with his new band was Bobby Caldwell who had the audience on the edge of their seats as he performed some memorable tunes. "Don't Ask My Neighbor", a song made famous by the Emotions in the late 70's with a lovely rendition of "At Last", a recording sung by Etta James in 1961 earlier in her career. Bobby continued to keep the throng of jazz listeners under his spell, as he ripped loose with one of his biggest hits "What You Won't Do For Love", from 1978, as the audience cheered and danced in the aisles. Bobby is a wonderful guitarist who performed beautifully at Old Pasadena JazzFest.
Stanley Clarke is a genius and is truly a gifted bassist, with his fiery licks and the mastery of his artistic musical skills. Stanley had the crowd on their feet going wild with anticipation, wondering what he could possible do next to top his already dynamic performance. When you thought it couldn't get any better, Abraham Laboriel, a legend in his own right cut loose with some electrifying licks of his own. Backing up Stanley, as well was his fantastically talented band. Nick Smith and Myron Mckinnley on (keyboards), with Rayford Griffin on (drums).
Sunday July 8, 2001 at Old Pasadena JazzFest once again the Braxton Brothers, Nelson on (bass) and Wayne on (saxophone) ignited the crowd with their sweet sounds of passionate jazz. Nelson's abilities as a great bassist, was definitely in complete effect as he stroked his bass ever so brilliantly. Wayne kept the heat on as he wailed away on his sax and the crowd hung on every note with such notable songs as "Do It", "When Loves Comes Around", "Sun Set Bay" and "Do What You Feel" just to name a few. The Braxton Brothers are regulars at the Old Pasadena JazzFest, as they have been asked back many times, for their crowd pleasing performances.
Take 6 is a cappella jazz and gospel group, whom delighted the crowd with their smooth and soulful jazz and gospel harmonies. Claude Mcknight, Alvin Chea, Joey Kibble, Cedric Dent, David Thomas and Mark Kibble, are the 6 members in the group. Take 6 put on an amazing show, exhibiting artistic skills in harmonizing whether they were harmonizing in jazz, gospel or r&b. The audieance was treated to a soulful version of "What The World Needs Now". As the crowd became deeply absorbed in the tune and interacted with the group by singing along, waving their hands and applauding. It inspired the group to take their harmonizing abilities to another level.
Closing the show Sunday night was Chaka Khan, the audience anxious with anticipation was eager for Chaka Khan to begin. Stunning as always, Chaka appeared in a two-piece turquoise ensemble looking more than ready to dazzle the audience with her sensational voice. Moreover, the audience was on there feet applauding and cheering as Chaka engaged them with several beautiful contemporary jazz ballads. Chaka's vocal abilities were remarkable in range, Chaka proved that as she immersed into a lovely rendition of "Funny Valentine", "Reconsider" and "Love Me Still". However, upon closing Chaka lit into one of her passed hits "Sweet Thing" as the audience once again jumped to their feet fully engrossed in the very memorable tune. Chaka Khan once again left the stage with her fans wanting more let's just hope she will be back next year.