On an incessant, straight-ahead set, with lots of extended solosthe kind that lasted for 32 bars, used lots of vibrato, left the crowd momentarily stunned, yet had the hearty souls howling for morethe Cookers began the final day of the festival with a high-energy set that received an enthusiastic audience response.
Spurred by a rhythm section that kept constant hold of the one, yet toyed with subtle fills and time changes, the horns drove melodies in varying directions on a set that included Harper's "Captain Black," and "Croquet Ballet," McBee's "Peacemaker and "Farewell Mulgrew," a dedication to the late pianist Mulgrew Miller
Quartet offered more mellow and subdued sounds. After playing the first few notes on the alto saxophone, Konitz looked at the instrument with a quizzical expression. He paused briefly, adjusted his reed, and then quickly resumed playing, encouraging the first of many laughs he would provide throughout the set.
Partway through the slow-tempo opener "Stella By Starlight," Konitz sidelined his horn to vocalize some scat. "We're very pleased, and proud, and all those kinds of things, to be here," he told an attentive audience that continuously increased in numbers throughout the performance.
"The pianist is gonna pick the next song. I just hope he picks something we know," Konitz heckled prior to "Thingin," the second piece from the set. At times, the lyrical qualities of Konitz's horn were matched by Dan Tepfer
to the stage. The set closed with "Darn that Darn."
At the festival's main stage, the Brubeck brothers wrapped up an extended performance that included "Marian McPartland." Their version of "Take Five" saw Mike DeMicco transpose Paul Desmond's famous alto saxophone melody onto the guitar, while "Blue Rondo A La Turk," showcased Dan Brubeck's drumming.
As the rain continued, a growing number of patrons sought shelter in the Louis Jadot Wine tent, which was located in close proximity to the main stage. In addition to red and white wines, the tent also housed the festivals official beer sponsor, North Coast Brewing Company. Beer offerings included Brother Thelonious, a Belgian Style Abbey Ale, named for the famed jazz pianist Thelonious Monk
While the beer may have been Monk, the music was all about Mingus. Opening with "Bemoanable," the Mingus Big Band took to the main stage. Fraught with rhythmic changes, harmonic nuances, and musical precision, the set also included "Invisible Lady," "E's Flat A's Flat Too," and "Fables of Faubus."
Always classy, and a man who consistently displays respect for the music, Ron Carter