Burnin' for Youth - Metheny, Holland, DeJohnette Play in Benefit for Town's Youth Center
Instead of letting the profits of the performance suffer the fate of bureaucratic bungling, the trio decided to open an escrow account and give the proceeds directly to the Woodstock Youth Center for the purpose of providing new computers and adding more tutors in the town's G.E.D. program. Said Holland, whose new release Point of View (ECM) hit stores September 15, followed by a domestic tour throughout October and November, "This allows both educational gains as well as adding to the creative opportunities available to the town's youth."
While the benefit was certainly the star and the main focus throughout the afternoon, the playing was an example of how incredibly talented friends can sound when they just spend a day hanging out and playing. Together for the first time since last year's set of dates with Michael Brecker, the group sounded very much at ease with each other, thanks to their camaraderie, history of playing together, and the fine job by Dave Oaks who was responsible for the superb sound that benefited the roughly 900 listeners. Tunes included a number of Metheny compositions, such as "James," and "Vera Cruz", with renditions of "Turnaround" and "Lonely Women", which have both appeared on a previous Metheny recording, Rejoicing (ECM). An up-tempo reading of "I Remember April" opened the first set, which was a pleasant reminder of Metheny's pristine straight-ahead chops, as was a relaxed rendition of "Giant Steps", ala the version found on Kenny Garret's Pursuance, which also featured Metheny. Afterwards, the smiles beaming from the three players and all involved signified a successful effort for a worthy cause. Hopefully, the benefit concert, along with the recent concert and disc put out by Fred Hersch and Friends, which supported Performing Arts against AIDS, and the ACLU's HIV/AIDS and Lesbian/Gay Rights Projects, will signify a trend of more jazz musicians supporting both local and worldwide causes.