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Live Reviews

Tanglewood Jazz Festival 2005 Shows Diversity

By Published: September 14, 2005
"The Best is Yet to Come, Fly Me to the Moon "Speak Low, "Old Devil Moon, "I'll Be Seeing You, Smile and other standards came out either soft or swinging, but always just right. He also performed a variety of songs that he made hits back in the day — "The Good Life, "I Wanna Be Around and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco — but they were never stale. His new band features the fine drummer Harold Jones, a Basie alumni, among other work. guitarist Gray Sargent smoked on his bop-laced solos and new pianist Lee Muskier filled the bill, albeit a tad too Vegas show-biz in presentation.

Bennett is as polished performer as there is, and gracious, and is rightfully considered an American treasure.

A band consisting of Thielemans, Werner, guitarist Oscar Castro - Neves and percussionist Airto Moiera stole the Latin night concerts. Thielemans harmonica is still a joyous sound and his melodic improvisations are remarkable, even graceful. He worked standards like "How High the Moon and "All the Way expertly, but the group's examination of Brazilian music (Castro-Neves one of the key people in the bossa nova movement years back) were exquisite and ethereal at times. Especially intriguing was the work of Airto, who played standard traps in addition to his dizzying array of percussive toys. His approach to the drums was very different than American drummers and it was right on — the right dynamic, the right sound, the right succession of taps and tinkles. The right time to be soft and loud.

Preceding them was the Caribbean Jazz Project, led by Dave Samuels expert vibraharp playing. Gone is David Valentin as the major melodic voice with his flute, but on the scene is trumpeter Diego Urcola who fit right in, playing fine flugelhorn as well. The group was tight.

Most people were waiting for Diane Schuur to join, and the singer didn't wait long before coming in to provide her offerings of "Lover Come Back to Me "Schuur Fires "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight and even Stevie Wonder's "As. Her strong chops and healthy vibrato pleased her numerous fans.

Concerts not heard also provided diverse elements. Skitch Henderson with Bucky Pizzarelli, the Yellowjackets and Chris Botti. there was a broad spectrum for festgoers to choose from.


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