5th Rochester International Jazz Festival, Part 2-3
One of the big advantages of the RIJF is the ability to hear international acts who would not normally be able to play this city (due to a number of reasons: financial, logistical). Trio Braam-DeJoode-Vatcher is one such group. (Actually bassist DeJoode had played the Bop Shop a month previously with the Ab Baars Quartet and it was great to see him again.) They played in the glassed in atrium of Max's of Eastman Place, an upscale restaurant. Braam's piano trio music is brimming with vitality, playfulness and humor. He's a modernist with a respect for the tradition but that respect doesn't bog his playing down in historical cliches. If anything, he does just the opposite. He takes signposts such as a stride left hand or a boogie pattern and turns it upside down and inside out. DeJoode is a resourceful bassist who is able to get the most amazing sounds out of his instrument and he plays with a hard, scrabbling energy that makes his bass an equal in any group he's playing. Vatcher's unique approach to drums seems like it's fragmenting the rhythm but when it's all put together one realizes he's swinging this group in unique and wonderful ways. Braam's music gives the bass and drums plenty of space and it's apparent the pianist views all three members of the trio as equals, not a pianist with bass/drums accompaniment. The set was comprised of pieces from the trio's most recent release, Change This Song with the dark and moody "Nightsong Aches (all song titles are anagrams of the album's title) being a particular standout. This edgy, not-easily-absorbed music was surprisingly well-received and the trio was brought back for an encore by the capacity crowd. The set was another of the major highlights of the festival.
Roberto Occhipinti Quintet, David Binney, and Trio Braam-DeJoode-Vatcher by Garry Geer
Claudia Quintet and Respect Sextet by Don Ver Ploeg
Billy Bang Quintet by Thomas P. Frizelle