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Live Reviews

Indianapolis Jazz Festival: Day 1, September 26, 2009

By Published: October 15, 2009
With the weather holding, Poncho Sanchez
Poncho Sanchez
Poncho Sanchez
b.1951
congas
(congas) decided to get us all up to dance. Influenced by both Afro-Cuban jazz and Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Sanchez played with Cal Tjader
Cal Tjader
Cal Tjader
1925 - 1982
vibraphone
(vibraphone) for his seven-year apprenticeship from '75 to '82. His latest album, Psychedelic Blues, (Concord, 2009), has changed gears from soul-based rhythms to a ripped Latin trip on steroids, which he graced the audience with, now dancing because one had no choice but to get up and shake it. This proceeded onward for better than 20 minutes, with everybody—including their kids, knocking over lawn chairs and trilling like mariachis to Sanchez' pounding congas. He polished it off with the classic "Afro Blue" to close the enthusiastic set.



Many other artists were featured during the day: Brandon Meeks, Clifford Ratliff with Melvin Rhynes, Soulive
Soulive
Soulive

band/orchestra
, Edward Bonilla Latin Band and Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
b.1960
saxophone
. The only regret of the day was being unable to clone one's self to see all of them.

The magic spell cast over the weather now broke as evening settled in; the rain started coming down. The muse was looking after her followers to have made it through nearly the entire day without it. Exhausted, danced out, we draped our plastic ponchos over our heads and headed out to our cars, surfeited, at least for the moment, until the next day's musical events.


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