Indianapolis Jazz Festival: Day 1, September 26, 2009
With the weather holding, Poncho Sanchez (congas) decided to get us all up to dance. Influenced by both Afro-Cuban jazz and Charlie Parker, Sanchez played with Cal Tjader (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 everybodyincluding 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, Edward Bonilla Latin Band and Branford Marsalis. 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.