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Live Reviews

Miri International Jazz Festival, May 14-15, Malaysia, Borneo

By Published: June 3, 2010

Amazingly, it is sixty-six years since James Cotton opened for Sonny Boy Williamson and sixty years since he cut his first record for Sun Records. At seventy five Cotton may have retired the back flip that he used to do on stage but the hunger to perform is still there; to fly half way around the world to play one concert is proof of that. Although Cotton has played electric blues for many years now, at Miri he expressed a desire to record another acoustic blues album, a follow up to the Grammy-winning Deep in the Blues (Verve Records, 1996) which he recorded with Joe Louis Walker and Charlie Haden

Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
. One more Grammy, and he may well end up on the Mount Rushmore of blues artists.

A twenty-minute jam session complete with fireworks featured musicians from all the bands and put the seal on MIJF '10. Chicago blues rubbed shoulders with New Orleans and a modern jazz front line riffed over Indonesian kendang. Brazilian flavored violin, piano, flute, tenor trumpet, scatting, drums and electric guitar cut through the roaring ensemble and the whole sounded rather like a joyously ragged version of Duke Ellington's band in full Newport flight. If Randy Raine-Reuch acting as conductor hadn't signaled an end to the proceedings, everybody might well still be there, rain or no rain.

Photo credits

Page 1: Photo 1, Ian Patterson; Photo 2, Ena Terol

Page 2: Photo 1, Ena Terol; Photo 2, Agus Setiawan Basuni/WartaJazz

Page 3: Photos 1-2, Agus Setiawan Basuni

Page 4: Photo 1, Agus Setiawan Basuni

Page 5: Photo 1-2, Ena Terol

Page 6: Photo 1, Ena Terol

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