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Live Reviews

53rd Monterey Jazz Festival: A Distinctive New Orleans Flavor

By Published: October 8, 2010
On Sunday, Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch
b.1955
piano
's trio—with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson—played with a cohesion that brought to mind Bill Evans' groups of decades past. Hersch dug deeply into each song—whether original or standard—intuitively reaching for the right note or phrase. His sublime version of Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn
1913 - 1993
composer/conductor
's "Some Other Time" left the crowd entranced, as did his utterly complex and completely delightful version of "Change Partners," reinventing this Irving Berlin favorite and ending it ingeniously in the upper register of his piano.


Fred Hersch Trio, from left: Hersch, John Hébert, Eric McPherson

Performers Regrettably Missed

On Saturday, people were talking about the late Friday night performance at the Nightclub by saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa
b.1971
sax, alto
's Indo-Pak Coalition. The American-reared saxophonist led a group that merged traditional Indian music with jazz. Some compared the leader to an Indian Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, in the way he charged through the numbers.

Late Sunday afternoon at the Arena, there was more musical cross-breeding. Benin-born and raised Angelique Kidjo
Angelique Kidjo
Angelique Kidjo
b.1960
vocalist
reportedly entranced the crowd with a spirited, soulful and crowd-pleasing set, combining African styles with rock and jazz. The crowd favorite was an Afro-funk version of James Brown's classic "Cold Sweat," though at the end of her set she brought Dianne Reeves in for a soulful version of "Baby, Baby I Love You."

Finally, 85 year-old drummer Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
b.1926
drums
made two well-received appearances. On Saturday, he played with Chick Corea's Freedom Band, and on Sunday, with his own Fountain of Youth Band, where the jazz archetype surrounded himself with young stars in-the-making. Attendees said he played with the verve of someone decades younger.

For those minutes between sets and during hungry times, the lineup of businesses along the ground's pathways attracted shoppers and hungry fans, with over 40 arts, crafts and clothing booths, and over 40 food and beverage stalls. There was some tasty Jamaican jerk pork and a succulent salmon rice bowl.

Photo Credit

All Photos: Gail Taylor


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