53rd Monterey Jazz Festival: A Distinctive New Orleans Flavor
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'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 , 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 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 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.
All Photos: Gail Taylor