Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

239

Blue Note 7 Celebrates 70 at the Kennedy Center

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Blue Note 7

Kennedy Center

April 5, 2009

Washington, D.C.

Featuring a super group compiled from its illustrious roster, last Sunday night's concert at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Blue Note recording label with a series of musical snapshots of some of its most renowned composers, performers, and individual compositions.

Arranged somewhat like a historical documentary, or perhaps a eulogy, the evening proceeded in a highly structured way. Each tune was carefully framed by a brief introductory explanation, with each performer given their turn at the mike, and the ensuing performance presented essentially as a round robin of solos honoring each composer's stylistic contribution to history.

Performed by Ravi Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Steve Wilson (alto saxophone, flute), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Lewis Nash (drums), each of the night's tunes was executed with grace, deference, and utmost respect. The result was a series of satisfying renditions of many crowd favorites, including Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance," McCoy Tyner's "Search for Peace," and Monk's "Evidence".

As always with musicians of such stature, there were many individual moments of astounding musicianship as they worked their way through these offerings—from Payton's patient, high register explorations on "Inner Urge," to Nash's rhythmic inventiveness on the night's highlight "United," to Washington's dexterous bass on "Dolphin Dance".

Despite these moments, however, in the end the concert seemed less than the sum of its parts due to the scripted nature of the format. A more compelling choice might have been to celebrate Blue Note's history of creativity by foregoing the predictable format of an anniversary tour, with its requisite formal dignity, to feature something more free-wheeling.

Doing so might not have resulted in technically better music, but could have produced a few more surprises by liberating the immensely talented artist's gathered on stage instead of pressing their creativity beneath the glass of a retrospective.

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater
By Mike Jurkovic
January 18, 2019
Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
By Victor L. Schermer
January 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 10, 2019
Live Reviews
The Los Cabos Jazz Experience 2018
By Wendy Ross
January 5, 2019
Live Reviews
Rene Marie With Experiment In Truth At The Jazz Corner
By Martin McFie
January 3, 2019