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Concertgoers braved rain and mud for the 12th Annual Capital Jazz Fest on June 4-6, 2004. Things may have been wet, but spirits were definitely high with the smooth jazz fans in attendance. Although it stormed all day, even the camping tents remained in place outside the festival area. The performance pavilion was packed with people, while others stood under shelters trying to capture a glimpse of the stage. Featured artists included the outstanding talents of Chris Botti, Dave Koz, BWB and many more. This very soggy journalist was able to catch Down to the Bone on Saturday, June 5th. The music was definitely cooking on-stage.
Hearing Down to the Bone live is a completely different experience from the tight grooves album, Cellar Funk. The band seems to thrive off audience participation. The more the enthusiastic crowd responded, the harder the band pushed the songs to the limit. Just when you thought everything was fully revved up, the band worked the audience a bit more by encouraging everyone to stand up and clap along. The concert almost had a rock and roll edge with rapping during one song and driving rhythms throughout. Dancing was a welcomed commodity.
Vinyl Junkie was one of the songs performed at the show that you won’t hear on Cellar Funk. The crowd was on their feet with a solo by pianist Neil Angilley. His energy level and skill were of equal caliber. However, the interaction of the band members and how they kept things moving during the entire performance made a lasting impression. This band did the one thing many artists forget . . . they connected with the audience. Kudos to Down to the Bone on this one.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.