All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...

331

Fifth Annual Longwood Gardens Wine and Jazz Festival, June 4, 2011

Fifth Annual Longwood Gardens Wine and Jazz Festival, June 4, 2011
Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
Fifth Annual Longwood Gardens Wine and Jazz Festival
Kennett Square, PA
June 4, 2011
Longwood Gardens is a horticultural conservancy spread over the countryside in Kennett Square, Chester County, PA. It is one of those beautiful meccas with the potential to serve memorably for a summer music festival, as anyone who has attended Juan Les Pins, Tanglewood, or Ravennia can attest.

Tom Warner, who has done excellent jazz and classical music programming for major concert halls, including Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, has brought his knowledge, skills, and ambition to the task of making Longwood the home for major events. In particular, as part of a series entitled "Notes from the Forest," the Fifth Annual Wine and Jazz Festival featured four groups that reflected Warner's taste for great music. The Tony Miceli Quartet, the Kenny Barron, the New York Voices, and the Ravi Coltrane all provided a stellar and varied afternoon of jazz to suit all tastes, just as the tasting tents for the local Pennsylvania vineyards, lining the back edge of the concert meadow, did for wine lovers.

The concert began with vibraphonist Tony Miceli and his frequent associates—pianist Tom Lawton, bassist Matthew Parrish and drummer Butch Reed—in a mellow set appropriate for a relaxed beginning. A highlight of the set was Milt Jackson's "Blues in C Minor," featuring the deep and rich interpretations that have earned Miceli the increasing respect of listeners and musicians alike. An extraordinary musician and teacher in Philadelphia for three decades, Miceli is beginning to gain a well-deserved place on the international jazz scene. His seasoned group provided capable backup, but it was Miceli who shone in the set.

Following a relaxing break, The Kenny Barron Trio, with bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake, delivered a rock-solid performances, allowing them to display their remarkable collective skills. Barron, a jazz icon who has worked with many of the greats in the U.S. and abroad, has, in the process, acquired his own unique and easily recognizable sense of swing, drive, and sound with unwavering refinement and discipline.

Standards like "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "Blue Moon," as well as a hard-driving Barron original, "New York Attitude" gave the pianist ample opportunity for the kind of improvisational skill that has earned him a place among the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters. In addition, his stunning workup of Thelonious Monk's "Shuffle Boil" allowed him to display a grasp of rhythmic and harmonic complexities well beyond the expected—even for him. Kitagawa pushed technique to the edge with incredible lines of thirds that would have had Monk in a spin, while Blake kept a firm and relentless rhythm throughout—doing double service with Ravi Coltrane's Quartet later in the afternoon.

Spice and contrast were provided by the New York Voices, a quartet of vocalists that has exemplified the vocalese tradition of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross for over two decades. Singers Kim Nazarian, Peter Eldridge, Daemon Meader (who doubles on tenor sax), and Lauren Kinahan delivererd a grooving set of lively standards, beginning with a nod to the good weather, "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)," and covering a lot of musical ground from the hippie era's "Surrey on Down to a Stone Cold Picnic" to Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing," with some jazz standards like "Love Me or Leave Me" and "No Moon at All" thrown in for good measure.



The group outdid itself on John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," which included transcribed Trane solos done in unison vocalese. The singers and their backup musicians kept up amiably with some very difficult changes. Whoever does the arrangements for this ensemble deserves a lion's share of credit for their success, the overall impact making the difficult or impossible seem like a cakewalk.

Finally, In the late afternoon, The Ravi Coltrane Quartet came on, this incarnation featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, and drummer Johnathan Blake. Both Ravi Coltrane and Alessi are known for their rich exploitation of free jazz and post-modern jazz developments, and on this occasion provided the only true cutting edge musical experience.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium Live Reviews
The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium
by Roger Weisman
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre Live Reviews
Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read Marbin at The Firmament Live Reviews
Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner" Live Reviews Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Jon Faddis at The Wheel" Live Reviews Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Sur Ecoute at The Bronx Bar & 'Cue" Live Reviews Sur Ecoute at The Bronx Bar & 'Cue
by Barry Witherden
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "BAN BAM: Music Talking" Live Reviews BAN BAM: Music Talking
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room" Live Reviews Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews 7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018
by Walter Atkins
Published: March 25, 2018