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Newport Jazz Festival 2018: Part 1-2

Timothy J. O'Keefe By

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The slow ballad "Rabo de Nube," a piece of music associated with the Cuban musician Silvio Rodriguez, featured Lloyd's tenor saxophone. Buzzing rain and the drone of a boat horn in the harbor somehow found a home on the emotional weather storm of sound that translates to "Cloud Tail."

Shattering boundaries, the music of Laurie Anderson and Christian McBride was live improvisational art. Broad motions and creative intuition forged musical pathways on an avant-garde set organized around hidden patterns that lacked obvious structural forms. At one point, Anderson encouraged the crowd to scream while the band played with a dark and chaotic fury. As eerie sounds climbed in chromatic ascension, the rain let up, and the sky transformed from dark blotted gray. Sunlight penetrated the clouds, and washed the stage with streaks of light that increased in brightness throughout the remainder of the performance.

In a traditional quartet setting, pianist Harold Mabern and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander led a burning set of bop-oriented ideas that was a befitting way to close the day. Tangible forms and rapid chord changes forged the conduit for spirited solos on "How insensitive," "Something's Gotta Give," and "Stan's Shovel." The slow ballad "She's Out Of My Life" offered gentle, lyrical melodies of easygoing sounds to round out a set of clean playing and tight rhythms.

Rain and music, sounds and happiness. That was the Saturday installment of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival.

Photo Credit: Richard Conde

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