All About Jazz

Home » Articles » In Pictures

2

Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival 2017

Mark Robbins By

Sign in to view read count
They were the last act of the two night 35th Annual Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival held July 14 and 15 at Town Point Park. Because of inclement weather the festival had to be moved inside to the 46 year old Scope Arena. The star studded smooth jazz festival featured Russ Freeman with the Rippingtons, Najee, Pieces of a Dream, Euge Groove, Spyro Gyra and then the last act "The Superstars of Jazz Fusion"—Lonnie Liston Smith, Roy Ayers, Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne. Full disclosure, this writer did not attend any of the performances except for "The Superstars of Jazz Fusion."

It was apparent that the 1,500 plus audience expected the 4 musicians to perform together, they did not. Lonnie Liston Smith strode on stage, hidden behind two stacked electronic keyboards. Backed by a trio of electric bass, guitar and drums Smith played four songs that an eager audience danced and cheered to. After introducing Ronnie Laws and what appeared to be a gradual introduction to the other "Superstars of Jazz Fusion," Smith left the stage leaving Laws with the house band for three numbers. The pattern followed with Laws introducing Tom Browne and exiting the stage then Browne introducing Ayres and leaving. Browne spent most of his time talking and vamping to the audience with a few trumpet notes thrown in. Ayres did little more than play a couple of perfunctory progressions on electric vibes and sang part of the 1976 anthem "Searching." Finally, the four musicians appeared together on stage, played for a few minutes and took their bows.

All in all it was a pretty disjointed evening of little communication between band members and a play by the numbers vibe. But, and this is a big but, the die hard smooth jazz fans ate it up! 1,500 people sounded like three times that amount, yelling and cheering before and after each song. Before the end of the evening fans had left their seats and gathered in front of the stage taking cell phone pictures and video. With the smoke machine in overdrive there was probably a lot of hazy shots.
View in Slideshow

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Guido Harari: A Primer In Pictures
Guido Harari: A Primer
by Guido Harari
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Ground Music Festival 2018 In Pictures
Ground Music Festival 2018
by Luciano Rossetti
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz) In Pictures
Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between...
by Frank Rubolino
Published: September 22, 2018
Read David Murray Trio at Sant'Anna Arresi Festival Jazz 2018 In Pictures
David Murray Trio at Sant'Anna Arresi Festival Jazz...
by Danilo Codazzi
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Charlie Parker Festival 2018 In Pictures
Charlie Parker Festival 2018
by Richard Conde
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Time in Jazz 2018 - Day Concerts In Pictures
Time in Jazz 2018 - Day Concerts
by Roberto Cifarelli
Published: September 15, 2018
Read "Jazz em Agosto 2018" In Pictures Jazz em Agosto 2018
by Petra Cvelbar
Published: August 17, 2018
Read "Tom Harrell at the Blue Note in Milan" In Pictures Tom Harrell at the Blue Note in Milan
by Roberto Cifarelli
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Guido Harari: A Primer" In Pictures Guido Harari: A Primer
by Guido Harari
Published: October 15, 2018
Read "Enrico Rava New Quartet at Artusi Jazz Winter 2018" In Pictures Enrico Rava New Quartet at Artusi Jazz Winter 2018
by Roberto Cifarelli
Published: February 28, 2018