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Portland Jazz Festival 2008

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Scofield-heavy influence served the space conveniently in this regard, and certainly recalls in style and group concept the Scofield-Larry Goldings-Bill Stewart model, though his lines and especially tone also showed Pat Metheny not to mention Wes Montgomery have left an impact. Mitchell provided much more musical meat when he set his electric keyboard to the sound of a Hammond B3, and their performances of "Venus" (from Balmer's second album with Gary Versace and Matt Wilson), and "Thanksgiving" (the title track to his latest) served as set highlights.

Nastos additionally played on several other PDX Jazz occasions, one of which was with drummer Russ Kleiner's group at one of Portland's fine watering holes, the Tugboat (which boasts one of the city's friendliest bar tenders). Vocalist Mario DePriest performed with the at-times Tyner-esque Jof Lee (piano), Ed Bennett (bass) and the economical and tasteful Ron Steen (drums), in a tribute to DePriest's father, Akbar, a one-time fixture on the Portland jazz scene who was honored before the music started for his significant contributions to Portland jazz.

Then there were the several late nights that featured jam sessions hosted by members of the Portland Jazz Orchestra such as at Ace The Cleaners. Saxophonist Joshua Redman sold out Crystal Ballroom and played the National Anthem at a Portland Trailblazers basketball game. Diatic and Seattle-based Origin Records both had multi-night label showcases, and February 22nd was declared "Nancy King Day" by Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard at a luncheon to commemorate the day the Portland vocalist performed at Newmark Theater. Anat Cohen (in her Portland debut) and Maceo Parker, attracted large audiences, closing out the final days of PDX Jazz 2008, a festival that will surely draw even heavier numbers and more attention in the shape of jazz to come in years ahead.

Photo Credit
Ornette Coleman by (c) R. Andrew Lepley Photography
David Ornette Cherry by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Cuong Vu by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Tim Berne/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver by Laurence Donohue-Greene
The Bad Plus by (c) R. Andrew Lepley Photography
Rob Scheps/Glen Moore by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Cecil Taylor (c) R. Andrew Lepley Photography
Margaret Slovak by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Classical Jazz Quartet by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Brent Jensen, John Bishop, et.al. by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Mel Brown Septet by Laurence Donohue-Greene
Dan Balmer Trio by Laurence Donohue-Greene

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