144

Sedona Jazz on the Rocks 2006

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
The 2006 edition of Sedona Jazz on the Rocks was also its 25th anniversary festival.
Sedona Jazz on the Rocks
Sedona, AZ
September 21-24, 2006

When it comes to jazz in Arizona, nothing rocks quite like Sedona, at least every September. And the state's premiere jazz festival manages to make its presence felt throughout the state year-round.
The 2006 edition of Sedona Jazz on the Rocks was also its 25th anniversary festival. Organizers added more musical punch to the weekend, which drew an estimated 4,000 attendees to the festival, located in one of America's spectacularly beautiful natural wonders.
No matter which direction you turn, you're likely to see several of the many huge red sandstone rock formations and mesas that dominate the landscape in and around the city. They are remarkable and very different from the vistas of the Grand Canyon, which is less than two hours away. If you're a jazz fan, love to hike or take "can't miss photographs, Sedona is a dream destination.

This year's festival opened with pianist Benny Green's trio featuring Carl Allen and John Webber in a Friday evening indoor concert at the Sedona Creative Life Center and continued with a 10 am to 6 pm outdoor main event on the grounds of the Radisson Poco Diablo Resort. That eight-hour stretch (plus a Billy Mitchell-led jam session that followed) included hour-long sets by singers René Marie and Barbara Morrison, saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera's quintet, contemporary guitarist Earl Klugh and blues singer/guitarist Doug MacLeod, who has appeared at Sedona nine times. It wound down with a Sunday brunch at the Sedona Hilton Resort in the neighboring village of Oak Creek that featured singer Melissa Walker with pianist Makoto Ozone, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Clarence Penn.

Morrison's saucy blues had the crowd up dancing in front of the main stage (she joined them - singing and dancing on the lawn through half of one tune). One highlight was when she brought pianist Mitchell to the stage for "I've Got My Mojo Working —complete with a New Orleans shuffle beat and the swaying accompaniment of hundreds of waving white handkerchiefs. Mitchell's main stage appearance on Saturday gave Morrison a chance to acknowledge him for first bringing her to Sedona.

D'Rivera's set featured a Dizzy Gillespie tribute segment that started with the poignant "A Night in Englewood (which D'Rivera wrote the night Gillespie died) and continued with '"Round Midnight and "A Night in Tunisia with a few segue licks of "Salt Peanuts for good measure. Trumpeter Diego Urcola was featured on "Blue Tango —one of his originals.

René Marie opened the day with Nina Simone's "Feeling Good on what was a sunny, breezy morning, mixing standards and more personal material.

Green opened the weekend with a set that stuck closely to the American Songbook and jazz standards, offered with his usual blend of humility and unbridled joy. Three treats included his takes on Randy Weston's "Hi-Fly , Charlie Parker's "Anthropology , Michel LeGrand's "Pieces of Dreams and—of all things—a jazz romp through the "Theme from Bewitched .

Walker's closing sets showed the degree to which the singer is very much a cool, vocal storyteller. Tops were "Return to Me , "Forget Him , a Gary Bartz arrangement of "Miss Otis Regrets and "Mr. Bojangles —with the latter included, Walker said, because life is a dance.

This year's festival added a second stage for performances by the festival's youth band and allstars between main stage sets. The Saturday festival event is a benefit to raise funds for jazz education. Education Director Susannah Martin said Sedona Jazz on the Rocks has awarded scholarship totaling more than $250,000 to more than 150 Arizona youth to attend Berklee College of Music summer programs in Boston and Los Angeles since 1992.

"It's all about creating a new generation of musicians to keep this music going for another thousand years, Martin said. In other words, to keep it timeless, just like the rocks of Sedona. The effort was not lost on the performers. Klugh, who also performed as a special guest with Billy Mitchell's trio at a more intimate Thursday night jazz party, donated his performance fee for the weekend toward Sedona's scholarships. He wasn't the first appearing musician to do so—and likely won't be the last.

Photo Credit
Ken Franckling


Shop

More Articles

Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read Kronos Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Howard Riley and Keith Tippett at Pizza Express" Live Reviews Howard Riley and Keith Tippett at Pizza Express
by Duncan Heining
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "The Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews The Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Flux at Constellation" Live Reviews Quinsin Nachoff's Flux at Constellation
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Craig Handy Quartet at Sunset Jazz Club" Live Reviews Craig Handy Quartet at Sunset Jazz Club
by Patricia Myers
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall" Live Reviews Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!