Tanglewood Jazz Festival 2009, Lenox, MA

R.J. DeLuke By

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Standards like Gershwin's "Summertime" and Porter's "Night and Day" and "Just One of Those Things" are known to all, but her band did offbeat arrangements that freshened them and made them more of their generation. Edmonson's attractive phrasing made them atypical enough without losing the general flavor and appeal of the songs. "Night and Day" had a driving pop/rock beat, but her voice adroitly slithered around the rhythms. She couldn't overpower it and didn't try to. Good choices. A fine addition to the group was the presence of John Ellis on sax, who can play in jazz or beyond-jazz veins (see his work with Charlie Hunter) and he brought just the right garnish to each song.

Young violinist Ben Powell, born in the united Kingdom and recent graduate of the Berklee College of music, played a swinging set. He comes out of Stephane Grappelli in style and has plenty of technique (his father was a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and his mother is a violin teacher) and a great sense of swing. His attack is clear and precise. The material included Kern's "I Won't Dance," "Opportunity" and "Tournesol," and it had a toe-tapping ease and enjoyable quality to it.

Another fine few days for jazz in the Berkshire Mountains.


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