Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summer... So Far

Some musical highlights so far...

Sonny Rollins at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival – After seeing Rollins perhaps a dozen times over the years, I finally caught him on one of those nights (one of those sets, actually) when he seems like he can scale tall buildings. I haven't figured out the cause-and-effect equation yet, but I was happy to experience this in a place where the audience responded with equal passion.

Kathleen Edwards at the Cisco Systems Bluesfest – When someone becomes a "star" it can become difficult to see the transition when you live in the performer's hometown. Appearing on one of the Bluesfest's main stages, Edwards left no doubt why she's now a major concert draw around the world.

Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival – Seven days on tour, playing inside a basketball arena, and this band still plays the hell out of Schneider's gorgeous book of compositions.

And a few highlights within concerts: Including Herbie Hancock's acoustic solo at his performance in Ottawa; Eric Harland's terrific stickwork on his hi-hat during Charles Lloyd's concert in Spain; and the gusto Bettye LaVette brings to the stage.

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