10 Best Things About Day Two of the Newport Jazz Festival

1. Before launching into his set proper, Miguel Zenon warming up on his alto with the head to Sonny Rollins’ “John S” – an aside that begged to be followed through.

2. The day after Louis Armstrong’s birthday, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire generating a clarion disturbance during the “dare-you-to-look-away” set-starter, “Richard.” 

3. During a set with Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, Scott Robinson getting a sound out of his sax that didn’t scan like a bari, tenor, alto or C Melody that I’ve ever heard – let’s hear it for singular tone!

4. The unison glide used by the 3 Cohens to swoop back into Ellington’s theme for “The Mooche” after letting pianist Aaron Goldberg have some very productive wiggle room. 

5. The mix of precision and esprit brought to bear on Fletcher Henderson’s “Stampede” by Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks. Every inflection and nuance was accounted for while still making the music crackle.

6. Gretchen Parlato’s use of a shaker during her duet with guitarist Lionel Loueke. It barely made a sound, but its heartbeat rhythm bordered on orchestral.

7. Kurt Elling mouthing the words and swaying in place from the audience as Jason Moran’s Bandwagon spun the Eddie Jefferson recording of “Body and Soul.” 

8. Rudresh Mahanthappa’s obvious glee during a scalding solo by drummer Rudy Royston during a set by the saxophonist’s Samdhi group. 

9. Dan Weiss’s tabla intro birthing the swell of the melody lines at the start of Gil Evans’ “Punjab” during the performance by Ryan Truesdell’s Centennial Project.

10. The grin on audience member Marshall Crenshaw’s face as Kurt Elling provided a puckish reading of Kenneth Pachen’s “Job” during the set by John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet + 1. 

+ one extra, take from the NPR archive…

11. The counterpoint groove on the Malian “Jara Bi” concocted by guitarist Bill Frisell and violinist Jenny Scheinman during their early morning duet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s