Newport Jazz Festival 2016

July 29-31, 2016 Newport Jazz. Coltrane’s last performance. History that reaches back to 1954. And, yes, the oldest annual jazz festival in North America is still under the stewardship of founder George Wein for one last year. Newport, along with the Monterey Jazz Festival on the West Coast in September, stands taller than the rest and for good reason. The stunning Ft. Adams setting, the showcase for fresh directions and emerging acts, and the legacy of musical giants past and present all converge for an event that has long been on my jazz bucket list. Having the good fortune to drop in at Newport Folk the past few years, this was my first shot at Newport Jazz, which retains the stage layout from the previous week’s Folk Fest. The smallest tent is barely more than a dozen rows deep, while the largest stage is set against a backdrop of breathtaking bay and bridge views. Both events are incredibly relaxed and attendance is capped at 10K, creating one of the more intimate festival experiences of any year. Sure, the crowd and vibe skew differently between weekends, but damn if jazz isn’t alive and well in the Northeast, and a younger Millenial […]
May 23
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: Abner Ramirez, accordion, Acura Stage, Alabama Shakes, Alejandro Escovedo, Alex McMurray, Allen Toussaint, Alynda Lee Seggara, Amanda Sudano, Americana, Anders Beck, Anders Osborne, Arcade Fire, Astral Project, Avett Brother, B-3, Baritone Bliss, baritone sax, Bernard Allison, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Big Freedia, Big Sam Williams, Bill Nershi, Blodie's, Blues Tent, Bombino, Bonerama, Boz Scaggs, Brittany Howard, Casandra Faulconer, Chaka Khan, Chick Corea, Christina Aguillera, Chuck D, Cody Dickinson, concert photography, Congo Square, Cowboy Mouth, Creedence Clearwater, Dan Oestreicher, David Shaw, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, E Street, Ed Williams, Eric Clapton, ES-335, Eye on the Music, Ezra Koenig, Fender guitar, Flavor Fav, Fred LeBlanc, Gal Holiday, Galactic, George Porter, Glen David Andrews, Greensky Bluegrass, Gregory Davis, Gregory Porter, Henry Butler, Honey Island Swamp Band, Hooray for the Riff Raff, Infamous Stringdusters, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville, James Si, Jason Isbell, Jazz Fest, Jazz Tent, Jimmy Buffet, Joe Krown, John Boutte, John Fogerty, John Fohl, John Hiatt, John Thomas Griffith, Johnny Sansone, Johnny Vidacovich, JOHNNYSWIM, Jonathon Boogie Long, Keb Mo, Lakland, Laura Mvula, Led Zeppelin, Liam Tyson, Lil' Nathan, Little Freddie King, Lonnie Smith, Luther Dickinson, Lyle Lovett, Maggie Koerner, Marcia Ball, music photography, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans music, New Orleans Suspects, Nikki Glaspie, North Mississippi Allstars, Patry, Paul Languedoc, pedal steel, Pharoah Sanders, Phish, Public Enemy, Quint Davis, Raul Malo, Reggie Scanlon, riti, Robert Earl Keen, Robert Plant, rock photography, Rodriguez, Roger Lewis, Roosevelt Collier, Runnin' Pardners, Russ Broussard, Russell Batiste, Samsung Galaxy Stage, Santana, Sensational Space Shifters, slide guitar, Soul Rebels, Southeastern, Springsteen, Stanton Moore, Stratocaster, String Cheese Incident, Sugarman, Tab Benoit, Terence Blanchard, The Mavericks, The Meters, The Nevilles, The Radiators, The Revivalists, The Wailers, Threadhead Records, Tom Morello, Tony Hall, Trey Anastasio, trombone, Trombone Shorty, Vampire Weekend, Voice of the Wetlands, Walter Wolfman Washington, Wayne Toups, Win Butler, World Boogie, Zachary Richard, zydeco, Zyedcajun

Reflections of a Wandering Jazz Fest Photographer

Years come and go. Jazz Fests do not. They endure. Each seemingly better than the last. Each its own indelible stamp on the soul. Jazz Fest 45 had everything going for it and, man, it did not disappoint. From the time the lineup dropped in January and headliner after headliner brought smiles, to the days of Fest without a drop of rain and temps in the 70s and 80s, to the ensuing butter and crawfish withdrawl, Fest 45 delivered. The big moments were big – Springsteen and New Orleans deepening their love affair, an epic crowd for Clapton, Phish’s return after 18 years and Robert Plant flashing some legend. But the small moments were big, too. Kindness spread generously throughout the Fair Grounds for seven days and musicians who were on stage one day would be roaming around the next. Locals Johnny Sansone, Irvin Mayfield and James Singleton were regularly spotted throughout the Fest. Photographer and fan frequently collide within me. Call it an occupational hazard. Stay on task, cover ground, hit my stages. But sometimes, you gotta just put the gear down and take it all in. I actually managed to do that (a little). I’ve come to the […]

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette, Catalina Bar and Grill

May 15, 2012 It’s been said that Los Angeles is a tough jazz town. New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago all have thriving jazz scenes in vibrant urban settings. Los Angeles, with its diasporadic lifestyle and geography, requires the jazz enthusiast to turn seeker. Rarely are things stumbled upon. The displacement of the Jazz Bakery last year was another (temporary) blow, so with a few newcomers and a handful of others who keep the faithful coming, Catalina’s Bar and Grill has always loomed large. For good reason. When jazz royalty pays a visit, the devoted must rise. Such is the case with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette spending the better part of a week here, and two shows nightly at 6725 Sunset Boulevard. This is a constellation of VSOP proportions. I’ve posted on the life altering effect RTF had on my young and evolving mind, when the reunion tour hit the Greek last September. The chance to see Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke in a straight ahead trio with the soon to be 70 Jack DeJohnette was/is not to be missed.   Drumming greats must share some cosmic mixologist. The elixir that keeps Roy Haynes swinging in his […]

Return to Forever IV, Greek Theater

September 20, 2011 There are only so many seminal musical moments in one’s life, and the first time I saw Return to Forever live was one of them.  I felt as if my head cracked open and exploded from the inside.  But I digress. As a teen of the 70s, I was drawn (without explanation) to artists signed to Manfred Eicher’s ECM (e.g., Edition of Contemporary Music) label.  It wasn’t just the stunning zen like imagery on the cover of every pressing.  And I was probably still too young to fully appreciate the unprecedented freedom Eicher the producer afforded his international roster of artists any time they entered the studio.  Still, something about the utter musical liberation completely unmoored from tradition and the mainstream got its hooks into me.  Even if some of the music was so arcane and outside to my ears, I took pride in my ability, if not patience, to expose myself to such intellectual pursuits that aimed straight for the head.  I didn’t read Kerouac or Ginsberg (at least until later), I listened to Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal.  This from a kid who had been spinning Zeppelin, the Allmans, the Who, the Stones and anything […]