Review Of The 2018 Jazz Festival At Beautiful Caramoor, Katonah, NY
Only a stone’s throw form the streaming hustle of the North-South corridor often known as Interstate 684, off exit 6 within the hamlet of Katonah, New York, lies the gorgeous Rosen Property, house of the Caramoor, a music and performing arts middle. Caramoor was so named after a earlier proprietor Caroline Moore Hoyt. However it was Walter and Lucie Rosen, cheap stone island hoodie who due to their love of music, became patrons of the musical arts and fostered performances on this most conducive of settings. They appointed this gorgeous bucolic ninety acre property for the expressed goal of enjoying music. In 1958 the Rosen’s opened the Venetian theater, a tented 1,600 seat outside stage, to the general public. Every season the venue presents some of probably the most exciting and culturally diverse musical performances offered anywhere. A part of the charm of this magical place is the manicured Italianate gardens, a stroll via which transforms you to a different place, with its bursting flora and manicured walkways. The general atmosphere is sublime.
Whereas Caramoor is known for its International sequence of music performances, featuring a number of the world’s best artist in the sphere of classical music, the weekend of August 5th by way of seventh was dedicated to jazz. Despite competing jazz festivals at each Litchfield and Newport occurring on the identical weekend, one could not ask for a more thrilling and contemporary collection of musical performers to choose from.
Friday evening featured the vibrant, Canadian born pianist Renee (pronounced Ree Nee) Rosnes within the Spanish Courtyard together with her own seasoned quartet of Steve Nelson on vibes, Victor Lewis on drums and Peter Washington on bass. Rosnes has performed with a myriad of veteran players together with trombonist J.J. Johnson, vibes grasp Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter to call a few.
I was fortunate sufficient to attend the Saturday night present which featured an eclectic group of performers. Producer Jim Luce ought to be applauded for bringing collectively a gumbo of musical tastes. This approach serves to open audiences to the myriad of potentialities throughout the broad jazz style. He properly selected to maintain this system various without succumbing to the temptation of together with artists higher recognized within the areas of pop or rock music. Lately the inclusion of these types of artists on “so-referred to as” jazz venues, has been utilized by different promoters as a automobile to sell more tickets at the expense of diluting what one would come to count on from a real jazz festival.
The times actions began out at three:00 pm with the Cuban troubadour and guitar player Juan-Carlos Formell. The group consisted of Formell on guitar and vocals, Lewis Kahn on trombone, Ricky Rodriguez on bass, Manuel Valera on piano and a percussionist whose name I did not catch. They presented a comfortable Latin inspired set of principally Formell compositions. The singer/guitarist has an appealing stage presence and his music affords a gentle, authethically Latin/island sway to it that’s infectious. Formell and company played with relish and managed to nicely heat up the late arriving crowd with their musicality and joyous congeniality.
The group grew in measurement as the expectation for the next group started to be felt in the air just like the electricity that raises the hair in your pores and skin before a serious storm. James Farm is a group of extremely gifted musicians whose recent self-titled album is a tour de drive. The group is comprised of Joshua Redman on tenor, Aaron Parks on piano, Matt Penman on Bass and the ubiquitous Eric Harland on drums. With such extraordinary musicianship it is little marvel that these guys create compelling music. While some groups seem to star one specific participant, James Farm has taken a collective approach that works wonderfully. Every musician is both virtuoso and composer in his own right and they have subdued their very own egos for the betterment of the musical message to great success.
The set started with the Penman’s composition “1981” A rhythmic piece that options a lyrical Parks on piano and Redman’s silky tenor. Penman’s bass strains drive the piece as Harland demonstrates he is as inventive a percussionist as you will note anywhere. They moved into Redman’s more jagged composition “If by Air.” Watching Redman on stage you get the felling he absorbs the pulse of the music into his musculature. His lean and elastic physique projects a wave of power that emits from his horn in complete thoughts/physique communion. When he solos it is like he’s excorcising his thoughts.
The group moves into the Aaron Parks introspective composition “Unravel.” The moody piece is demonstrative of this group’s effort to play as a cohesive unit with no actual showcase of individual expertise. Penman takes a considerate bass solo, however for the most part piano, bass and sax create a unified sound that is delicately complimented by Harland’s gossamer mallet and brush work.
“Polywog” is a Redman composition that has a fast paced beat that allowed the tenor man to provide considered one of his most explosive solos of the evening. Park’s “Chronos” features an ostinato bass line that allows Redman to explore vestiges of Middle Japanese music on the melody. Parks utilizes sweeping crescendos of sound together with his proper hand as his left hand relentlessly plays the repeating bass traces. Harland solos with a fusillade of explosive cracks, bombs and crashes.
On “Bijou,” one other Parks composition, we are handled to essentially the most melodic tune of the evening. Redman is especially lovely in his playing reaching the excessive register for poignancy without any anxiety. The group was mesmerized all through the set. The band left the stage and would make their option to Newport for a show the next evening. If a bunch will be categorized as all stars than James Farm actually proved they qualify for this moniker in every class.
The next performer was one who was new to me. The vocalist Jose James. James is originally from Minneapolis and attended the brand new College of Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC. He has performed with the pianist Junior Mance as effectively because the drummer Chico Hamilton. He possess a smoky baritone that jogs my memory of a cross between Gil Scot-Heron and Johnny Hartman. His delivery is an amalgam of conventional jazz vocal stylizing, wording and hip hop rap. For this evening he was joined by the talented guitarist Nir Felder, the keyboard artist Frank Lo Castro, the bassist Chris Smith and the drummer Nate Smith. Regardless of having to observe the powerhouse James Farm, Mr. James captured his audience’s attention with his mellow musings on the ballad “Save Your Love for Me” , made famous by the chanteuse Miss Nancy Wilson, which he performed beautifully. He followed with a tune dedication to John Coltrane where he deftly interjected some traces from Gil Scot-Heron’s “The Bottle” conjuring up pictures of the late poet/troubadour’s soulful baritone. On “Dedicated to You” James’ heat low register voice melted the gang like a pat of butter over steaming pancakes. A Mark Murphy impressed, rap-influenced version of Freddie Hubbard’s track “Crimson Clay” was a excessive gentle and featured a ripping guitar solo by the inventive Nir Felder. Mr. James’s lush voice and contemporary sound was fresh and for probably the most part entertaining. He is a younger artist who is to be watched.
The finale of the evening was the large band of the superlative bassist Christan McBride. McBride is at the moment one of many premier bassist of his technology having played with some of the most influential musicians of the final two a long time. His joyous approach to the instrument has made him the bassist of selection for many notable artists from Sting to Chick Corea.. Stone Island Clothes Having performed at Caramoor last yr with Roy Haynes, Chick Corea and Kenny Garrett, he selected this yr to use the acquainted Caramoor stage to debut his Christian McBride 17 piece huge band. For this difficult endeavor McBride was aided by a supporting solid that includes a trumpet part made up of Narate Isles, Frank Greene, Mike Rodriguez and Brandon Lee. His Trombone part consists of Mike Dease, Steve Davis, James Burton II and Douglas Purviance. The saxophone section included Ron Blake, Loren Schoenberg, Todd Bashore, Steve Wilson and Carl Maraghi. Xavier Davis is featured on piano, with young Ben Williams seconding on bass and Ulysses Owens Jr. dealing with drum duties. The band additionally featured McBride’s spouse Melissa Walker on vocals.
The band played to a now full house as the rain began to pour outside. Nobody was involved. They started the set with “Shake & Bake” and “Broadway.” McBride instructed the group an anecdote about James Brown’s penchant for calling people “Brother Mister,” which turned the name of the next composition. Younger Ben Williams was introduced on bass as McBride jumped from his upright to conducting the band. Saxophonist Steve Wilson performed an exquisite soprano solo and trumpeter Brandon Lee soared. McBride”s spouse Melisa Walker got here out to do ” Once i Fall in Love.” McBride introduced the subsequent track “A Taste of Honey,” made famous by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, to the acknowledgment of the group.
The next music was titled “Science Fiction” and McBride used a pleasant arrangement of flutes and bass clarinet in the mix. The bassist performed an incredible solo on his upright double bass that was technically brilliant.It was simple to see he has few equals on his instrument. McBride creates a large and imposing presence on stage, but when he decide ups his bass he’s as facile as a wood sprite dancing by way of a forest. Alto saxophonist Todd Bashore tore it up for a full four minute solo that was a highlight of the evening.
The second set included “Blues within the Asphalt Metropolis” with a effective trombone solo by Steve Davis and a song devoted to pianist Cedar Walton ” Shade of the Cedar Tree.” Singer Melissa Walker sang “The More I need You” and did a barely corny duet with hubby McBride on his bass on “Just in Time.” The finale was a barn burner titled “In a Hurray” which aptly moved at great neck pace, testing the cohesiveness of the large ensemble. The McBride massive band was a success with the Caramoor audience and it was good to see that competent massive bands nonetheless have their appeal to astute audiences.
Whereas I was unable to attend the Sunday present, it featured another thrilling line up with artists including guitarist John Scofield, pianist/producer Robert Glasper’s group and pianist Jason Moran’s Bandwagon. Bravo to impressario Jim Luce for such an unimaginable line up.The Rosen’s can be proud. For individuals who missed this 12 months’s performances might I strongly suggest you plan to attend subsequent year at this wonderful music friendly venue.