Evaluation Of The 2018 Jazz Festival At Beautiful Caramoor, Katonah, NY
Just a stone’s throw kind the streaming hustle of the North-South corridor known as Interstate 684, off exit 6 within the hamlet of Katonah, New York, lies the attractive Rosen Estate, home of the Caramoor, a music and performing arts middle. Caramoor was so named after a earlier owner Caroline Moore Hoyt. But it surely was Walter and Lucie Rosen, who because of their love of music, grew to become patrons of the musical arts and fostered performances in this most conducive of settings. They appointed this gorgeous bucolic 90 acre estate for the expressed function of having fun with music. In 1958 the Rosen’s opened the Venetian theater, a tented 1,600 seat outside stage, to the general public. Each season the venue presents some of the most thrilling and culturally various musical performances supplied wherever. 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 overall ambiance is sublime.
While Caramoor is thought for its International sequence of music performances, that includes among the world’s best artist in the sphere of classical music, the weekend of August fifth via seventh was dedicated to jazz. Despite competing jazz festivals at both Litchfield and Newport occurring on the identical weekend, one could not ask for a more thrilling and contemporary number of musical performers to choose from.
Friday night featured the vibrant, Canadian born pianist Renee (pronounced Ree Nee) Rosnes within the Spanish Courtyard with her personal seasoned quartet of Steve Nelson on vibes, Victor Lewis on drums and Peter Washington on bass. Rosnes has performed with a myriad of veteran gamers including giacca invernale stone island trombonist J.J. Johnson, vibes master Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter to call a couple of.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Saturday evening present which featured an eclectic group of performers. Producer Jim Luce ought to be applauded for bringing together a gumbo of musical tastes. This approach serves to open audiences to the myriad of possibilities within the broad jazz genre. He properly chose to keep the program various with out succumbing to the temptation of together with artists higher recognized within the areas of pop or rock music. Recently the inclusion of most of these artists on “so-referred to as” jazz venues, has been used by other promoters as a car to promote extra tickets at the expense of diluting what one would come to count on from a real jazz festival.
The days activities started 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 title I did not catch. They introduced a snug Latin impressed set of largely Formell compositions. The singer/guitarist has an appealing stage presence and his music presents a gentle, authethically Latin/island sway to it that’s infectious. Formell and firm played with relish and managed to nicely warm up the late arriving crowd with their musicality and joyous congeniality.
The gang grew in size as the expectation for the subsequent group began to be felt in the air just like the electricity that raises the hair in your skin before a major storm. James Farm is a gaggle of extraordinarily gifted musicians whose recent self-titled album is a tour de power. 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 surprise that these guys create compelling music. While some teams seem to star one specific player, James Farm has taken a collective strategy that works wonderfully. Every musician is each virtuoso and composer in his own proper and they have subdued their very own egos for the betterment of the musical message to nice success.
The set began with the Penman’s composition “1981” A rhythmic piece that features a lyrical Parks on piano and Redman’s silky tenor. Penman’s bass strains drive the piece as Harland demonstrates he’s as creative a percussionist as you will see anywhere. They moved into Redman’s extra 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 vitality that emits from his horn in complete thoughts/body 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 particular person expertise. Penman takes a considerate bass solo, however for probably 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 quick paced beat that allowed the tenor man to supply certainly one of his most explosive solos of the evening. Park’s “Chronos” options an ostinato bass line that permits Redman to explore vestiges of Center Eastern music on the melody. Parks utilizes sweeping crescendos of sound with his proper hand as his left hand relentlessly performs the repeating bass traces. Harland solos with a fusillade of explosive cracks, bombs and crashes.
On “Bijou,” another Parks composition, we are handled to probably the most melodic music of the evening. Redman is especially beautiful in his playing reaching the high register for poignancy without any anxiety. The gang was mesmerized throughout the set. The band left the stage and would make their approach to Newport for a present the following evening. If a group could be categorized as all stars than James Farm certainly proved they qualify for this moniker in each class.
The subsequent performer was one who was new to me. The vocalist Jose James. James is originally from Minneapolis and attended the new Faculty of Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC. He has performed with the pianist Junior Mance as properly 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 night he was joined by the proficient 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 viewers’s consideration together with his mellow musings on the ballad “Save Your Love for Me” , made well-known by the chanteuse Miss Nancy Wilson, which he performed beautifully. He adopted with a tune dedication to John Coltrane where he deftly interjected some lines from Gil Scot-Heron’s “The Bottle” conjuring up photographs of the late poet/troubadour’s soulful baritone. On “Devoted to You” James’ heat low register voice melted the gang like a pat of butter over steaming pancakes. A Mark Murphy inspired, rap-influenced version of Freddie Hubbard’s track “Purple 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 essentially the most part entertaining. He’s a young artist who’s to be watched.
The finale of the evening was the big band of the superlative bassist Christan McBride. McBride is at the moment one of many premier bassist of his technology having performed with some of essentially the most influential musicians of the final two a long time. His joyous method 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 chose this year to make use giacca invernale stone island of the acquainted Caramoor stage to debut his Christian McBride 17 piece large band. For this difficult endeavor McBride was aided by a supporting cast that includes a trumpet part made up of Narate Isles, Frank Greene, Mike Rodriguez and Brandon Lee. His Trombone section includes 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. handling drum duties. The band also featured McBride’s spouse Melissa Walker on vocals.
The band performed to a now full home as the rain began to pour outside. No one was concerned. They started the set with “Shake & Bake” and “Broadway.” McBride informed the crowd an anecdote about James Brown’s penchant for calling individuals “Brother Mister,” which grew to become the title of the subsequent composition. Young Ben Williams was introduced on bass as McBride jumped from his upright to conducting the band. Saxophonist Steve Wilson played a beautiful soprano solo and trumpeter Brandon Lee soared. McBride”s spouse Melisa Walker came out to do ” When i Fall in Love.” McBride launched the following track “A Taste of Honey,” made well-known by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, to the acknowledgment of the gang.
The subsequent track was titled “Science Fiction” and McBride used a nice arrangement of flutes and bass clarinet in the combination. The bassist played an incredible solo on his upright double bass that was technically good.It was easy to see he has few equals on his instrument. McBride creates a wide and imposing presence on stage, however when he decide ups his bass he’s as facile as a wooden sprite dancing through a forest. Alto saxophonist Todd Bashore tore it up for a full four minute solo that was a spotlight of the night.
The second set included “Blues in the Asphalt City” with a superb trombone solo by Steve Davis and a tune devoted to pianist Cedar Walton ” Shade of the Cedar Tree.” Singer Melissa Walker sang “The More I want You” and did a slightly corny duet with hubby McBride on his bass on “Simply in Time.” The finale was a barn burner titled “In a Hurray” which aptly moved at great neck speed, testing the cohesiveness of the massive ensemble. The McBride big band was a success with the Caramoor viewers and it was good to see that competent big bands nonetheless have their enchantment to astute audiences.
Whereas I used to be unable to attend the Sunday show, it featured one other thrilling line up with artists together with 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 would be proud. For many who missed this year’s performances may I strongly recommend you plan to attend next year at this glorious music friendly venue.