Edmonton International Jazz Festival: Bravo... Keep up the good work. One of the best for our Edmonton Audiences. I'd like to go to more shows too !! I took in a night with Al Muirhead's group. This was a great show and an example of some good creative bebop stuff. Let's face it, can you go wrong with our great Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Kodi Hutchinson and Tyler Hornby? It was a lively honestly good time. It is terribly difficult to compliment these guys because the humility is built in to the playing. After much protestation at the end of the gig from Tommy as I tried to compliment and praise his playing, I simply had to point out a few of the details of his playing in Joy Spring for example... his answer: "That's a nice tune" ..perfect... Tommy did a spot with Al, and PJ and played a left hand bass line that was so 'up' (whew !!:) that all band members took notice and dug in even harder, It put a smile on this writer's face
I took in the Bobby McFerrin show and was entertained and moved by much that I heard. A very brave and loose format that really involved the audience almost like a workshop at times what with him doing a call and response thing with the audience. For a proper review on this I recommend Roger Levesque's review in the Edmonton Journal !! Yes it is Spirit You All !!
I had the occasion to go to the Jam at Britanny's Lounge (behind the Winspear) where PJ was holding forth and the place was packed with musicians of all stripes and instruments and the playing, wether PJ's or 4 or 5 of the upcoming Lions of the jazz saxophone, gets better and better ... The future for jazz music and this festival gets better and better.
I'd like to mention that at least 2 other private venues should be credited and supported for their participation in the Jazz Fest: The Blue Chair (sheepishly) I did a trio show there last year and am playing with my trio in the Sunday brunch loop there once in a while [This Sunday June 29 with the trio]. The Blue Chair also hosted the Global TV spot on Monday morning (Global Edmonton On Line). So bravo to The Blue Chair.
Special mention goes to Jeffrey's Wine Bar who has consistently featured music throughout the year and gives exposure and a venue for jazz music and especially to upcoming jazz players and singers..
OK everyone that is my humble report !! Tonight I'm going to hear PJ/Brittany's (PJ should not be missed at anytime) and then the phenomenal Joel Miller and his group... If you want energy, brilliant musical ideas, a little bit of humor, and some absolute KILLER musicianship I urge you to go to the Yardbird tonight and take in at least one set there. Joel Miller is awesome (on fire) !!