JAZZ FEST INDEX - 2017 Rochester INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

Tommy Smith at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Tommy Smith is an Scottish gentleman who plays a gorgeous tenor sax. I don't mean his horn is particularly good looking, his tone is rich and warm and it sounded especially good in round opera hall. He played solo at the Lyric Theater this afternoon and it was everything you would want from a jazz performance. Melodic, rhythmic and moving.

Monty Alexander at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Back at Kilbourn for more Monty Alexander, this time in a trio setting. He had the same bass player as when we last heard them here, someone who has been with him for thirty years or so. And I think the drummer was a former Eastman student because after the show he addressed John Beck, the former head of the percussion department, as "Mr. Beck." With a rythmn section Monty is grounded. And when he is grounded he is more astonishing, melodically and rhythmically, in equal measure. He is so musically gifted and has such fun with it all it is pure joy to be a witness. Corny enough to quote the Flintstone theme mid song and get away with it. And he finished with a heart-wrenching version of "No Woman, No Cry." Monty gets our vote (again) for Best of the Fest.

Klabbesbank at Rochester International Jazz Festival

At the Lutheran Church we heard something other than jazz., Klabbesbank. Three horns up front playing arrangements on top of sequenced keyboard tracks. A guitar player and drummer played along.

Electric Kif at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Anthology was our last stop of the evening. Kind of amazing how loud this club is. There's a whole second row of speakers in the back of the club just so you can't possibly get away from the volume. Electric Kif is a little bit of everything, mostly over the top with it all. Too many gnarly keyboards for my taste and progressive with no ideas. The jazz fest slide show by the door was more interesting than the band.

photos by P Doddy - click photos to advance > next page >