What a gas it was seeing Chico Hamilton play drums at 89 years of age. He was around when the hi-hat was invented. His band recaptured that 50’s west coast sound, both mellow and slinky. Chico’s “Original Ellington Suite” lp with Eric Dolphy is one of my favorite albums and it was a real treat to see him live.
Over at the Lutheran Church Jack Garner introduced Jonas Kullhammar by thanking the Church for bringing a different kind of spirituality to its chambers.He said, “Sometimes the most beautiful prayer is a sax solo.”. Right on!
Jonas Kullhammar was even better in church. The band took a trip to Niagara Falls and the House of Guitars between dates here and they had dinner at Dinosaur Bar BQ. They dig into tunes like Coltrane’s band did, the ballads too, and they go all out. The drummer did an amazing solo on his cymbals. This Swedish band puts their own stamp on this formerly American idiom and make it exciting. These guys are the best band at the fest and we haven’t even heard the rest.
The Andrey Razin & Second Approach Trio over at Montage was small but mighty. These three stock Russians came off like siblings putting on a performance for their family. Lucky us, we were invited and we sat right up front at a table with Hal, Tom Burke and Barbara Fox, Brian Peterson and Tom and Paul Brandwein. Second Approach mixed opera and jazz and cartoon music. Nothing was lost in translation. The vocalists does not sing in any language but music. They were not just wacky, they dove into uncharted WTF territory. They are performing again tonight at the Xerox Auditorium.
More photos can be found on The Refrigerator. Click on this year’s jazz pass.