Jane Bunnett and Marqueque at Rochester International Jazz Festival

We heard Canadian Jane Bunnett, who plays soprano sax and flute, at the very Jazz Festival seventeen years ago and we've heard her a few times since, always playing with Cuban musicians. Tonight the band was also all women, on piano, bass drums and percussion. She explores all varieties of traditional Cuban music in a jazz setting and her shows are always joyous.

Ikonostasis at Rochester International Jazz Festival

The soulful singer, Solveig Slettahjell, with the Norwegian band, Trail of Souls, puts a Cowboy Junkies spin on both American and European traditional blues and country. Her beautiful voice and the choice guitar parts added by guitarist Knut Reiersrud bring the backing trio, know separately as In The Country, to life. But just barely and that's what makes it interesting. The band seems uninterested in melodic and rhythmic counterpoint. The sparse players worked well with the room's hollow ambience.

red, White and Blues Band at Rochester International Jazz Festival

I really wanted to like the English soul singer, Zara Mcfarlane. We looked at the 45s they had for sale at the merch table and I was ready to snap one up if I liked the band. The big Christ Church hall was not the right room for them. They might have sounded better in a small club, a setting where there no be as much focus on the singers voice.

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