Jean Michel Pilc at Rochester International Jazz Festival

What Is It About The French? Jean Michel Pilc kept reminding me of Pete LaBonne, both in his playing and his manner, read understated wit. The self-taught pianist has a book on improvisation too, out of print. We picked one up at the show for a song.

Nicholas Payton at Rochester International Jazz Festival

New Orleans' trumpeter Nicholas Payton at Kilbourn was surprise. His playing was featured in Robert Altman's film, Kansas City, but we didn't expect his singing. He is not the strongest but that is the charm. He pulled off a mid-seventies style soft soul tune from his love song album, "Bitches," and a few slippery jazz numbers. He played samples from his phone which was mounted to his mic stand and he led the crowd in a "Jazz is a Four Letter Word" chant. His father, the bassist Walter Payton, played on Lee Dorsey's "Working in the Coal Mine." Those New Orleans routes showed in the amazing drum intro and bass solo in his song, "I Want To Stay In Mew Orleans."

Street musician at Rochester International Jazz Festival

This fellow was sitting in the middle of Main Street playing the top of a steel drum. He sounded great and had the composure to pose for me while he was playing.

Maciej Obara Quartet at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Maciej Obara Quartet at the Lutheran Church took off in a high flying frenzy and didn't bring it down for twenty minutes. But when they did it was a really beautiful landing. Bowed bass and brushes and clean rhythms. Obara is is really melodic player. They proceeded to take us on a another wild ride, something resembling a car chase. They were cinematic in the I found myself lost in some action movie.

Miles Electric Band at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Richard Patterson played bass with Miles in in eighties. I think he was the bass player when we saw Miles at the FLPAC. He holds up the big fort of the Miles Electric Band even though the project was put together by drummer Vince Wilburn. Dedicated to Miles later work, I wish they would have stuck to "Bitches Brew", "On The Corner" and "Get Up With It," my personal favorites but who's complaining. Although downtown was packed we were able to find a place down front for "Time After Time" and "Guinnever.". This was the perfect festival band.

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