Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Bill Henderson - Street Of Dreams
Label: Discovery Records - DS-802 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: US • Genre: Jazz •
Saturday's Litchfield Jazz Festival main stage events drew to a close with a highly contagious celebration of the music's New Orleans roots, affectionately spread to the delirious crowd by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Audience members jammed onstage to dance and clap along with the euphoric polyphony of "When the Saints Go Marching In. Preservation Hall's multigenerational septet is a class act, well-rehearsed and well-dressed.
On this hot, muggy day, they were the only musicians who wore suits and ties. But Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Bill Henderson - Street Of Dreams didn't stop them from parading through the concert venue in rocking, second-line style. At the other end of the sonic spectrum, Cuban-born drummer Dafnis Prieto opened the day's concerts with pan-ethnic explorations that offered glimpses into jazz music's future.
His Si o Si Quartet imbued each of Prieto's compositions with superb interplay and impassioned solo turns. Since arriving in the U. On Saturday, he demonstrated his fluency in a variety of percussive languages.
Although Afro-Cuban influences abounded, his tunes offered many unique twists and turns. For instance, "Seven by Seven" began with Manuel Valero's eerie synthesizer drone, accented by Prieto's exquisitely subtle cymbal textures. Valero then switched to melodica, stating the lovely theme in unison with saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, also playing melodica here. Bassist Charles Flores followed with ruminative pizzicato work. Flores, a longtime Hartford resident, is also a native of Cuba. Prieto concluded his set with "Trio Absolute," which he introduced alone, scat-singing in a very percussive fashion while laying down a searing samba groove on claves.
Apfelbaum stepped forward, maintaining the same rhythm on Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Bill Henderson - Street Of Dreams while the leader shifted momentum to his trap kit. His three compatriots joined forces for one final blast of rhythmic fury.
Sadly, much of the musical detail was lost during climactic moments like this one because the stage had to be moved into the Kent School hockey rink on Friday. The grounds near the music tent had flooded after a rainstorm. Festival organizers did the best they could under the circumstances, but the hangar-like building wasn't conducive Someone To Hold (Johnny Vicious Hard Mix) - Veronica - Veronica quality concert sound, nor was it well-ventilated.
This was especially unfortunate, given all the anticipation about the festival's new site after 13 years at the Goshen Fairgrounds. The sound crew worked hard to compensate for the difficulties, and by midafternoon, the acoustics had significantly improved.
Trio da Paz, returning after an outstanding Litchfield appearance, brought guest Brazilian vocalist Leny Andrade with them this time. Unfortunately, both she and acoustic guitarist Romero Lubambo had to struggle to be properly heard in the boomy environs of the hockey rink.
But they performed admirably, especially on their perky interpretation of "Influenca do Jazz" by Carlos Lyra. Andrade also put her own sultry stamp on several Antonio Carlos Jobim standards.
Both men are masters of their instruments, trombone and bass, respectively. However, for this project, they chose to sing as well. New Yorker Deluxe - Steve Stoll Presents The Blunted Boy Wonder - Innuendo each lacked in vocal technique, he made up for in emotive quality. Therefore, while Leonhart's take on "Surry with the Fringe on Top" Get Up N Dance - Various - Scrooged (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) win any vocal awards, his expressiveness - and the way he scatted against Gordon's brass punctuation - commanded attention.
Even more mesmerizing were his double-muted escapades during "Freedom Jazz Dance," Eddie Harris' jazz hit, with clever lyrics by Leonhart.
Pianist Benny Green and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli were on next; they presented a seductive series of duets. Pizzarelli is nearly 40 years older than Green, but the two exhibited the kind of uncanny compatibility one associates with identical twins.
Part of their success must be attributed to how carefully they appeared to listen to each other. One would usually be beaming or nodding approval while his partner soloed. Bill Henderson spent many years in Hollywood working as an actor, so he's not nearly as well known as other jazz vocalists of his generation.
The year-old Henderson has been making an effort to change that in recent years. Pianist Dena DeRose, herself a fine singer, proved an ideal accompanist for Henderson; also on board were bassist Avery Sharpe and drummer Winard Harper. Henderson seemed to really connect with the audience when he sang the blues, but he also included several lesser-known ballads during his set.
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