Monday, June 16, 2008

Vision Fest 6/15/08

I would classify last night as Get Down Night. Even though I was basically the only one getting down until the last act, it was still pretty grooving throughout. It seemed to get progressively more grooving as the night went on.

The room was better as there weren’t quite so many people there and it was cooler outside. I finally saw that they do have 1 air conditioner. It was pretty small for such a large space. Still, it didn’t seem so stuffy last night and I realized I was standing by that AC unit most of the time.

The first set was grooving, lively jazz. They did songs written by various people on the stage. I especially enjoyed Darius Jones in that set.

6:00pm Lewis Barnes' Hampton RoadsLewis Barnes (tp) / Rob Brown (as) / Darius Jones (as)Todd Nicholson (b) / Warren Smith (dr)

The next set was very interesting and different. There was no drummer, but Napolean Maddox kept the groove with his voice percussion. I mean it was pretty grooving. The bass was helping with the groove a lot. It was fun and a good combo of instruments.

7:00pm Roy Nathanson's Sotto VoceRoy Nathanson (as, vo) / Sam Bardfeld (vi) / Curtis Fowlkes (tb)Tim Kiah (b) / Napoleon Maddox (vo)

After that was a phenomenal African ensemble. They had 6 people altogether. In addition to those listed, there was also a piano player and a guy that played a little talking drum he held under his arm and a very interesting drum. It was ½ of a sphere and it was hollow. It was sitting on table in front of him and he played it with his fists and an interesting looking stick that reminded me of a tea scoop. When he hit it with the stick, it sounded kind of like when the drummer hits the edge of the kit. They were a big hit in general. It was also nice to get something completely different from everything else at the festival.

8:00pm Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure’s Deep SaharaAbdoulaye Alhassane Toure (g, vo) / Kali Z. Fasteau (ss, nai, p, vo)/ bass /drums TBA

They closed the fest with an awesome music of Curtis Mayfield thing. It started with the band onstage and the 2 singers. They did quite a few really grooving tunes. There were a few others dancing for this. Leena had a great voice, and that’s when I like voice. At one point, she jumped off the stage and did some awesome dancing. Then they brought out the youth choir, which was great. They looked like teenagers and they sounded awesome. They did several songs. At the end, a lot of people got up and started dancing. I love that. It was also great to see those guys playing that stuff. I know they can get funky in their improvising, but seeing them stick to that was really cool and different.

9:00pm William Parker`s Inside Songs Curtis Mayfield with Children's ChoirWilliam Parker (b) / Hamid Drake (dr) / Lewis Barnes (tp) / Darryl Foster (s)Sabir Mateen (s) / Dave Burrell (p) / Amiri Baraka (vo, words) / Leena Conquest (vo)

Overall, it was a great festival. The ventilation was challenging, but everything else was fine.

Now onto the next festival! I’m so glad this year Vision Fest and JVC Jazzfest didn’t conflict at all. There’s a lot at JVC that I want to see this year.

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