On the left is Karen (L), with E(R). If you’re a BrassPasser, you know her as the wonderful woman who is always cheerful and on-task, checking you in. We’ve seen her there for years but didn’t know her name until we saw her at a Hornets game. One JF I’d forgotten my pass, went home and got it, and she told me she could’ve let me in on credit because she knows us. She’s one of the people who make JF great.
I’m one of those every-day JazzFesters. I know it’s expensive and has its problems, but I feel so in-my-element there that I can’t resist. I love it so much that I’ve decided to bury the hatchet with Cyril. I’m sure he’s relieved. Some quick-hits:
Best non-local set–The Roots. I’d seen them a couple times before, but this one was incredible. Strains of In a Gaga Davida, into Apache. Cover of Bob Dylan’s Masters of War to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner. Lots of other great stuff, plus a visit from Ludacris, who urged us to take care of the environment. Gotta love a hip hop band with a sousaphone, y’all.
Best local set–Trombone Shorty’s was wonderful, and I’m glad to see that he and James are cutting down on the talking and getting back to the playing. Terrific stuff. But maybe the best was the surprise of the Midnite Disturbers, who comprised members of Galactic, Big Sam, and many more. Awesome, especially in the middle of the pouring rain.
Revelation–New Orleans Bingo! Show, whom I’d never managed to see before now. I’ll be catching them again soon. Great theatrics, great music, great sense of humor. Can’t believe I went this long without seeing them.
George Porter/Eddie Christmas Award for Busiest Fest Musician–This year it’s Shamarr Allen in a walk. Damn, that guy’s everywhere, not that I’m complaining! And Matt Perine was ubiquitous too. Great musicians. And then of course there’s this guy (I can never catch his name) and Lady Tambourine, who’s pissed because Team Quint won’t let her on stage all the time.
Grub–Still love the veggie red beans, and the jama jama. I don’t need anything else there but beer. Well, ok, the occasional falafel.
Chief Complaint–SURELY there’s a way to do something about that stink, especially around the food. The mud kills more business than the rain that made it.
Musical Query I–Why did Alejandro Escovedo quit so early? He was rockin’.
Thanks to everyone at JazzFest for keeping it real. Some people will complain, but I’d pay a lot of money to keep seeing Kirk Joseph, Kermit, Bonerama, Michael White, Uncle Lionel, and the rest keep doing their thing.
If anyone’s inclined, I’ve posted all my JF pix in my first Collection on Flickr here.