I finally made it to the Rochester International Jazz Festival last night.
It was cloudy and chilly. A few hundred people milled around Gibbs Street, and most wore jackets or sweatshirts. Smoke from vendors’ booths drifted down past Eastman Theatre, and a line snaked around the corner for David Murray's Black Saint Quartet in Kilbourn Hall. The sight of the crowds made me happy.
One of the best parts of the festival is the top-notch writing coming out of the D & C, City newspaper, and WXXI. Anna Reguero is keeping a daily blog. Frank DeBlase and Ron Netsky are obviously getting no sleep at all. Will Yurman’s video blogs play like art house shorts. The Jazz@Rochester blog is comprehensive.
My favorite bit so far comes from the D & C’s staff music writer Jeff Spevak:
“There was piano. And electric stand-up bass, drums, various reeds and guitar. But little else seemed familiar about Yggdrasil's first set Sunday. Perhaps it was all of the minor keys, the moody notes that sounded as though they were skating on ice or the Gothic coolness of Christ Church added to the ethereal moodiness.”
When I saw Jeff, I told him I loved reading this over breakfast. He startled for a sec and said, “I hope the Episcopalians are OK with that.”
I told him I couldn’t speak for others of my faith, but I, for one, am proud to be associated with anything “Gothic” and “cool.”