It was the first full day of the jazz fest and I got so filled with music that the result was rather overwhelming. There is a point in me where I can’t listen to music anymore and appreciate it.
As I was walking to the stage on Hart Plaza, I saw Cassius Richmond playing the saxophone and doing a wonderful job as usual.
I was on my way to see the John Douglas Quartet at the Carhartt Amphitheater stage. They are one of the groups I see in Detroit at Bert’s warehouse on Friday night. So in this case, I knew what I was about to see. Somehow add a festival, the music just seems to be a little bit better. They did play one of my favorite songs which is “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise”. John Douglas is on the trumpet and the Alexis Lombre is on the keyboards. Ibrahim Jones is on the bass. I didn’t catch the name of the drummer. EditEditEditEdit
Next I went to another stage to see the Ken Cox reunion band. The musicians got up and told how much Ken Cox had meant to them because how much he mentored them all. All of that before I was out listening to jazz. A lot of well known local musicians played including Rayse Biggs(tpt), Djallo Djakte(drums), George Bohannan(tone), Shahidah Nurullah(vox) and Kamau Kenyatta(keys). There were others who also played . I really enjoyed the music and wish I had been around to hear Ken Cox when he was playing.
Then I went off to lunch before heading to a stage after lunch that was across the plaza. Although there are four major stages in a relatively small area the walking can be daunting especially through the crowds. I went to see the Stanley Cowell quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver. I had heard great things about this group and had never been to see them before. Actually the music was great and I really enjoyed it
I meant to stay for just a taste of the next act which was The Ron Carter Quartet. I didn’t especially like the performance they did on Friday night with before cellos it didn’t feel like jazz to me. I ended up staying for the entire act it was so good. In fact, I would say is this is my highlight of the day. In a quartet setting, the music was just entrancing. It was a place where I could move with music and really let it into me
The last act that I saw for the day was Roy Hargrove quintet with the Detroit Jazz Festival string orchestra. It looks like the artistic director wants to add strings to the jazz performances as something a little different. I have seen Roy Hargrove at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café just a few months ago. It was the kind of jazz I like. I stayed for two songs with the large string a compliment and decided I didn’t really like this approach for Roy Hargrove. Who knows it may be the way he’ll go in the future. It was just not my cup of tea. I have been at the jazz fest for about eight hours at that point and just had enough music.