Back to Cali! No cross-country roadtrip this year, but lots of fun on the horizon nonetheless :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Play "Misty" for me

Sunday is traditionally Family Day here at the Festival, and it's also the day where most of the next generation of jazz talents come and show off their l33t musical skillz.
If the ones here in Monterey are any indication, there's no need to worry, they got the future of jazz covered.

After watching a few of their performances, I headed to Dizzy's Den, where a discussion was being organized about sax legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, whom I had never heard of before this year, although he played with such stars as Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
The discussion, which was more or less centered around the tribute CD "Cannon re-loaded" by saxophonist Tom Scott, involved the following:

Gregg Field
Gregg Field

Tom Scott (obviously)
Tom Scott

Orin Keepnews
Orin Keepnews

and Roy McCurdy
Roy McCurdy

I can't really go in detail into what they said, as they basically shared anecdotes and memories of Adderley to discuss his style and philosophy, but everything I heard or read about him this weekend makes me like him. I definitely have to buy some of his records.

panel

And then, came the moment I was waiting for. I finally got to see the great and only, Clint Eastwood. Himself. For real.

It may seem like a cliché since it is after all the movie that kind of put the MJF under the spotlight, but I discovered the Festival thanks to Eastwood's movie Play Misty for Me, years ago. It went to the back of my head, and it kept bugging me time and again although at first I didn't know what festival it was. Then I read about Monterey and the pieces just clicked together. Then last year, I finally got the chance to travel to California and see it for myself.

And missed the opportunity to see Clint Eastwood because of some darned good jazz player on the Garden Stage. I totally forgot.

But not this year, no siree.

A discussion scheduled with Clint Eastwood and Jamie Cullum about music in movies. I couldn't miss that.

panel

panel

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum

I didn't know the guy, but I'll keep an eye on him. Check him out, he's a fairly cool bloke. The discussion went from how they got into music to their collaboration and how they worked, their creative process, their influences... Very interesting stuff, and lots of jokes and quips as a side dish.
Excellent!

After the panel, I hurried to the Garden Stage to catch the other Eastwood. Yes, Clint's son Kyle Eastwood plays jazz, ladies and gentlemen, and let me tell you, he's pretty good at that!

And I wasn't alone
MJF crowd

Kyle Eastwood and band
Kyle Eastwood Band

Kyle Eastwood Band

Kyle Eastwood Band

Kyle Eastwood Band

Kyle Eastwood Band

Kyle Eastwood Band


And the Festival ended with a tribute to Coltrane by Kurt Elling, fantastic classic jazz full of spirit and soul.
It was followed by Wayne Shorter, which was a polar opposite, a disappointment (to me), as it's the kind of jazz I really don't like: improvisation without melody, just notes without a coherent thought behind it, coming and going just like that. No logic. Just... notes, detached, without foundations. Maybe it's supposed to mean something for the musician, but I for one don't get it, it's really not my style.

Buuuut all was not lost, for the closing act was nothing short of awesome. Two words: Herbie Hancock. Need I say more?
Blowing everyone away with style and humour, great music, great jazz, great beats. Phenomenal.

And thus will be remembered the end of MJF 51.
 

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