Friday, February 1, 2008

Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars

Saw these cats a couple of weeks ago, when they were about nine shows into a 50-city tour. The group is loosely headed-up by pianist Benny Green, but it represents a terrific mix of talent that spans at least three generations. With Green is James Moody on Sax and flute, Terence Blanchard on trumpet, Kendrick Scott on drums, and Derrick Hodge on bass. Nnenna Freelon joined the group on several vocal numbers, one of which was a duet of "Just Squeeze Me" with Moody (I must live in a cave, since I didn't know he sang), and the other a *very* hip reharmonized version of "Time After Time." The evening wasn't all standards, though... the band also played a couple selections from Terence Blanchard's recent release, "A Tale of God's Will (A requiem for Katrina)". Compositions by drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Derrick Hodge were also prominently featured.

Catch this group if they come to your neck of the woods. Tickets and a complete list of dates are available at the MJF website here. You can also buy their live CD from Concord Music Group here.

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