Jul 29, 2015
Last year the venerable Newport Jazz Festival shook off a few cobwebs and let the jazz world know that it was not going to rest on its laurels. The Festival added a third day to the mix and brought more up and coming, avant-garde and student groups to the stages than ever.
2015 promises to be more of the same. Friday has big names like Snarky Puppy and Christian McBride, but also ensembles that will bring ensembles that feature Ambrose Akinmusire, Ben Wendel, Bria Skonberg, Herlin Riley, Johnathan Blake, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Chris Potter and the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra w special guest soloist Sean Jones.
Saturday’s headliners Cassandra Wilson, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra are virtually eclipsed by a cavalcade of top artists - Irvin Mayfield, Cécile McLorin Salvant with the Aaron Diehl Trio, Pat Martino Organ Trio, José James, Conrad Herwig's Latin Side of Horace Silver featuring Michel Camilo and starring Craig Handy, Kenny Garrett, Wycliffe Gordon, Tom Harrell and especially, Jack DeJohnette's Made in Chicago, which celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) .
Sunday wraps things up in style, Jamie Cullum; Arturo Sandoval,; Dr. John and The Nite Trippers; Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band; Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with special guest Rudresh Mahanthappa; Bill Frisell Trio; Jon Faddis’ Triumph of Trumpets with Marquis Hill, Sean Jones, David Hazeltine, Kiyoshi Kitagawa & Dion Parsons; Billy Childs’ Jazz-Chamber Ensemble with Steve Wilson, Carol Robbins, Larry Koonse and Ari Hoenig; the Fred Hersch Trio; James Carter Sextet; Lou Donaldson Quartet and Jason Lindner’s Now vs. Now.
And I didn’t even mention all of the acts. Whew.
Podcast 490 lets Danny Melnick, the Festival’s promoter, take us on an inside tour of the Newport Jazz Festival. Musical selections include recordings by Festival artists including Kneebody (“Ready, Set, Go”), Tom Harrell ("After the Game is Over"), Jack DeJohnette's Made in Chicago (“Ten Minutes”), and Dr. John ("I've Got the World On a Dtring"). As there will be a four part discussion commemorating the recent release of a box set of Miles Davis' complete Newport performances, you can also hear "'Round Midnight."