Monday, September 12, 2005

LB Jazz Festival - Sat - Day 3

Wow! What a day it was! First of all the weather was absolutely spectacular and this probably accounted for the less than capacity crowds for the opening set. Those that chose to bask in the September sun missed the Mike Barnett group doing an hour of traditional jazz. Mike, on guitar, led his group through a spirited opening.

The Kerry Kearney Band took to the stage shortly after 1:00, with his unique brand of "psycha-deltic" blues. Kearney, a Breezy Point native, is no stranger to Long Island audiences - as a matter of fact he is no stranger to national audiences, having opened for the Allman Brothers, Dicky Betts Band and many other distinguished bluesmen. It is a real treat to see him return to this venue year after year.
Kearney seemed very loose, talking with his audience, and seemingly having a lot of fun. The audience ,in turn, loved it - especially when Kearney singled out an audience member whose shirt matched his own, and extended an invitation to join him on stage. Fortunately, I think, the audience member declined.
For more information about this band, including the names of all the bandmembers, see:

Steve Adelson, the next performer, was joined by the washboard player from the Stephane Wrembal Trio, John Favicchia on drums, and very special guest Chielli Minucci (from Special EFX)for a very spirited hour of jazz.
Adelson, an extremely versatile performer, is also the main force behind organizing these great shows. In the improvisational spirit of Jazz, he seems to really enjoy playing with some of the other groups and have other groups' members sit in with his band. This always makes for some interesting music. Mr. Adelson deserves a hearty round of applause for bringing to Long Beach such a wide range of extremely talented musicians.

Back to the festival. Two guitars, a stand-up bass, and a washboard is what the Stephane Wrembel group used to captivate the audience with an hour of gypsy swing jazz. Playing standards such as All of Me as well as the music of Django Reinhardt, this group really connected to the now near-capacity crowd. This group plays in Park Slope with an added violin. If you missed them in LB, try to find them - they are well worth the trip.

Closing the show, was the Dharma All-Stars , led by drummer John Favicchia. This is truly an all star band featuring world class players from other groups that sit in with Favicchia when they can. This version included Chieli Minucci (Special EFX), Bill Heller (Rippingtons), Mike Pope (Chick Corea Band) and Carl Fischer (Maynard Ferguson). These guys were cookin. What more can I say!

From top to bottom Saturday's lineup was fantastic.

I was unable to make any of the shows on Sunday - man cannot live on jazz alone- he must have a little golf too - but I heard that they were pretty amazing too.

We are so fortunate to have this festival in Long Beach. Judging by the attendance, many of you feel the same. Keep up your support for the arts. To Steve Adelson and the other festival organizers - congratulations on a terrific four day event and Thank you for making it happen in our community.


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