The Savannah Jazz Festival continued last night and tonight (friday and saturday) and it has still been an excellent show.
Friday kicked off with Univ. of FL Jazz Band, who seems to appear frequently, with a special guest. Last year it was latin jazz sax great, Ed Calle. This year they performed with Thomas Marriot, an incredible trumpeteer. It has been said that this University Jazz Band is one of the premier college jazz bands in the country and though I haven’t heard them all, I think few would disagree. There sound is tight and there soloists are amazing. Also, to accompany jazz greats as the two I have mentioned with supreme validity, also says something about them. Thomas Marriot was an absolute wonder on the trumpet, of course. I had the chance to talk to him later in the evening and he also has a great sense of humor. That is him in the picture below. I am looking forward to hearing more of his recordings.
Thomas Marriott, as well as most of the other musicians I am and will be speaking about, has played with several of the big names in Jazz. To name a few, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Eddie Palmieri, Rosemary Clooney and has done 3 world tours with Maynard Ferguson.
James W. Holloway was next and he too was amazing. Known in the Jazz world as “Red”,he didn’t move, I don’t think for his entire performance (he didn’t have to). His silver tenor sax shone under the lights and he looked sharp. His band was great and he had some incredible solos. I apologize for this picture not being that great but it was the best of the ones I took.
Some of the notables he has played with are Dexter Gordon, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Billie Holliday, Junior Parker, Chuck Berry , Lester Young and Sonny Rollins(my personal fav) the list is just too long, Red’s career spans over 60+ years, I think if you name someone, he probably played with them.
Andreas Oberg closed out the show for friday. He is from Sweden and like greased lighting on his guitar. He is from Sweden and he is the winner of multiple awards including the Audience Prize at the Gibson International Guitar Competition in Montreux. I can’t even move my fingers as fast as some of the licks he was playing on his guitar. What a treat to have him here at this festival.
Saturday night, was the close out show. Though there were several bands that played, the Army Signal Corps Swing Band, Eric Mintel, Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars, Marcus Printup and Joe Grandsen with the Ben Tucker Trio and Spryo Gyra closed out the show. I only saw two of these and I am only going to talk about Spyo Gyra. Of course, what can one about this band. Formed in the mid 70’s, 25 albums, and 10 million copies sold, they have stood the test of time and continue to be awesome. One of the highlight’s of their performance (for me) was when they did the only cover tune of the night, “Goodbye Porkpie Hat”, a Charles Mingus composition, his tribute to Lester Young after he died. The rest of the tunes they played were absolutely tight and without flaw. I don’t think it would be right to single any of the band members out, because each one of them brought their own uniqueness and electricity with whatever they were playing. I got a chance to talk to the Saxophonist, unfortunately, I don’t remember his name. I do want to point out his solo in “Porkpie Hat”, it was just so intense you could really feel the emotion coming through his horn. That is him in the pic below.
There was another shining light in this festival I forgot to mention in my previous blog. The Howard Paul Quartet. They played on tuesday night and unfortunately I could not really see them, as the hotel was so packed I was sitting in the lobby! Fortunately, Howard plays in Savannah frequently and I often get the chance to see him. He is a guitarist, and when he plays his Benedetto guitar, his sound is unmistakeable and easily noticeable. He is a very sincere musician and that is easily heard when he plays. That is him in the pic below.
This is a shot I though you might enjoy. Though it is not a full moon it is still big and provided an incredible atmosphere for the evening and for the 2 nights prior when it was going through the entire full moon stage. Absolutely beautiful.
Saturday was the close of the festival and it was a good one all in all. Tomorrow is for the kids, every year on Sunday afternoon they have a program for them, I didn’t get to see it last year, but I am sure it is fun for the adults too, I am looking forward to it.
Thank you for reading this post, James