Port Townsend Jazz Festival - Friday Night
I started the night at the Landfall, with Dave Peck, Dean Hodges, Dave Captein, and added horn player Steve Tressler on saxophones. I heard them play Honeysuckle Rose, and while certainly fun and well-played by all, I couldn't help think that Steve wasn't the best-suited match with this trio. I certainly preferred hearing Denny Goodhew with Dave Peck last year, especially since they had a book of tunes and seemed very organized. This year, it felt a little more like a typical horn-player/rhythm-section pick-up gig with Steve -- who is one of my favorite saxophonists in Seattle right now -- and when I returned later in the night to hear them playing On Green Dolphin Street, I knew this was not the best-of-all-worlds-scenario for any of these players.
I stopped by to catch a little of Jeff Clayton, Jiggs Whigham and Rickey Woodard with Bill Mays, Gary Hobbs, and Chuck Deardorf, but half the band had to leave to direct their student combos, so I only got to hear Jeff and Rickey battle it out on a nice, swinging "rhythm" changes tune. And that about sums it up -- nice, swinging, and happy. No complaints here!
My next stop was Pete's Place, with the "Horns A Blazin" group featuring Bill Ramsay (alto), Jay Thomas (tenor), Claire Daly (bari), and Thomas Marriott (trumpet) with John Hansen, Russ Botten and D'vonne Lewis. As one of the band members said to me, they might have "shot themselves in the foot" by trying to play a ton of arrangements with no rehearsals, but the music ended up being an nice mix of the full group (Profiles by Victor Brazil, for example), solo features for each artist, and various combinations of the horns (Tom and Jay on flugels for Kenny Barron's Voyage). Too bad the room was so small! For me, the real surprise was D'vonne Lewis, a young Seattle drummer who has been turning heads of late. He showed a great deal of maturity with all of these experienced players, and I'm sure there is much more great music to come from D'vonne.
I tried to stop a few other places and didn't really make it in anywhere else -- all full up! I stood outside the Public House and heard some of Ingrid Jensen and Terrell Stafford, and I've only got two words for you: BURN ING. I'll be back tomorrow night to get a good listen and write more, but I know that you'd be hard pressed to find a more modern/contemporary jazz sound at this festival than from this group. More, more, more!
As I said earlier, I wandered back down to the Landfall to finish the night where I started. With a 9:00am rehearsal looming in front of me, I headed home after On Green Dolphin Street so I wouldn't be totally worthless in the morning. But I'll be back again -- more music tomorrow!