Summer is here – and so are Jazz Festivals; using a search engine on the web, will bring up hundreds – and the list is incomplete. There are two in our area that are not included in any list I could find: Bellingham’s Bellhaven Festival in Fairhaven on September 10 and the Jazz Stage that is part of the Art Festival in Anacortes on August 5, 6 and 7.
I’m going to point you to three amazing performances from Jazz Festivals from the past.
1956 Newport Jazz Festival. Ellington played two sets at the festival that year, but it is the final set that sparked a reaction seldom found at any performance – and the piece that did it was Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue. It can be found on youtube, but the sound quality is questionable. The best way to listen is to get a copy of the record, issued in 1956 Ellington at Newport 1956 (it’s in the Manieri collection at the Anacortes Library). Listen for the 27 chorus solo by Paul Gonsolves on the Tenor Sax.
1979 Montreux Jazz Festival. Ella Fitzgerald did a seven plus minute scat version of Flying Home with the Count Basie Orchestra. It is on the album Digital III at Montreux, which will give you the best sound quality, but, if you would like to watch the performance check out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXVQqMkHNAQ
2011 Monterrey Jazz Festival. The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, featuring Donny McCaslin and Joshua Redman on Tenor saxophones doing C Jam Blues. To my knowledge this is not available on an album, but you can find it at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvy4xbWJmp8. McCaslin’s solo is worth watching and listening.