Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jazz on a Summer's Day

Last month, having just recovered from a debilitating three day upper respiratory tract infection, I was  feeling most decidedly blah. Then I chanced across an article describing this event in Glyndebourne, Sussex. I'd already missed two days but Sunday looked fantastic, especially as one of my favourite emerging artists, Esperanza Spalding, was playing. But then there was also Jools Holland, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis and a host of others. I had to go and this was also a chance to escape the sweltering heatwave. So the next day I packed my bag, bought water, sunscreen, food and a hat, rented a car at Waterloo and set off for the coast. 

By the time I arrived in mid-afternoon the sun was past its zenith (a good thing) but the weather was glorious.  Esperanza Spalding had just started to play. As I was settling down for an afternoon/evening of jazz, I was invited to join an exuberant group of itinerant concert goers who decided I had "sparkle". Good grief, I felt like the least sparkly old geezer in the universe but resistance seemed pointless so I relaxed and joined the party.  And what a party it was! Here are a few photos:

I arrived at the festival sometime in the mid-afternoon and activities were in full swing
The festival site at Glyndebourne was a delight and had a carnival atmosphere
Brandford Marsalis and his band are always superb; old style hard bop but who's complaining..!?
This gentleman striding purposefully through the crowd is a gregarious Australian by the name of Andy: he thought I should join his party of family and friends
I had no reason to turn down a party and was happy to accept the invitation
Settling down for an evening of fantastic music  -the weather was perfect
There's something about bubbles and music festivals -a kind of hippie aesthetic, I think...
It never fails! Adults and children alike are universally fascinated...
It's all in the left hand!  Here Jools Holland and his amazing big band tear it up with some good old fashioned boogie-woogie.  See also clip below (apologies in advance for the somewhat out of focus scenes but I was restricted to using a phone camera)

An unlikely looking bunch -a little tired, happy and loving the music. Thanks for inviting me to your party, Andy!

My musical 'discovery' of the day (or even the year) was Melody Gardot.  I'd never heard of her before and had no expectations. But what a find!  Think 33% Cesaria Evora, 33% Woodstock-era Santana percussion and the remainder a mix of Diana Krall and Sheryl Crow.  Absolutely fantastic! Be sure to note the superb sax playing of Irwin Hall.  I can't wait to catch her again.  

Note: I captured Melody's signature "Who will comfort me" number on video but it was with a phone and not the best quality (I was plagued with camera issues that weekend).  So here I've borrowed a better clip, taken a week after the festival, from YT.

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