Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cyndi Lauper’

July 2013 Music Calendar

July 2013 Music Calendar

Calendar updated daily!

FESTIVALS

Celebrate Brooklyn!: One of New York City’s longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched in 1979, as a catalyst for Brooklyn’s performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn has been an anchor in the park’s revitalization and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions. Over the course of its history Celebrate Brooklyn has presented over 1,700 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity, ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to emerging, cutting-edge artists.

Central Park’s Summer Stage: An annual, free performing arts summer festival founded in 1986 which takes place at Rumsey Play field in Manhattan, New York City’s Central Park and, since 2010, in parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

“In a city happily inundated with summertime cultural offerings, the SummerStage festival stands alone for its dizzying array of options, its local enthusiasm, and its general aura of awe. This year spreads more than 100 free performances across 17 parks in all five boroughs.” The New York Times

Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival (New York, NY): Calling all jazz fans! The third annual Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival at Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) features some top notch jazz performers: B.B King, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Alejandro Escovedo and The James Hunter Six. The festival is FREE and takes place on July 10th and 11th. – See more at: http://www.metro.us/newyork/events/lowdown-hudson-blues-festival#sthash.bUp5N2Sk.dpuf

Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival (Maplewood, NJ): Thirteen bands on Sat, Jul 13, and twelve bands on Sun, Jul 14 25 miles outside the city in Maplewood, NJ.

Music Frees All Festival 2013 (New York, NY): Now in its third year, the 2013 Music Frees All Festival will take place over three days, July 19-21, in New York City. Proceeds will go to the Scotty Hard Trust. TICKETS: http://musicfreesallfestival.bpt.me/

Pleasantville Music Festival – (Pleasantville, NY): For $15 (Seniors) and $40 (Everyone else), you can enjoy the 9th Annual Musica Festival put on by “107.1 The Peak” radio station. Ten musical acts, including Brett Dennen, Easy Star All-Stars, The Kopecky Family Band, Bobby Long, Delta Rae, Red Wanting Blue and Mary C and the Stellars and more. The gates open at 12 Noon on July 13 & 14th, 2013. Music continues until 8:30PM. The Pleasantville Music Festival is ADA accessible! TICKETS: http://www.pleasantvillemusicfestival.com/tickets.html

CONCERTS

Monday, July 1, 2013

  • (FREE!!) Dave Eggar @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($10) Alecia Chakour Band: First Mondays @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($10-$15) A Decade Of Soul  Classic Soul & Motown Revue @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($25) “Mingus Mondays” w/ Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

  • ($15) Boogie Back Tuesdays with  Q-Tip @ Cielo – New York, NY

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

  • (FREE!!) James Casey @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (FREE!!) TAUK July Residency @ Spike Hill
  • ($35-$55) Suzanne Vega – Summer Residency (w/ Full Band) @ City Winery
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion – Bangor, ME

Thursday, July 4, 2013

  • (FREE!!) Raul Midón with special guest Master Kong Nay @ Target Free David Rubenstein Atrium
  • ($5-$8) DJ ?uestlove Presents Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (late night set)

Friday, July 5, 2013

  • ($10) Fort Knox Five @ Brooklyn Bowl (12pm set)
  • ($15) Deep Banana Blackout @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY

Saturday, July 6, 2013

  • ($15) Deep Banana Blackout @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($35-$55) 10,000 Maniacs (Album Release) @ City Winery
  • ($40) She & Him @ SummerStage – Central Park, NY
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY

Sunday, July 7, 2013

  • ($10) Klezmer Brunch – Ben Holmes Trio (10am)
  • ($30) Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$55) Dave Mason @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir Brunch @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY

Monday, July 8, 2013

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($12) Now vs. Now @ The Bowery Electric
  • ($25) “Mingus Mondays” w/ Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($40) She & Him @ SummerStage – Central Park, NY
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

  • ($15) Boogie Back Tuesdays with  Q-Tip @ Cielo
  • ($25-$100) Unity Tour 2013: 311 with Cypress Hill and G. Love & Special Sauce @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

  • LOWDOWN HUDSON BLUES FESTIVAL
    • (FREE!!) B.B. King @ Brookefield Place Plaza
  • (FREE!!) Caravan of Thieves @ Parker Press Park – Woodbridge, NJ
  • ($20) The Skatalites @ Mexicali Live – Teaneck, NJ
  • ($35-$120) Cyndi Lauper @ Beacon Theatre
  • ($35-$55) Suzanne Vega – Summer Residency (w/ Full Band) @ City Winery
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel
  • ($60) Ledisi @ Luxury Infinity Yacht
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ

Thursday, July 11, 2013

  • LOWDOWN HUDSON BLUES FESTIVAL
    • (FREE!!) Los Lobos @ Brookefield Place Plaza
  • (FREE!!) TAUK July Residency @ Spike Hill
  • ($5-$8) DJ ?uestlove Presents Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (late night set)
  • ($10) Q-Tip @ Stage 48
  • ($15-$20) Carbon Leaf @ City Winery
  • ($15-$20) Reggie Watts @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($22-$26) Buckwheat Zydeco @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($25-$35)  Sly & Robbie @ Irving Plaza powered by Klipsch
  • ($40-$105) Furthur w/ Phil Lesh @ Barclays Center
  • ($42-$53) Belle and Sebastian @ Prospect Park Bandshell
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel

Friday, July 12, 2013

  • (FREE!!) Cheap Trick @ Seaside Summer Concert Series
  • ($18-$20) Rachael Yamagata @ Maxwell’s – Hoboken, NJ
  • ($35-$75) Cyndi Lauper @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
  • ($40-$105) Furthur @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
  • ($50) Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The McKittrick Hotel
  • ($60-$75) Phish @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre – Wantagh, NY

Saturday, July 13, 2013

  • Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival (Maplewood, NJ)
    • w/ Joan Osborne
  • ($15-$40) Pleasantville Music Festival (Pleasantville, NY)
    • Brett Dennen, Easy Star All-Stars, The Kopecky Family Band, Bobby Long, Delta Rae, Red Wanting Blue and Mary C and the Stellars and more.
  • (FREE!!) Philip Glass @ Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival
  • ($10) Wax Poetic @ Nublu
  • ($25-$100) Cypress Hill and G. Love & Special Sauce @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • ($35-$75) Chris Isaak @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($50) Aerosmith, Barbecue & Craft Beer! @ Randalls Island Park

Sunday, July 14, 2013

  • Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival (Maplewood, NJ)
    • w/ Joan Osborne
  • (FREE) Tall Tall Trees @ Brooklyn Fire Proof
  • ($10) Klezmer Brunch w/ Benjy Fox-Rosen & Michsel Winograd @ City Winery
  • ($15-$40) Blues Traveler @ Empire City Casino – Yonkers, NY
  • ($30) Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir Brunch @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill (Eary)
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ City Winery

Monday, July 15, 2013

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) “Mingus Mondays” w/ Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ @ City Winery
  • ($60-$95) The Monkees @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

  • ($15) Boogie Back Tuesdays with  Q-Tip @ Cielo
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($60-$95) Melissa Etheridge @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

  • ($22) Howie Day ($42) @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($30-$100) Mobb Deep @ Stage 48 – New York, NY
  • ($35) Les Paul Monday’s with Jimmy Vivino featuring The Les Paul Trio @ Iridium Jazz Club

Thursday, July 18, 2013

  • (FREE!!) TAUK July Residency @ Spike Hill
  • ($5-$8) DJ ?uestlove Presents Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (late night set)
  • ($12) OMAHA DINER: Charlie Hunter, Steven Bernstein, Skerik & Bobby Previte @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($22) Howie Day @ City Winery
  • ($25-$30) Jars of Clay @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($35-$75) Alice Cooper @ Beacon Theatre

Friday, July 19, 2013

  • Music Frees All Festival 2013 @ The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
    • ($25) Antibalas / The Stepkids / DJ Prince Paul / Pegasus Warning
  • ($10) Brothers Past @ Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($10) Will Bernard @ The Blue Note – New York, NY
  • ($40-$95) Zac Brown Band @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
  • ($150-$300) Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z @ Yankee Stadium
    • ($25) Pre Party Cruise to the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake Concert @ Rocks Off River Cruise

Saturday, July 20, 2013

  • Music Frees All Festival 2013 @ The Bell House
    • ($25) Antibalas / The Stepkids / DJ Prince Paul / Pegasus Warning
  • ($20) Apollo Run w/ Krissy Krissy @ Rockwood Music Hal – New York, NY
  • ($35-$76) Hot Tuna With Special Guest Leon Russell @ State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($150-$300) Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z @ Yankee Stadium
  • ($25) Pre Party Cruise to the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake Concert @ Rocks Off River Cruise

Sunday, July 21, 2013

  • Music Frees All Festival 2013 @ The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
    • ($25) Antibalas / The Stepkids / DJ Prince Paul / Pegasus Warning
  • ($10) Klezmer Brunch w/ Moshe Bonen & HaTaklitim @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($30) Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir Brunch @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
  • ($40-$55) Everclear @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
  • ($42) An Intimate Solo / Acoustic performance by Citizen Cope @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($58-$135) Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group @ Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY

Monday, July 22, 2013

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) “Mingus Mondays” w/ Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($35-$40) Anders Osborne, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue / Soulive @ Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY
  • ($42-$50) fun. w/ special guest Tegan and Sara @ Hudson River Park – Pier 26
  • ($65) Phil Lesh w/ John Medeski @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

  • ($15) Boogie Back Tuesdays with  Q-Tip @ Cielo – New York, NY
  • ($28-38) Xavier Rudd w/ Nahko & Medicine for the People @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($35-$60) Brandi Carlile @ State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
  • ($50) fun. with very special guests Tegan and Sara @ Hudson River Park – Pier 26
  • ($65) Phil Lesh w/ John Medeski @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

  • ($15) Allen Stone @ Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($15) Dragon Smoke Feat. Stanton Moore & Robert Mercurio (Galactic) Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) with Anders Osborne @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25-$35) Dawes @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
  • ($28-38) Xavier Rudd w/ Nahko & Medicine for the People @ City Winery – New York, NY

Thursday, July 25, 2013

  • (FREE!!) Jason Gallagher (of Leroy Justice) @ Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
  • (FREE!!) Smokey Robinson @ Seaside Summer Concert Series – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($5-$8) DJ ?uestlove Presents Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (late night set)
  • ($15) Zongo Junction @ Littlefield – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($60) Paul Weller @ The Apollo Theater – New York, NY

Friday, July 26, 2013

  • ($10) Tall Tall Trees @ Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
  • ($35-$40) The Gaslight Anthem @ Hudson River Park – Pier 26 – New York, NY
  • ($40-$85) Rock The Blues Summer Jam 2013 @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
  • ($60) Paul Weller @ Webster Hall – New York, NY
  • ($80) Americanarama Festival of Music featuring Bob Dylan & His Band / Wilco / My Morning Jacket @ Pier A – Hoboken, NJ

Saturday, July 27, 2013

  • (FREE!!) The Gaslight Anthem @ Irving Plaza – New York, NY
  • ($10) Underground Horns @ Nublu – New York, NY
  • ($35-$50) Booker T. Jones @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($40-$105) Americanarama Festival of Music feat. Bob Dylan and His Band + more! Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY
  • ($50-$80) Robert Plant presents The Sensational Space Shifters @ Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park Bandshell – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($70-$160) BON JOVI Because We Can – The Tour @ MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ

Sunday, July 28, 2013

  • ($10) Klezmer Brunch w/ Paul Shapiro Ribs & Brisket Revue @ City Winery – New York, NY
  • ($15-$45) Kansas @ Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway – Yonkers, NY
  • ($30) Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$40) The Gaslight Anthem w/ The Hold Steady @ Hudson River Park, Pier 26 – New York, NY
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir Brunch @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
  • ($45-$95) An Evening with YES @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Monday, July 29, 2013

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($15) Rebirth Brass Band @ Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY
  • ($25) “Mingus Mondays” w/ Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

  • (Free!!) Barenaked Ladies @ Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park Bandshell
  • ($15) Boogie Back Tuesdays with  Q-Tip @ Cielo – New York, NY

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

  • ($22-$60) Slick Rick w/ Lifted (live band) @ Stage 48 – New York, NY
  • ($30) Ravi Coltrane @ The Iridium – New York, NY

Read Full Post »

Note from the Editor: You are encouraged to read The Montreux Jazz Festival posts in order as they all contain information that pours meaning into the following posts:  Click here for  My Behind The Scene Tour and Overview of The Montreux Jazz Festival **

Miles Davis Tribute @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Even though the Montreux Jazz Festival had been raging for over two weeks, The Miles Davis Tribute was the first show of the festival for Josh and I, having just arrived in Montreux, Switzerland by way of Paris, France earlier that morning.

View from looking left out to lake Geneva or Lake LeMan

View from walk to Auditorium, while walking and looking left out to Lake Geneva aka Lake LeMan

This would be a very special performance for us and other Americans who were attending because this show was not making its way to the United States.   Sad but true, which made this a very special performance for jazz heads like Josh and I.

We walked from our hotel to the gorgeous Auditorium Stravinsky, about a 15 minute walk along the gorgeous Lake Geneva, or Lake Léman as the Swiss prefer to call it. You can read more about this gorgeous auditorium and its amazing acoustical design in my previous post titled My Behind The Scene Tour and Overview of The Montreux Jazz Festival!

Having been blessed with a amazing VIP package from the wonderful Sloane Family earlier in the year, we were so excited and didn’t know what to expect! We had already been greeted upon arrival to our hotel by a Festival representative and been given a goodie bag full of Mac Cosmetics, two festival tee-shirts, a dual-disc sampler CD, Missoni pamphlets and more.

View of festival sidewalk heading up to Auditorium Stravinsky at night!

Night view of festival sidewalk heading up to Auditorium Stravinsky, which is to the left of the white tent! The Lake is located behind me at this view.

We found our way to the Protocole’ Office where a most gracious staff took care of us.  Vivian, Josephine and Helena were beyond wonderful!!  Thank you ladies for your patience, giving us the best of care, making sure we weren’t kicked out of our booth by the stars and reminding us how hospitality should be handled.  New Yorkers need to recognize!  The hospitality in Switzerland is absolutely unmatchable.

We were given two slips of thick paper and orange wrist bands that served as entry to the box seats. We were shown the way to the top of the venue, led down a little hallway and placed into Box #4.  My magic number 🙂  There were only six boxes total as far as our floor was concerned. If they had more, I never knew about them or saw them.

Raging the Box Seat Shot!

Happy Box Seat Ragers!!

The below picture shows the stage from the left side box view.  We were just the mirror image, same spot but our box was situated to the right of the stage. It was a phenomenal view of the show, albeit far away.  There would be no front row raging during these performances.

Auditorium Stravinski

Auditorium Stravinski

The show was slated to begin at 8pm but we all know what that means.  Finally around 8:45pm, beginning fashionably late (pun intended and you’ll see why later), Claude “Funky Claude” Nobs, the fonder and general manager of The Festival, and a few staff members came out on stage to press festival merchandise. Claude led the pack, wearing multiple shirts, stripping away a layer at a time then throwing the shirts into the audience. Then came the introductions via Funky Claude.

The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival (C) Lionel Flusin

Miles Davis Tribute produced by Marcus Miller

Herbie Hancock – Keys
Wayne Shorter – Saxophone
Marcus Miller – Bass
Sean Christopher Rickman – Drums
Sean Christopher Jones – Trumpet

Pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassist Marcus Miller are all alums of the school of Miles Davis, having all had the pleasure of playing with Davis before he passed.  The jazz great, whose statue stands proudly in a park next to Miles Davis Hall, performed 10 times at Montreux, the last time just two months before his death at age 65 in 1991.

Claude welcomes Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin 2

Claude welcomes Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller was introduced and came out in an all white suit and his signature black hat.  Herbie Hancock was introduced and came out rocking a MEGA Cosby Sweater to which Claude commented on how he liked it. Well, of course he did.  Claude Nobs only wears Missioni!  Yall know the “interesting” $1,000+ designs that looks like ugly sweater patterns? It’s my least favorite store on Madison Avenue and here is this dude who only wears that brand. He rocked every piece 🙂  It was made for Claude and all his fabulousness and, to be honest, I grew to like a few items during my trip.  Wayne Shorter was next and in the tradition of Davis, the trio has brought in two young musicians to work with them, trumpeter Sean Jones and the drummer Sean Rickman.

Sean Jones during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

Sean Jones during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

The two-hour concert, which stretched into the early hours of Thursday, was a highlight of the 45th annual Montreux Jazz Festival, “where Davis is still remembered for driving along Lake Geneva in a red Ferrari.”

Set List

Walkin’
Little One
Milestones
All Blues
Directions
It’s About That Time
Water Babies
Someday My Prince Will Come
Footprints
Put Your Little Foot Forward
Jean Pierre
Orbits
Dr Jeckyll

(encore)

Tutu
Time After Time

Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

The five piece ensemble opened with “Walkin,” the title track of Miles Davis‘s 1954 album.  Herbie Hancock started the song out slowly, following through alternating from his piano and keyboards.  During his solo, his face made the deepest of connections with the notes and you could see it in the way he contorted his mouth and eyes with feeling.  There was gorgeous mournful trumpet and saxophone exchange between Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter respectively and then the “Blah, Blah, Blah” happened through “Little Ones” and “Milestones.”

During the Marcus Miller workshop the following day, a question was asked about the set list and how it was formed.  Miller spoke about how they picked the song, (which I will speak of fully in the Marcus Miller Workshop Post to follow this one next week).

He spoke about how they didn’t want to do the songs the same and it was when they began to have fun with the songs that the “Blah, Blah, Blah” would happen. It was the “Blah, Blah, Blah” that made this experience its own and where the beauty in the performance was meant to show itself.  So, during each song, the group would go off into “Blah, Blah, Blah” and that was when the magic happened.

Marcus Miller raged an amazing electric bass solo during “All Blues” as he curled his fingers into the strings, creating a gorgeous texture of sound. There was no guitar on stage, yet it was so tight, so jazzy and so full of notes and excitement that it filled the auditorium fully. During the “Blah,Blah, Blah” towards the end, Miller changed to a saxophone-looking instrument that layered a deep tone under the rest of the group.

Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter (C) Lionel Flusin

During a swanky “Directions,” I notice movement in the box to my left.  I see Esperanza Spalding being sat down on the second row with a few of her people. At first, I didn’t think it was her but then who else rocks hair like that?  It took all my power not to geek out.  She is a musical goddess and we would be enjoying her performance only a few hours later for the Quincy Jones’s Global Gumbo, (another post that will be following this one shortly).

“Someday My Prince Will Come,” from the 1961 album recorded with John Coltrane, was beautiful.  This is one of my all time favorite songs.  A gorgeous song from Disney’s 1937’s Classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, it’s impossible not to feel something as a female while listening to this song.  My eyes immediately welled up and I know I was not alone in this emotional stirring of the soul.

Sean Rickman (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Rickman (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller started off with a slow bass solo then Sean Rickman and Herbie Hancock took over the stage. I had never seen Rickman or so I thought.  He is actually the drummer from Garaj Mahal, a group I have not been able to see in a long time.  He caught my ear. Most of the time drummers are not the artists who catch my ears in a project like this.  He was superb and he looked to be having so much fun up there as his smile never once dropped, nor did his beat.

Then, a nice informative break in the show as Wayne Shorter engaged the audience with how the super group decided to approach this tribute.

Wayne Shorter during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

Wayne Shorter during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

During their first rehearsal, the five men did nothing but talk about how best to honor Miles’s spirit. They didn’t play a single note during the entire first rehearsal.  Miller would later say in his Workshop that during that time of revelation, they would try to outdo each other by seeing who could come up with the most obscure Miles tunes.  It was during this time, during this first rehearsal, that Miller said they became a band, before a single note was ever played between them.

“In preparing for these concerts,” Mr. Hancock said, “we had many conversations about the interests of Miles outside of music like boxing and cooking. He was arguably a master chef. It adds more dimensions to him. We’ll embrace his spirit by being in the moment and creating a new perspective, sometimes on known themes.”


While putting together their set list, the one thing the group didn’t want to do was “play in the style in which it was originally done because we figured Miles would hate that.” Miles was a man who always looks forward and so as they looked back at his music to play they knew that Miles would have wanted them to look forward, taking his music to new levels.

Let’s make it like a soundtrack to Miles’s life’!” “It doesn’t feel like 20 years, it feels like 4 or 5. Miles’s music is everywhere. This is dedicated to the spirit of Miles Davis, the most beautiful thing he gave us.” ~ Marcus Miller

They spoke on how they felt Miles had only been dead 4 or 5 years, not the 20 years  that we were celebrating tonight.  They felt, and I agree, that this was because of the fact that Miles’s music is still so very relevant today and the lingering spirit that resides in all the artists who played with him keep his spirit flowing through the scene and through the music.

Sean Jones (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Jones (C) Lionel Flusin

Breaking into “Footprints,” Wayne Shorter related to the audience that this portion of the show would represent Miles’s childhood.   The songs were playful which made sense and the “Blah, Blah, Blah of this song became funky as the bass and horns led the pack.  During the song, Hancock transformed his keyboards into human noises, each key making a different sound consisting of hoots and hollers sound bites from James Brown that said “Come on,” “Groove,” “Yeah,” and cat calls and yelps. The “Blah, Blah, Blah” had taken over.

There was another song thrown in to the mix here that I just couldn’t get the name of.  Sean Rickman would later tell me:

“After ‘Footprints’ we play[ed] a swing tune that represented Miles’ “childhood”. I forgot the name of that tune. Then we did Jean Pierre.”

Marcus put down the electric bass and moved to the standup for “Jean Pierre” which changed the entire scenery of the sound in the room, almost big band-y.  I knew it was a song from later in Miles’s day.  If I could only remember the name.  The trumpets led the band during and the “Blah, Blah, Blah” of this song went on for minutes and ended in a standing ovation of the crowd.

Herbie Hancock (C) Lionel Flusin

Herbie Hancock (C) Lionel Flusin

Being on the big stage for this 5 piece band was perfect. The artists on stage lined up for a bow and it was tearful moment for me.  The music had been overwhelmingly different from anything I had expected to hear that night. I don’t think I have experienced such a tight and wonderful jazz performance.  The legends on that stage, the fact that it wasn’t being played in America, my appreciation for the moment, my appreciation for Miles; it brought tears to my eyes.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. The entire crowd was standing in ovation with respect for the super group who had just played the “Blah, Blah, Blah” out of the music! Taking the music to an entirely new level and doing EXACTLY what they had planned.  After the ovation, Hancock strapped on a synthesizer keyboard for the first encore: “TuTu.”

Marcus Miller @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Marcus Miller @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Hancock and Miller had fun during this tune, walking towards each other in the middle of the stage and Hancock bantered musically with each musician.  Each one playing a rip and Hancock coming back with his handheld. When it was Shorter’s turn, he blasted out a single note, laughter again erupted into the audience. All Wayne Shorter needs to play is a single note.  So amazing.

Once again, they maneuvered to getting off the stage but this time they were stopped by Claude Nops, who requested another song.  This time, the song that took us all by surprise, “Time After Time,” a song made famous by Cyndi Lauper in the 80’s, was played.

Marcus Miller was back on his deep saxophone and created a totally wormy sound from the instrument to take “Time after Time” to a different place.  Without Hancock playing the melody shortly after, one might not have recognized the song. I recognized it immediately. There was even a Star Wars tease from Shorter on his saxophone in there if you caught it.  Completely playful and unique.

Later, during his workshop, Marcus Miller would speak about how Miles Davis could take a super cheesy song or a song that most musicians might view as cheesy and find the beauty in it.  This was one of those songs.  Miller felt that ending with a song that Miles Davis revamped was a perfect ending to this tribute, showing us how he could be the master of anything.

“Marcus produced a great concert,” said Claude Nobs, founder of the Swiss festival now in its 45th year.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: