Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A festival of...

Since the festival scene in Boston isn't anything like what it used to be- no Globe Jazz Fest, no Phoenix produced concerts, and the Beantown fest is in May- I look south, to Newport, the great name in music festivals. And I have to say, this year's Newport Jazz Festival is really, really good. While I have no use for Chris Botti, and I look at Aretha these days with a mixture of anticipation and fear, I'm excited about just about every second act on the bill. As much as I would love to see Herbie and the Gauchos, at best I'll catch the Saturday show- I've seen Wayne's current quartet twice in its first year, and I'm really curious to see what a couple of years together has done.

If I were a folk fan, however, I can't imagine I'd be thrilled. Someone explain to me where the folk is in this year's Newport Folk Festival? In fact, while there are some cool names on the bill, Calexico notably, I'm having trouble figuring out what in the hell the festival is about.

I know that strict genre lines are way too arbitrary, and that marketing overrides all other factors in booking these days, but every time I look at that bill- Jimmy Buffett? Brian Wilson?? I just scratch my head. I'll be curious to hear the reports in August...

1 comment:

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Sometimes, changes take place, and one neither likes them nor understands them. Possibilities came across as a fine outing for someone as revered as Herbie, but at the back of the mind, the nagging question remained, did he have to? And of course, the more worrisome - is it going to get worse? With Rivers, however, all of that has been laid to rest, and one gets to hear a lot of these two albums at his recent performances, and we are assured that jazz has placed a protective arm around contemporary pop-folk-rock. It took me a fw listens to be able to write a quick review of Possibilities, (link below), but it has been several months or listening to Rivers over and over again, and I am yet to be able to write much on this class-by-itself commentary on the fundamental darkness of our times.

http://opnotes.blogspot.com/2006/02/review-possibilities-by-herbie-hancock.html