PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
Seal headlined the first night of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.
With the maternal armcharm
in tow, I strolled down the gangplank to the bloodbath that is the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. It felt like someone had crammed an extra Saturday night or two into this particularly balmy Friday.
I first did the broadcast boogie boogaloo with Ron Netsky and the Jazz 90.1
characters before getting involved in the proceedings that were beginning to wind up and go off all around me.
: Stop number one. I swear to God, this lovely New York City trio
offered up four-part harmonies at lightning speed. They were charming and saucy and nascently naughty. They were reminiscent of The Boswell Sisters and The Andrews Sisters and even Twisted Sister — just kidding. The harmonies were voluptuous and delivered crisply with a wink during a set of mostly original material. And they played kazoos. The slightly older crowd at Max of Eastman Place ate it up. I did, too, as I'm feeling slightly older myself.
was in charge the moment he stepped onto the Kodak Hall stage and opened with a swinging take on "Luck Be A Lady." The cat primped and preened and twirled about as he worked the crowd into a state of agitated twitterpation and lust. He knocked me out with "My Funny Valentine" — one of the most beautiful set of lyrics ever uttered. I'll even go out on a limb here and say that Seal's version of the classic rivaled Chet Baker's take. That's because he is master of his voice
, which had a clarion tone that rang out when it wasn't purring low and lovely.
When I got my fill of romantic songcraft, I Strode over to the East and Chestnut Stage to witness the beheading of several thousand people at the hands of Vintage Trouble
from Los Angeles.
was a karate kick in the nuts and came off like James Brown fronting the MC5. Front man Ty Taylor pounced and bounced around like a rabid pinball, winding up out in the audience several times. The music had a Motor City soul ache to it, or something like it came from the house that Sharon Jones built: R&B with guts and heart. The crowd ate it up big time.
Tomorrow you can catch me catching Jack Broadbent, Charlie Lindner Trio, and Brian Setzer.