Featuring The Cookers, Gretchen Parlato, Kenny Barron, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band from the 19th Caramoor Jazz Festival in Katonah, NY
Hosted by WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton
The annual jazz festival at Caramoor, a garden of great music near Katonah, NY, took place this past July 28, and WBGO was there.
Now for Labor Day, WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton hosts two hours of highlights on Jazz from Caramoor, a syndicated special in Surround Sound.
The special airs on WBGO from 1:00 – 3:00 pm and other stations of the Caramoor Jazz Festival Network including WICN, Worcester, MA; WNCU, Raleigh-Durham, NC; WUSF, Tampa, FL; WDNA, Miami, FL; WCBE, Columbus, OH; KCCK, Cedar Rapids, IA; KBEM, Minneapolis, MN; KTSU, Houston, TX; and KMHD, Portland, OR. Check your station for broadcast time.
The lead-off hitters – The Cookers – are the hard bop champions, led by trumpeter David Weiss with music by band members Billy Harper on tenor and Cecil McBee on bass.
Multi-award-winning, always-working young Gretchen Parlato’s instrument is her quiet, rhythmic voice. On “Alô, Alô,” she sings in Portuguese and adds hand percussion. Her refrain from “Better Than” seems like a personal statement: “There’s a sky full of stars so just be who you are …”
Pianist Kenny Barron performs alone. Gershwin, Porter, Strayhorn, Monk – Barron delivers each on-the-spot with ideas, clarity and swing. Nothing is wasted. Pianists from the other bands at the Caramoor Jazz Festival were spotted standing in the wings, watching and listening to Kenny Barron.
The album Eleanora Fagan: To Billie with Love from Dee Dee won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal. Onstage at Caramoor, Bridgewater celebrates Billie Holiday with three songs. Edsel Gomez arrangements bring new insight to “Lady Sings the Blues” (upbeat) and a new hook to “A Foggy Day.” The spotlight is on saxophonist Craig Handy on Billie and Dee Dee’s “Fine and Mellow.”
The Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band is one for all and all for one. Haynes’ feet dance at the drums, his cymbals shimmer, he snaps and crackles on the snare. He speaks the language of six and a half decades of jazz drums, and the flow is pure Roy Haynes. He closes the festival with “All Blues” by Miles Davis, a request from the audience.
Producer Jim Luce has programmed 19 consecutive summer weekends of jazz at the Caramoor Center of Music and The Arts. We thank Luce and Managing Director Paul Rosenblum for the invitation and support to cover the Caramoor Jazz Festival. Recordings are by Duke Markos with Andrew T. Shire; Surround Sound mixes by Markos.