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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Montreux Jazz Festival: Lee Ritenour/Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human @. Montreux Jazz Club July 17.

Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human: Jonathan Batiste (Vocals/Harmonaboard/Piano); Phil Keehn ( Double Bass/Bass Guitar). Joe Sayer ( Drums); Eddie Barbash (Alto);.Ibanda Rhuhumbika (Tuba).
(Review by Ron Ainsborough)
An intimate setting for an audience of about 300 seated enthusiasts in a new setting which was a great place to listen to jazz. Although I’d never heard of this band, this was one of the most sensational jazz concerts I have ever been to. The band, started by marching in like a New Orleans marching band from the back of the Club up to the stage and then it was 'lift off'. 
The musicianship of all was superlative, the repertoire covered  most jazz styles, the stage presence of Jonathan Batiste was faultless, but above everything else Entertainment was very much at the forefront. The only way to find out what I am trying to say, is to go on to YouTube and put the name Jonathan Batiste and Montreux jazz 2013 and you will get a flavour of these musicians that I had the pleasure to see and listen to for a full two hours.
I commented that it was a cruel move to have a band following them, but the following set whilst a very different style of jazz was also quite brilliant . It was by non less than the great Lee Ritenour!
Lee Ritenour (Guitar);  Dave Grusin (Piano); Tom Kennedy ( Bass); Christopher Coleman (Drums.)
This was a top class jazz guitar concert, probably falling into the contemporary modern jazz idiom, which I love and well within my comfort zone. I was more than pleased to get the opportunity to see an iconic guitarist like Lee Ritenour who is obviously at the top of his game. A touch of humour during the concert came when Lee said 'it was  a great honour to play 'LIVE'  with Dave Grusin'.
Then Dave Grusin came on introducing his solo spot, commented about how lucky the audience were to catch him 'live' implying that his mortality was being questioned. Magic!
Also, just to show how easy a musicians life is, Lee stated that 24 hours before this concert his drummer was playing with Stevie Wonder in the USA. It did not affect his performance I might add. The concert was on for a delightful 1.50 hours
ending a fantastic night of jazz, the only down side was that we only learned of the free jam sessions that started at 12.45am in the same jazz club (every night!) that night ,which as it turned out was too late for us. I believe All the top stars return to this venue for the jam sessions. I will definitely catch it next year though!
Ron Ainsborough.

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