Monday July 09, 2012
from Jazz Police
14th Twin Cities Jazz Festival: A Good Plus From Start to Finish
By Andrea Canter
It started with the most ambitious “Jazz Night Out” in festival history and ended with the largest festival crowd ever, filling –overfilling—Mears Park and rewarded with two encores from The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman. With three outdoor stages and a dozen club venues boasting nearly 100 music acts, it was difficult to remember the near collapse of the festival just three years ago. Pulled from the edge of extinction by the strong support of the City of St. Paul, Mayor Chris Coleman and generous sponsors, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival has roared back, bigger and better each year. And judging from comments from musicians, fans, and festival staff, 2012 was indeed the biggest and best yet—and one of few with no trace of rain. With a substantial grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board (Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Minnesota Legacy Amendment), among other funding sources, the biggest challenge to festival Director Steve Heckler this year was finding enough—and big enough— venues to present the music.
Much anticipated for months since the line-up was first announced, the rare collaboration of The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman brought out the best in each musician and drew the biggest single act crowd in festival history. Not only were there no escape routes between the stage and sound booth, there literally was no room to move within the square block of Mears Park. But generally the crowd was enthused, not rowdy. And with good reason. In a set fully devoted to the original music of Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and Dave King, the addition of Joshua Redman reinvented each composition. And in the artistic presence of Iverson, Anderson and King, Joshua Redman reinvented himself. After six TBP favorites (including King’s “Thriftstore Jewelry” and Anderson’s “Big Eater”) ending with Reid’s “Silence Is the Question,” the crowd demanded even more. The quartet obliged with King’s “Layin’ a Strip for the Higher-Self State Line” (possibly the longest title of the festival); clearly no one was ready to leave so a second encore followed, this time Anderson’s iconic “Dirty Blonde.” City ordinance prevailed or there might have been more music well into Sunday.
One could not have asked for a better, more Good Plus finale.
Read the full article “here”: http://www.jazzpolice.com/content/view/10247/115/