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Live Review: 2007 Umbria Jazz Festival

Keith Jarrett

Plenty of strong musical inspirations flowed through the idyllic medieval city of Perugia, Italy, this July, once again confirming the acknowledged preeminence of the Umbria Jazz Festival. This celebrated event has taken its rightful place in the top echelon of the world’s jazz festivals, thanks to the blissful convergence of its stunning site-an Etruscan/Roman hilltop city-the intelligence of its programming (including a deserving spotlight on the remarkably bold Italian jazz scene) and its general ambience of what a thriving, breathing, swinging festival should be like, as noun and verb.

Among the highlights during the festival’s 10-day run were veteran titans whose every concert appearance now should be savored, Ornette Coleman (pictured), Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett; this season’s most inspired pairing, Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau; a strange, fleeting visitation from Sly and the Family Stone; and a thrilling set from jazz accordionist Richard Galliano and his “Tangaria” project.

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