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New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

The third year of the Portland Festival found it settling further into maturity and urban sophistication that give it much in common with European festivals like Vienne and Umbria. There is a notable difference; the continental festivals are in the warmth of summer. Portland takes its chances with the Pacific Northwest’s variable winter weather.

This time, there was no false spring, as in 2005. The region was in the grip of record low temperatures-into the single digits at night on the opening weekend. Swathed in wool hats, earmuffs, scarves, gloves and heavy coats, concertgoers moved briskly between concerts in hotel ballrooms and sessions in clubs. The good weather news: there was no trace of the rain that often keeps Portland damp for weeks at a time.

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