When it comes to jazz legacy, that oft-used and misused l-word, the Monterey Jazz Festival has an unusually bountiful supply. That fact rang clearly in the cool late-night air of the Monterey Fairgrounds arena on the closing Sunday night of its 50th annual festival in September. Sonny Rollins, one of many artists here who were present at the inaugural 1958 festival, served up one of his robust performances, capping off a stellar musical weekend. Earlier that evening, alumni from festival number one included Monterey regular Dave Brubeck, with fellow first-festival visitor Jim Hall sitting in.
Elsewhere during the weekend, the ’58 reunion guest list included vocalist Ernestine Anderson and vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery, who revisited the festival where he and his brothers, guitar legend Wes and bassist Monk, launched their career with the group called the Mastersounds.