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Newport 2016: Opening Day in Photos

Kamasi, Eric Revis, the Heath Brothers and more

Kamasi Washington performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Kamasi Washington and band perform at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Eric Revis performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Eric Revis performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Kris Davis, Eric Revis, Chad Taylor and Ken Vandermark (from left) perform at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Kris Davis, Eric Revis and Chad Taylor (from left) perform at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Tierney Sutton, with cellist Mark Summer, performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Tootie Heath performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, as part of the Heath Brothers
Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath performs at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: Marek Lazarski)
Ken Vandermark performs in Eric Revis' Parallax at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival

The Newport Jazz Festival’s appeal is two-pronged: There are the bookings, a healthy stylistic spread offering a fine survey of what jazz currently means, and the setting, namely the picturesque environs of historic Fort Adams State Park. For the first half of Friday, opening day, heavy rains didn’t do the latter any favors. But the music forged ahead, as always. We heard soul-deep swing, in the Heath Brothers and an excellent set by the young pianist Sullivan Fortner; expertly wrought Caribbean-jazz fusion from Etienne Charles & Creole Soul; heavy-grooving 21st-century jazz-rock in acts like Kneebody and the Donny McCaslin Group; avant-garde music by Steve Coleman & Five Elements, Tyshawn Sorey & Alloy and Eric Revis’ Parallax that was equally thoughtful and visceral; and the Newport debut of saxophonist Kamasi Washington, whose hard-charging, high-volume set matched an Impulse! influence with that of ’70s R&B and the intensity of a contemporary brass band.

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