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Top 10 Moments of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival

From bent bop to old-school blues to pulse and skronk, this year’s fest had a lot going for it

If there was ever a one-song microcosm of a group’s approach within a set, it showed its face when trumpeter Hill’s crack outfit snuggled into Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage.” Michael King set a fully inviting mood with his opening excursion on acoustic piano: tender, cagey, adroit. It was a feature with lots of responsibility on its head. If it didn’t seduce wholly, the vibe for the rest of the tune might be lacking. But King was full of polish, offering an amalgam of textures that moved from somber to stately. When the full group transitioned in, it too had a hush. King turned to electric keys, Hill and saxophonist Braxton Cook cooed through the august melody, and there was a mild CTI spirit in the summer air. I grabbed my notebook and scribbled quickly: “first goosebumps of the fest.”

For more JazzTimes coverage of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival, go here.

Originally Published

Jim Macnie

Jim Macnie is a music writer who contributes to DownBeat and blogs at Lament For a Straight Line. He’s been working in digital media since since 2000, initially as’s Managing Editor and, currently, as a Senior Producer and Editor at Vevo. He enjoys Little Jimmie Dickens, Big Joe Turner and Medium Medium.