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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

Nicole Mitchell at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival
Nicole Mitchell at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: Marek Lazarski)

Agility was everywhere in the music that flutist Mitchell presented at the cozy Harbor Stage on Sunday. Her group included vocalist Fay Victor, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Shirazette Tinnin, and bassist Rashaan Carter, and their ever-morphing forward motion repeatedly bet the farm on poise. It was an ensemble approach that made all their gambits—and some were quite tricky—seem blithe. Tinnin’s brush work was key to establishing a pivot point during one piece, and Victor’s extended techniques created a flurry of nuanced lingo that was wonderfully aligned with the leader’s airy flourishes and Bynum’s muted murmurs.

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.