A Philadelphia audience was treated an unforgettable evening of great jazz celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival, founded in 1958. The tour included a stellar line-up featuring vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, bassist Christian McBride, pianist Benny Green, drummer Lewis Nash, saxophonist Chris Potter and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.
Bridgewater and McBride greeted the audience, lightheartedly sharing fond memories of Philadelphia International Records as McBride strummed a few bass lines of favorite tunes. Next, McBride shared that he was playing the legendary Ray Brown’s bass as a dedication; he and Bridgewater performed a very lively version of Duke Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”
When the other members of the all-star band arrived on stage, solos ensued from Bridgewater and McBride, followed by the rhythm section featuring McBride, Green and Nash, followed by tunes written and led by Potter and Akinmusire, including “The Shade of the Cedar Tree,” McBride’s tribute to Cedar Walton; the jazz standard “All of Me”; Dizzy Gillespie’s “Tango,” which highlighted Nash’s brush virtuosity; and Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child.”
More images from the concert are in Ben Johnson’s gallery at http://www.benjohnsonjazzphotos.com