If you, too, did not make it to Detroit over the weekend for the city’s jazz festival, reading about it may be small consolation. Nonetheless, Mark Stryker’s account in The Detroit Free Press conveys his excitement and covers the highlights as he heard and saw them. Stryker is not a sports reporter, but he named a most valuable player.
■MVP Award: The majestic drummer Billy Hart brought his extraordinary ability to both respond to and spontaneously shape a band’s conception to three performances with three different groups. Freedom, discipline, daring, passion, swing, broken rhythm, orchestral textures, interactive sparring, shocking dynamics, astounding creativity and authority. Want to know what jazz is really about? Listen to Billy Hart. (With the Saxophone Summit, David Weiss’ The Cookers, Quest)(photo by Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)
For all of Stryker’s story, click here. Don’t miss the highlighted sidebars and slide shows.
Here is Hart with his quartet at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York earlier this year with a lovely medium-tempo blues in G, title unknown. From left to right in the video: Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Billy Hart.
Go here for a recent Rifftides review of the Hart quartet’s new album.