This Thursday a group calling itself the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour comes to the Overture Center. The all-star group includes recent grammy winner Kurt Elling, jazz icon Kenny Baron, violinist Regina Carter, and guitarist Russell Malone, backed by bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake.
I saw Kurt Elling at the Capitol theater a few years back and he and his band (especially Lawrence Hobgood, a monster on the piano!) gave a very lively and engaging performance. I have many Kenny Baron CDS and greatly enjoy his playing, especially with Stan Getz. The other musicians are very accomplished. It should add up to a fantastic night of jazz, right?
I hope so, but I’m not so sure. WORT’s Gary Alderman and the Overture Center’s Robert Chapell are interviewed for the Capitol Times and have great expectations. And here is a detailed, glowingly positive review written only a few days ago. On the other hand, I watched the promotional video and found it, well… boring. A few other reviews suggest the live performance may be just as disappointing. One reviewer described it as polite museum jazz, and another said it lacked improvisation fire.
I’m worried it could be a night of sleepy, safe jazz. No risks taken. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Here’s the promo video: