George Wein founded the Newport Jazz Festival 55 years ago, but sold it recently. This summer, however, he stepped back in to avert disaster and save the festival. On Newport's Fort Adams stage, looking into the harbor, Wein got a chance to bask in the accomplishment while sitting at the piano with an all-star group. Later in the hour, bassist Dave Holland and three friends (including Chris Potter on tenor) stand up to the sun with rhythmic invention and assertive solos.
"What Am I Here For" (Duke Ellington)
"Shreveport Stomp" (Jelly Roll Morton)
"Ah Um" (Brazilian song)
"Cheers" (Django Reinhardt)
"Limehouse Blues" (Braham, Furber)
Hear The Full Concert
George Wein's Newport All-Stars is a quintet spanning three generations. The great Jimmy Cobb, from Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album, is on drums, and his cymbal remains instantly recognizable. Howard Alden is on guitar, and two young women already in charge of their own destinies are playing clarinet/tenor and bass: Anat Cohen and Esperanza Spalding. Wein loves to play the piano, especially Duke Ellington music, yet he happily takes a back seat in this impressive band.
The foursome of Dave Holland on bass, Chris Potter on tenor, Gonzalo Rubalcaba on piano and Eric Harland on drums made their debut as a group at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Holland is another Miles Davis sideman, dating from Bitches Brew, while Potter has worked with Holland in his octet and big band. Rubalcaba and Harland bring power and subtlety to the group. Later in August, as the Monterey Quartet, the band releases a live recording of its first set at Monterey. The second set they played together took place here at Newport, and we have highlights.