Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 PV Jazz Fest: The Headliners

The weather and the music were as close to ideal as they could be. The local acts brought their best for the 2014 Prairie Village Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 6th. But the audience size grew to its peak as Kevin Mahogany took the stage.

I’d long considered bringing in Kevin with a big band (and may yet do that someday), but for various reasons the festival couldn’t accommodate a big band this year. So instead we paired Kevin with Joe Cartwright’s trio. Backed by Joe on piano, Tyrone Clarke on bass and Michael Warren on drums, Kevin’s baritone voice connected with the audience from that big outdoor stage to a grassy hill full of people in an intimate way I never anticipated.

Then Deborah Brown took the stage. Backed by Joe Lovano on sax, Terell Stafford on trumpet, Richard Johnson on piano, Leon Anderson on drums and Tyrone Clarke (putting in a long but wonderful night) on bass, Deborah’s amazing voice shined. Stafford’s solos, ripe with power and inventiveness, owned the stage. Lovano’s solos, this night reimagining a trio Charlie Parker compositions, proved too contemporary for a suburban Kansas City audience, which thinned before the set ended. But they also proved why Lovano has repeatedly won Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll as best tenor saxophonist. All of us who stayed enjoyed more than an hour and a half of jazz in 2014 at its best. Unfortunately, the sound system was not at its best, though I’m not sure that feedback which haunted the stage area was discernible more than a few short times to the audience.

Below are photos from the night. As always, clicking on a shot should open a larger version of it.

Singer Kevin Mahogany

Left to right: Joe Cartwirght on piano, Tyrone Clark on bass, Kevin Mahogany, vocals, Michael Warren on drums

Connecting with the audience

Kevin Mahogany with the Joe Cartwright Trio

Kevin Mahogany sings

On stage at the Prairie Village Jazz Festival

Kevin Mahogany

Left to right: Deborah Brown, vocals, Richard Johnson on piano, Terell Stafford on trumpet, Tyrone Clark on bass, Joe Lovano on tenor sax, Leon Anderson on drums

Deborah Brown and Terell Stafford

Joe Lovano

Deborah Brown and Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Leon Anderson

Deborah Brown with Terell Stafford and Tyrone Clark

Deborah Brown and Joe Lovano

Richard enjoys Deborah’s vocals

Deborah, Terell and Tyrone appreciate Joe’s solo

Deborah Brown with Joe Lovano and Terell Stafford brilliantly conclude the 2014 Prairie Village Jazz Festival

1 comment:

  1. Larry: Your blog is the grooviest. Your photographs make you wish you were there. Kevin and the band look historic as well as Deborah Brown. Keep up the fantastic work and looking forward to your photos from the KC's 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival. Don't forget, the Elder Statesmen perform in the Blue Room at Noon Saturday 10/11/2014...Love-Pam


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