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
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
Deborah Brown and Richard Johnson
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