It would be hard to top last year’s event, so I’m not even going to try and make a comparison. Still it was a fabulous evening, three hours or more of top names, and worth every penny.
This year’s highlights for me were again Barry Harris, this time in a sweet duet with a tenor player whose name escapes me; Paul West’s bass playing, and Roy Hargrove’s phenomenal flugelhorn work. He made me want to go out and buy one, sounding like four guys playing in unison. What a sound!
The event this year hung on honoring Randy Weston. For a “Giant of Jazz” he fits the bill, coming in at about 6’9″ or 6’10″. T.S. Monk told great stories about how he was the “official door-answerer” for his dad. Usually it would be “dad, Miles Davis is at the door” but when Randy showed up he’d run away and hide in the back of the house!
We’ll be watching for next year’s event. I hope they get another big band, like last year’s All-Stars.