Just thought I’d give a few thoughts on this coming year’s Monterey Jazz Festival lineup. This is by no means a complete commentary on the whole entire huge big program with about a billion different artists crammed into 2 1/2 days. Just a few thoughts.
First off, it looks like we’ll be hearing a fair bit of drummer Brian Blade during the course of the weekend, and that’s okay with me 😉 I saw him (again) about a year ago in New York with John Patitucci and Ed Simon (who won’t be at the MJF) and they were fabulous. Brian and John will be playing, hopefully, with Danilo Perez in the Wayne Shorter quartet (I imagine that’ll be the highlight of the fest for me as I haven’t seen Wayne live before). I would also expect Brian to play with Joshua Redman also, but I don’t know who will be playing bass as they don’t release the whole complete program ahead of time.
I’m a bit … shall we say… fascinated that they’re putting the Next Generation Orchestra on twice, once Saturday afternoon with Maceo Parker (cool) and Sunday afternoon with Christian McBride (also cool). This will be a memorable year for those guys (and gals?). For those of you who don’t know, I played in that band for two years (in ’91 we played with Dizzy Gillespie and in ’92 we played with Jon Faddis… Bill Berry directed back then, and the link is to a fabulous interview you should really read, though it was extra cool hearing those stories first hand).
And, of course, Herbie Hancock is back. Guess that’s all I need to say about that…
Tom Scott will be on the grounds (everyone reading this has heard his music before). Not sure what Matt Wilson and Bill Frisell will be up to, but if it’s ‘in’, it’ll probably be good (I heard Bill not long ago in New York, too). There’s several salsa / cuban bands scheduled for the grounds. Oh, and then there’s the Brian Blade fellowship. Did I mention we’ll be hearing from him a lot? 😉