Women in Music 2016
Newport Jazz Festival 2015 Day 3 Highlights: Bill Frisell, Dr. John, Aaron Diehl & More
The final day of the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival was a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton's famous "Spanish tinge" -- from New Orleans legend Dr. John to the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Arturo O'Farrill and Arturo Sandoval to the glitchy beats of Jason Lindner, festivalgoers left with a little extra pep in their step.
Read highlights from the last day of the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival below.
11:32 a.m.: Grammy-winning bandleader Arturo O'Farrill started things off with back-to-back father/son duets over his composition "Vaca Frita" -- his son Adam O'Farrill, an accomplished musician in his own right, is a member of his father's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. The band's rich textures, assisted by the wide array of percussion dominating the stage, were punctuated by the wicky-wick of the onstage DJ Logic.
12:13 p.m.: The dapper pianist Aaron Diehl and his trio performed synchronous, easy jazz that put a contemporary spin on the piano trio (but nothing abrasive enough to make the older ears in the crowd squirm). A jaw-droppingly gorgeous (and romantic without being cloying) version of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" left the crowd speechless.
1:11 p.m.: "He loved Hendrix," guitarist Mike Stern told the audience at author Ashley Kahn's Miles Davis panel. Kahn discussed how Davis had just seen the Woodstock documentary (which featured Jimi Hendrix prominently) prior to recording the Jack Johnson soundtrack, widely regarded as his debut with electric guitar.
1:31 p.m.: Bill Frisell stood facing his trio, playing intricately interwoven melodies on top of classics from "The Days of Wine and Roses" to "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and occasionally bursting into the lightest possible swing.
1:59 p.m.: "Long story short, this is Don Byas' saxophone," James Carter told the crowd at the Quad Stage ahead of his set-long tribute to the sax icon. Carter started off with a pared-down duet over "Living My Life" alongside bassist Leon Dorsey, showcasing that horn's rich, occasionally growling (and occasionally screaming) sound.
2:30 p.m.: Dr. John brought New Orleans to the stage aesthetically and sonically, playing his haunted, gritty blues behind a piano draped in purple (complete with decorative skull statuette) -- more or less fundamentally opposed to Newport's pastel preppiness, but no one seemed to mind.
3:07 p.m.: Pianist Fred Hersch's elegant stylings of original compositions and classics like Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" were a welcome respite for overwhelmed (and overheated) festival ears.
3:30 p.m.: Jason Lindner, looking jaunty in a snapback hat, brought "urban culture and rhythms" to the festival, in his words. With wavy organ sounds that could have been filtered through an am radio, Lindner and his band rocked out onstage to trippy songs like "Future Favela."
3:53 p.m.: Arturo Sandoval did his best to get the sweaty crowd on their feet, hips swinging side to side as he played stripped down Afro-Cuban grooves.