The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival was, as usual, a showcase and a proving ground for great soloists. Here’s my recap, concentrating on a few of the finest performances I heard, including those of vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant (above) who performed with the Aaron Diehl Trio; the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the Benny Golson Quartet; and the Christian McBride Big Band.
Pianist Mike LeDonne
Ron Carter. Benny Golson. Jimmy Cobb. Bill Charlap. Brad Mehldau. George Coleman. All great players, all on the same bill, one night only. What – you want more? OK, how about Harold Mabern, Renee Rosnes, Buster Williams, Bob Cranshaw, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, Kenny Washington… and the list goes on. The event was the opening night of the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, a benefit for the first NYC Disability Pride Parade, organized by the parade’s founder, the eminent pianist/organist Mike LeDonne. Read my review in DownBeat.