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Montreux Jazz Festival 2001

bullet    Festival Overview
bullet   Gary Moore
bullet   Sun Record Tribute
bullet   BB King & Van Morrison
bullet   Paco de Lucia
bullet   Ray Brown

juillet/July, 2001 1220 words

by "Toomey" Bonardelli


Montreux Jazz Festival hits a 35-year Milestone

Montreux, Switzerland (APS): This year marks an important milestone in the Montreux Jazz Festival - 35 years of music, overflowing from the concert halls to the boardwalk and onto the lake. From its 3-day inception in 1967 to its present size and variety of music, it has become a mecca for performers and fans alike. The tradition continues along with the many changes that have occurred over the years. The original casino where events were held, burned to the ground. A new Centre de Congrès has been built that houses two concert halls. A new casino beckons visitors to this resort town. Furthermore, this year the new casino will be an additional venue for the music of the festival.

This year’s festival provides a collage of concerts for a variety of tastes. The first weekend showcases rock and blues with Gary Moore along with Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather and the No Substitutions Band. While Gary Moore is known among blues fans, his notoriety in the U.S. has unfortunately been sketchy. On July 7, the Tribute to Sun Records brings in Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Performing with this Rolling Stone, will be George Flame, Albert Lee and an all-start line-up. Furthermore, the original Sun artists Billy Lee Riley, Little Milton, and Sonny Burgess are expected to perform. If you think that is a spectacular show in itself, add Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to the roster. The Stravinski Auditorium of the Centre de Congrès will be rocking until 3 or 4 am. In the smaller hall, Miles Davis Hall, an evening of reggae entertained music lovers.

The two indoor venues of the Centre de Congrès are just part of this year’s festivities. The "Off" Festival, which includes music workshops, acoustic presentations, several boats and train tours, includes over 1,500 musicians at these venues. In addition, the Jazz Café welcomes hundreds of artists from DJs to bands to jam sessions. One stage on the terrace of the Stravinski Auditorium and the other stage farther along the boardwalk, provides big band and university jazz bands throughout the afternoons and early evenings. One of the big bands comes from Central Illinois, Decatur High School, lead by Bill Culbertson. The workshops were a great opportunity to learn a few tips from a famous musician or to get intimate with your favorite performer.

The two indoor stages are the heartbeat of the festival, however, providing a collage of concerts for a variety of tastes. In the Stravinski Auditorium throughout the festival, audiences are exposed to a variety of music. As seen by the opening weekend, blues is particularly popular here, with B.B. King’s show a constant sell-out over the years. His show is marked with a jam session where musicians from past and future evenings come on stage to perform with the master. This year Van Morrison is the opening act and an expected "jammer", but expect other performers to show up, like Gary Moore and some of the other stars of the first weekend’s show. But some performers from future shows like Neil Young and the Black Crowes could make it on B.B. King’s stage. Even festival organizer, Claude Nobs, comes out to play his harp.

Rock and rap music holds the stage for several evenings with Bob Dylan, Alanis Morissette, Beck, Sting, Jeff Beck, Run DMC, and Living Colour. However, the styles keep changing over the course of the two weeks. There are Latin rhythms with Paco de Lucia, Milton Nascimento, Alfredo de la Fé, Celia Cruz, among others. Funk and soul were here too with George Clinton and Herbie Hancock.

For North Americans who are inundated with Anglo-performers, the festival provides the fan with opportunities to explore music from all over the world (versus world music). In addition, the festival gives fans from this side of the Atlantic, exposure to European jazz or rock performers. Gilles Peterson, Peter Kruder, Geraldo Nuñez, and a multitude of other names and music styles fill the halls. Furthermore, hip-hop, rap, and a variety of industrial, and even DJs perform here, mostly in the Miles Davis Hall.

Jazz comes in all packages from Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter to the avant-garde sounds of Bobby McFerrin. Rachelle Ferrell and Diane Reeves play special tribute to Sarah Vaughan with George Duke at the piano. Don{t forget Keith Jarrett and Joshua Redman Quartet, who add to the jazz package.

The concerts were not the only events at the Montreux Jazz Festival. There are free workshops, where the performers host a clinic, to explain their music and demonstrate their playing. B.B. King is a perennial host of a workshop where he field questions from the audience and shows them some famous B.B. riffs. In addition, one can see Billy Cobham discuss drum styles and Joshua Redman give the audience the basics of saxophone play. Visitors to the festival will want to chat with Bobby McFerrin or their favorite reggae band when Du Burning Spear talks of the history of reggae.

Acoustic evenings at the Montreux Palace were quite relaxing in the 4-star hotel. They start early and provide mellow sounds in a beautiful ballroom. If that is not enough, three jazz cruises, named the Gospel, Salsa, and the Samba Boats are another event along with a New Orleans steam train and another train ride on the Panoramic Express to Gstaad up in the mountains are more festival-related diversions. The boat rides have three bands on each of the levels and the bands perform for a boat-load of fans during a three hour tour. The trains feature comedy performers and skits throughout the ride up the mountain and then a reception of wine and cheese for the guests at the end of the trip.

Other events also permeate the Montreux Jazz Festival site. The "off" festival provides two stages along the lakefront showcasing big bands and college jazz bands. All afternoon and evening, lakeside strollers listen to music along the almost mile-long walk.

The Jazz Café, an eclectically-designed bistro, is the meeting place of almost everyone at some time during the festival. While a hang-out for teenagers, it also attracts the post-concert crowd to the music. Events in the café includes videos of past Jazz Festival performances, concerts showcasing all types of music, and jam sessions. It is a guarantee that many performers show up later in the evening at the café to jam with the headliners. If that is not enough, the DJ will play records until 5 am. Each evening at the café has a theme, either showcasing a record label’s artists or a type of music. The café will expand your opinion of music is and can be.

One problem, if you want to label it as such, is that the concerts go on until the wee hours of the morning. This year there are less acts per concert so the end time may be after midnight and not at 3:30am or later.

Furthermore, the many music-related and other sponsors of the festival, from MTV, CNN, and Swiss radio stations to Chrysler, Barclay, Swatch, Hennessy, Switcher, Swissair were there to promote their products in the foyer of the Centre de Congrès.

Two weeks of music, music education, and pleasant diversions occurred at the Montreux Jazz Festival.


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Montreux Jazz Festival---le 6 juillet, 2001 444 words

by "Toomey" Bonardelli

Bluesman Gary Moore Plays Montreux

Montreux, Switzerland (APS) Gary Moore performed in the salle Stravinski on July 6, as part of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival. The four-piece band came on stage to play the blues and play they did. Vic Martin on the Hammond B-3 organ, gave a unique feel to Moore’s one and a half hour set.

Moore picked up several of his vintage guitars, like his 1959 red Fender Strat to hit us with that hard core power blues. He seemed to be jamming on many tunes, but they remained true to the overall feel of the song. As he continued the set to include a very fast and extraordinary version of Hendrix’ Fire, one realized how tight the band really was. In the encore, his version of The Blues is Alright was dedicated to Little Milton, the writer of that tune, who would be on that stage the next night. The night continued with the second encore tune: an acoustic The Blues Ain’t Had Enough of Me. To end the night, he did an instrumental that had his guitar wailing into the highest registers of the fretboard.

While the audience resounded in approval in Montreux, it is sound to realize that many people in North America are unfamiliar with Gary Moore. True blues aficionados will know the name and his albums can be found around town, but his name is not as common as Clapton. In Europe, he remains popular and always does well on the concert tour.

He was born in Belfast in 1952 and became involved in music early on. He was called in to do guitar work with Thin Lizzy in 1970. Over the years, Moore has performed various types of music, but the blues has always cut through.

In the 1990s, his blues credentials solidified with his work with Albert Collins and George Harrison in the album, "Still Got the Blues". Harrison returns the favor with a part for him in a Traveling Willburys tune. More work with Albert Collins and B. B. King on a 1992 album "After Hours". Moore moved into the rock blues idiom with BBM, a band with Cream legends, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Although not fully accepted by music critics, the album had powerful sounds, but not enough to continue the association.

Gary Moore continued to produce albums and in them experimented with new sounds: more mainstream 1990s stuff. However, the 1999 "A Different Beat", gets into some radical modern beats but maintains his blues roots. Gary Moore fans may hear some changing sounds but are sure to hear the solid blues that Moore has consistently developed.


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1073 words

by "Toomey" Bonardelli July 7. 01

Montreux Jazz Honours Sun Records with All-Star Line-up

Montreux, Switzerland (APS) On July 7, 2001, the salle Stravinski of the Centre de Congrès was the place to be as former Sun Record artists and others remember the heyday of the famous label. The show was a long one consisting of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, along with three former Sun Record artists. Little Milton, Sonny Burgess, and Billy Lee Riley all performed with Chris Spedding’s house band which included Brian May of Queen.

The show was sponsored by the Experience Music Project of Seattle, a company focusing on education and innovation to exemplify American music all over the world. While concentrating on hip hop to rock, it has delved into the promotion of this show since it believes that Sun Records has been an American institution that deserves its recognition.

Chris Spedding led the back-up band for the three Sun artists. Part of the set included a Johnny Cash tribute, which was well-received as Cash has been getting somewhat of a new following these days. Elvis’ Blue-Suede Shoes and Ike Turner’s Rocket 88 and other classic tunes filled the hall. Then Brian May of Queen fame entered the stage and performed a few Sun Record classics, like Billy Emerson’s I Don’t Want Nobody. What happened next was a low point in all my years of seeing live music. May brought out his wife and two children to sing background vocals. They performed the Queen song Tie Your Brother Down. Besides being in poor taste, the family could not sing or dance very well. My mouth dangled open for the remainder of the set.

Sonny Burgess bounced onto the stage with We’re Gonna Boogie and moved into some Elvis stuff like Lordy Lordy and It’s Alright. My Bucket’s got a Hole in It and Rock and Roll Rudy were other tunes one may remember from the Sun collection. Burgess’ famous tune, Red-Headed Woman, was not familiar to the crowd, but nonetheless was received enthusiastically.

The next Sun star to visit was Little Milton (Campbell) who may be the most familiar of the three Sun stars that would be on the stage that evening. His blues anthem, Hey, Hey, the Blues is Alright has been performed by an endless number of blues players. While Milton performed the 1950s tunes, he also did more modern funky songs such as Shot from the Saddle and Put a Juke Joint in My House. These songs saved the evening from down grading to a rock and roll revival show. Little Milton reminded the audience that he was performing these songs long before Elvis made Sun Records a famous label.

Milton in the earlier press conference mentioned how it was hard to get along with Sun founder Sam Phillips at times. He nonetheless respected his music ability and his promoting ability. His big beef with Phillips was that Phillips never acknowledged the origins of the music. It was artists like Rufus Thomas and Ike Turner that had set-up the building blocks of rock, he stated. It was the "race music" of the era that influenced rock, but he went on to say that it is feelings that are important in music, not color.

While Little Milton is a performer that has a story to tell today, the call by his valet to purchase souvenirs in the lobby was a low point in an otherwise great set.

At 1:30 am, Billy Lee Riley ended the evening with his guitar and harmonica. Riley’s style exudes the black artists of the era, especially vocally. Indeed, earlier he had told me that he was inspired by the black farm hands that lived nearby and after hearing them, he knew he wanted to play the blues.

His set included the early rock style of Elvis, complete with a shiny suit. He danced into the audience singing Rock the Blues Away. He told the audience that Rocking My Baby was recorded in a radio station and the "B" side Trouble Bound was recorded in a garage, where he played the harp. He then went into his 1956 hit That’s the Way It Goes, then took the crowd into the 1958 Got Your Water Boiling Baby.

While it was a journey into history with these players, sometimes the show fell into the rock revival theme, but these originals managed to entertain the crowd and it was a highlight of the entire festival.

Earlier, The Rhythm Kings opened the evening and their large grouping of musicians included a Hammond B-3 organ player. Albert Lee provided some great guitar licks throughout the set. Tunes by Dan Hicks to ditties like Chicken Shack were the fare here, along with a tribute to John Lee Hooker, who died recently. The long tune Tell You a Secret followed more familiar tunes like Train Train. Albert Lee’s vocal on Tear It Up had the crowd screaming by this part of the set. Several singers provided variety to the blues and rock and roll music by the Rhythm Kings. Their encore summed up this dance era with Saturday Night at the Hole in the Wall.

Claiming to be influenced by American blues and Sun Record artists, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame performed a short set of 35 minutes. Many songs had the Elvis feel, complete with heavy echo on the vocals.

Earlier in the day, Page and Plant showed up at a press conference to discuss the Sun Records tribute. They reminisced how they discovered blues and American music in general. Since European radio stations would promote a certain label, Plant stated that he would not get enough variety. Armed Forces Radio provided that variety to many British music lovers. Then they would be able to get these songs when the merchant marine would bring records back from their travels.

They took the music and reproduced it, but because they were not in the environment, like the U.S. south or in the Chicago clubs, their version was different from the brand of blues produced at Sun. But one thing of which they were sure, is that the music should be played, should live on, and not be left in a corner of the Hard Rock Café and be honored. Page and Plant did justice to the music that they heard in their youth at their short set at Montreux.


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July 11. 2001 1395 words

B.B. King and Van Morrison Provide Vibrant Concert


by "Toomey" Bonardelli and John Sluzalis

Montreux, Switzerland (APS) B.B. King’s and Van Morrison shared the stage to provide this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival with an excellent performance. On July 17, 2001, the Stravinski Auditorium was filled with blues lovers who came to see the man with a unique style and major contributor to the genre. They came to see also the mysterious man from Belfast.

With his over fifty years in show business, King still gives his audiences a great show. However, he reminded the audience that he must sit down during the performance since he is 76 years old. Earlier in the week, in a workshop where he explained the blues to a gathering of 200 people, he mentioned that he has diabetes and that he feels the signs of aging. One would not suspect that from the spectacular show Wednesday evening.

B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation in Itta Bene, in the Mississippi Delta. By 1947, King arrived in Memphis, which supported a large, competitive musical community. Living with his cousin, Bukka White, one of the most renowned rural blues performers of his time, B.B. learned more about the blues. During that time, he performed on black radio stations and subsequently got club gigs as a result. He also landed his own radio show, where he took the name Beale Street Blues Boy or the short version, Blues Boy or B.B.

In the mid-1950s, while performing in Arkansas, a fight broke out and the hall caught fire when a kerosene stove tipped over. As everyone fled the burning building, B.B. realised that his acoustic guitar was still inside and so risked his life to save it. He later found out that the fight was over a woman named Lucille, he decided that would be the name of his guitars.

During his stint in the army, King was introduced to the music of Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker, electric guitarists. That is when King decided to play the blues.

B.B. King described his style to me the day earlier. He mentioned that over the years, he has developed a unique guitar style by borrowing from Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, and others. With these influences, he integrated his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left-hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable to today’s artists. His approach and phrasing has been a model for thousands of players including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Jeff Beck.

The sound is richly melodic, both vocally and in the "singing" that comes from his guitar. As B.B. King states, "When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille."

His awards, honorariums and honorary doctorates, along with record sales and attendance at concerts are all indications of his influence on the music world. He has developed his audience over the years. King has been touring internationally since his number one hit in 1951, "Three O’Clock Blues", averaging 275 concerts a year.

The band opened with a few tunes and then King walked out in a silver Tuxedo jacket to perform "Let the Good Times Roll". Then onto "I’ll Survive" and "Bad Case of Love" where he got the audience to sing along with him. By now the audience was getting into a frenzy so B.B. slowed it down with "I’ve Got Everything, but Piece of Mind"; a tune with incredible lyrics. The horns left the stage and it was King and the rhythm section doing a variety of tunes: "Summertime", "Early in the Morning", "Just Like a Woman". Then he told us to think that he had the personnel from the Riding with the King album (Eric Clapton and others) and launched into several tunes from the album.

The horns came back to the stage and the show continued with his most famous tune to the rock generation, "The Thrill is Gone". He dedicated "Please Accept my Love" as a sincere gesture to the audience. If it were any other performer, I would have rolled my eyes. But not for him.

His sincerity is obvious and it comes through in his show. He didn’t just sing a few words and hit a few strings. He did some outstanding riffs à la B.B. King complete with the bending strings. King is definitely a performer that one must see to get the complete experience. The facial gyrations, the way he moves his fingers along the fretboard, the rapport with his sidemen and the audience are not captured on albums.

After over two hours on stage, B.B. started the famous jam session. Guitarists Ben Johnson, Runi Rotta, and Model T Ford entered the stage. The started with "Rock Me Baby" and "Everything Going to Be Alright". Finally, the grand finale was "When the Saints go Marching In" had the audience singing along. This year’s jam session was somewhat flawed since Model T Ford was so out of tune and was out there playing 13 and 15 bar blues. He would sing during solos and come in at the wrong time. Even B.B. kidded him when he was trying to tune, saying "If you tighten that string too much, it’ll pop!". However, the errors were not restricted to the jam session. King’s drummer rushed every tune in the set. King saved the show by controlling the solos and forcing the end of the tunes when it was necessary.

During the show, off to the side of the stage, a sculptor was shaping a bust of King. In addition, Claude Nobs, the Festival founder and Master of Ceremonies, gave King a large cowbell with the inscription "King of the Blues and King of Montreux". Everyone felt elated so to be part of a landmark of a performer so amiable.

The evening began with Van Morrison and his seven-piece band, including horns and a Hammond B-3 organ for that special sound. Morrison has a cult following in the US and is clearly appreciated in Europe. Morrison grew up playing guitar, sax, and harmonica as he listened to his dad’s blues and jazz records. In 1966, after performing in Irish bands, Morrison made it to New York, where he began his solo career. Morrison produced several albums including Moondance, Tupelo Honey, and St. Dominic’s Preview, while touring with his Caledonian Soul Orchestra.

In 1973, he returned to Ireland to explore his Celtic roots. His subsequent album in 1974, Veedon Fleece, was milder and was his last release for the next 3 years. In 1977, he returned to the pop world with A Period of Transition, co-produced by Dr. John. He settled in London and produced several albums in the following years. His spiritual quest and interest in these matters found its way into his songs and to the albums of the 1980s. The 1990s has seen Van Morrison investigating blues and jazz; Too Long in Exile (1993) and How Long Has this Been Going on (1995). In 1998, a collection of unreleased songs recorded between 1971 and 1988 was published in The Philosopher’s Stone. In the same year, a Grammy was given to Morrison for his collaboration with John Lee Hooker on Don’t Look Back. In 2000, Van Morrison re-united with heroes from his youth, Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber and put out The Skiffle Sessions - Live in Belfast.

His Montreux performance was as eclectic as ever, with Morrison quiet between songs or sometimes mumbling. He kept on signaling the roadie who rushed several cocktails to Morrison throughout the set. Morrison walked on stage with sunglasses and wearing a fedora. He blew the sax on the first tune and was out of tune. He got to his guitar and told us "Everything is going to Be Alright". I think that meant he would not play sax again! He did play it on one other tune. Morrison did slow numbers like "Georgia" and upbeat tunes like Louis Prima’s "When You’re Smilin’". Since it was a jazz fest, he told u the audience, let’s play jazz. That was his intro to "St. James Infirmary". Back to the blues with John Lee Hooker’s "I’m Gonna Boogie" and he ended his one hour set with the rock classic "Gloria".

The show ended as abruptly as it began.


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July 12, 2001 456 words

by "Toomey" Bonardelli

Paco de Lucia’s Flamenco style at Montreux

Montreux, Switzerland (APS) The Stravinski Auditorium was filled with the sounds of Paco de Lucia’s unique guitar sounds last Thursday, July 12. Quite well-known in the U.S., de Lucia is a flamenco guitarist who has expanded to include elements of jazz to his repertoire. This evening, he performed with an eight-piece band to the delight of the crowd.

de Lucia’s career has spanned over thirty years, beginning in a small town in Spain where he performed on the radio at 11 years old. The next year, 1959, he won a music award at the Jerez flamenco competition. He subsequently toured with dancer José Greco as part of the flamenco musicians. It was on a tour in the U.S. where he met the renowned flamenco guitarist Sabicas. It was one piece of advice that Sabicas gave him that would be a spur to his worldwide popularity. As Paco recalls. "He heard me play and basically said that for me to have a career I had to move away from imitation". Paco continues, "I think that Sabicas was upset that I played in the style of Nino Ricardo, the flamenco master of Spain, while Sabicas was synonymous with flamenco in the U.S."

Nevertheless, de Lucia took Sabicas’ advice and began to develop his style. He recorded his first album, Los Chiquitos de Algeciras, with his brother Pepe at the age of fourteen. By 1967, with the release of La Fabulosa Guitarra de Paco de Lucia, he has sufficiently distanced himself from flamenco masters of the time. The 1969 release of Fantasia Flamenco, he had his definitive style.

Over the years, he developed and at times departed from flamenco tradition of theme and variation. He has had a successful collaboration with Cameron de la Isla, a famous flamenco singer, which included ten albums. However, de Lucia has received some criticism due to his delving into other styles. For instance, he has recorded with Chick Corea and Larry Coryell and has released the Verve album Guitar Trio in 1996, with John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola.

While dismissed by flamenco purists in the early 1970s, de Lucia is now recognised as a flamenco master. Paco states, "What I have tried to do is have a band holding onto [sic] tradition and the other scratching and also digging in other places trying to find new things I can bring into flamenco." Some of his innovations, such as the use of the cajon (wooden box), have become standard in flamenco today.

With all this history behind him, de Lucia came on stage last Thursday and started solo, then added a percussionist in the next song. The rest of night had the remaining musicians sitting in a semi-circle, playing the de Lucia flamenco sound.


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July 13, 2001

by "Toomey" Bonardelli

Bass Player Ray Brown Brings Hot Jazz back to Casino

Montreux, Switzerland (APS) This year the casino hosted several evenings of the Montreux Jazz Festival, as it had in the early years of the festival. The casino fire, made famous in the song by Deep Purple, seemed to snuff out the chances of music being heard at the casino again. Even after a new casino was built, it has taken many years for the casino to host a jazz festival concert. This year bassist Ray Brown came to celebrate his 75th birthday and he brought in some of the best players in the world. So on Friday, July 13, the audience gathered at the casino for the best concert of the festival.

Ray Brown walked on stage with drummer Jeff Hamilton, and pianist Hank Jones and began to play. Every bass note plucked was clear - never a buzz. Perfect form. The trio launched into standards like "I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face", complete with the tasty, clean solos.

Then the horns walked on; and the trombones highlighted "Stompin’ at the Savoy, while the trumpet’s piercing sound told the audience "There is No Greater Love". To highlight the expertise of trombonist James Morrison and trumpeter Steve Turre, they battled it out solo-style on a Charlie Parker tune. Then the horn players walked off stage.

Guitarist Russell Malone, who came out of Robert Altman’s 1996 movie Kansas City, was invited onto the stage. With vocalist Melissa Walker, they nailed the ballads, "So Tenderly" and "I Thought About You".

Then Ray and Russell are joined by guest pianist Benny Green. The band performs without a percussionist as they used to do in some of the 1940s New York clubs. "Sweet Georgia Brown", "I Can’t Get Started". "Fly to the Moon" filled the room. Then all the musicians returned to the stage for a jam session, wrapped around "Bye Bye Blackbird". That was it; the audience sang "Happy Birthday" as the encore and then a blues tune brought the band to the 12am curfew. One hour and forty-five minutes no jazz lover will ever forget.

Ray Brown was destined to a music career, but it almost was as a pianist. Although proficient on piano by his teen years, he took up bass since there were three of them at the high school and only two players. He started to perform around Pittsburgh, working with Jimmy Hinsley Sextet and then Snookum Russel.

He then left for New York City and played the famous clubs along 52nd Street. An introduction at a gig to Dizzy Gillespie led to a two-year association with Dizzy’s band. In 1948, Brown formed his own trio with Hank Jones and Charlie Smith. A meeting with Norman Granz, promoter of "Jazz at the Philharmonic" series at Carnegie Hall, began an eighteen-year relationship where Brown toured the world. Along his travels, he hooked up with Oscar Peterson and remained in his band until the band broke up in 1966.

While his marriage to Ella Fitzgerald was not successful, his associations with other musicians produced log-lasting music for jazz audiences. To date, Brown has played with every big-name jazz artist and in every major venue in world. The people of Montreux are happy he came to the intimate setting in the casino.

The audience was warmed up by Jimmy Scott, who entered the stage in his tuxedo to perform a set of vocal-oriented tunes. The way he croons and his thin frame is reminiscent of a Springfield bluesman, Eddie Eugene.

Jimmy Scott hails from Cleveland but has traveled around both coasts during a somewhat troubled career. Due to a rare hormonal disease, which was only diagnosed late in life, he was often perceived and treated unfavorably. Since the disease prevents puberty, Scott’s high voice and effeminate look led to discrimination and ridicule over his career. Combined with some other events that affected his upbringing, the life of Jimmy Scott was filled with pain.

His mother died while he was a teenager, and his nine brothers and sisters were split up. The loss of his mother and siblings was a burden on him throughout his life in spite of early success. He started in vaudeville in the 1940s, and ended up for a period with Lionel Hampton’s band. In the early fifties, Scott moved to Newark and signed with Savoy Records. However, mismanagement and changing music tastes stalled his career.

In the early 1960s, an association with Ray Charles and his label Tangerine Records was thwarted since Savoy Records sued Scott for breach of contract. Jimmy Scott responded by returning to Cleveland and virtually gave up his music career. However, in 1988, an article in the Village Voice rejuvenated his career, got him out singing, and he landed a 5-album Sire Records deal. He has recorded with Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen and is now touring the jazz halls. Europe and especially Montreux is happy to see this unique performer on stage.

Scott opened with "All of Me" and continued with some laid-back mellow songs, performed exquisitely. From "All the Way" to "How Deep is the Ocean" to "It Had to Be You", Jimmy Scott had you hanging on to the emotion he presented.

The band left the stage for the blues number" I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good", performed with pianist Michael Kanan. He had the band come back for his finale where he did the upbeat blues number "I Cried for You".

Throughout the show, Jimmy Scott was constantly smiling and laughing, letting us know that he enjoys being up on stage. Scott left the stage with his audience as enthusiastic about the evening as he was.


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