Jazz legends bring the dynamite

2011-03-28 12:38

Cape Town – More than 33 000 festival-goers and five stages. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival was not only successful, but to those who attended it, it was unforgettable.

According to Times Live, the R36 million festival saw Hollywood star Denzel Washington, Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe and his wife, Bridgette, Hawks chief Anwar Dramat and trumpeter Hugh Masekela in attendance.

Tickets for the massive event were sold out days in advance as people looked forward to seeing international and local stars such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Youssou N’Dour, Hugh Masekela, Wayne Shorter, Jazzanova and Esperanza Spalding.

Jazz bassist and singer Spalding, who last month beat teen pop sensation Justin Bieber to take the Best New Artist Grammy, told journalists that she “loved Cape Town’s colourfulness, it’s mix of people”.

Earth, Wind & Fire performed on Saturday night and were crowd favourites with their fantastic sound, while Wayne Shorter, one of Miles Davis’ most significant musical associates, also overwhelmed with his magnificent performance.

Veterans and Legends
In his autobiography, Miles Davis describes Shorter as “the idea person, the conceptualiser of many of our musical ideas”. At 78, Shorter’s music still resonates with creativity and style.

The interaction between drums, bass and piano was complex, swift, and perfectly executed by Brian Blade, John Patitucci and Danilo Perez. Add Shorter’s saxophone, musical vision and the result is scintillating dynamite.

Earth, Wind & Fire drew in the crowd with Boogie Wonderland as the larger than life funk magnet, 60-year-old bass player Verdine White, stunned the audience with his funky jams and eccentric garb.

The funk master’s yellow and glittering gold bell-bottomed one piece and wild hairdo was a talking point at the festival, along with the great tunes the group provided.

Philip Bailey still sounded top-notch as he hit the high notes with flair while the group’s percussion and brass got red hot.

Earth, Wind & Fire have garnered six Grammy Awards and were introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Hugh Masekela also took to the stage along with his pianist friend Larry Willis, bassist Victor Masondo and drummer Lee-Roy Sauls. Masekela and Willis worked together in London in 1972 on the legendary album Home is where the music is. – Die Burger

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