Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Music: Old, New, and Newport

The local PBS station showed some highlights of Newport 2006, in superb High Def.

Chris Botti was out first, playing with his trademark graceful fluidity. He was followed by The Bad Plus, a quirky trio full of stop-start tightness that was impressive in its precision, but which did little for me musically (kind of like Rush).

Also on stage were the Robert Glasper Trio. Glasper's piano work was unremarkable, although his pliable arachnidian fingers creeped me out. More remarkable was his drummer, who played like an 800-pound butterfly.

Savion Glover came out and clomped about in his herky-jerky style that called to mind (a) one of those street bums with the squeegees that clean car windshields in police dramas, and (b) Joe Cocker in tap shoes.

Dr. John was in the right place and the wrong key, or maybe I just didn't care. Also present was Angelique Kidjo, a scary looking woman who resembled Grace Jones in a pants suit.

It's too bad they didn't show Dave Brubeck, John Pizzarelli, or Jane Monheit.

Also on my DVR was the Oprah show featuring the wonderful Corinne Bailey Rae. I caught only a glimpse of her a few weeks ago on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", but I was intrigued. This time I got to see two complete performances and an interview. Rae has "it"; she's unhurried, unaffected, lovely, and sings in her own voice. She can go as far as she wants.

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