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September 18, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-18

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Just like being there...
Burtmed you didn't make it out to the
AiYv Arbor Blues and Ja:z: Festival! Don't

tirt jist go online to see more pictures
fim ii il} photographer Sam -ollenshead.
mwihigandaily.com /arts
&cott wails
at the Bird
on Saturday
night
By John Uhl
Daily Music Editor
,My anticipation for Jimmy Scott had
been building since he was first booked
to perform at the Ann Arbor Blues and
Jazz Festival and I started hearing big
things about the singer.
The tension only mounted after I
arrived at the Bird of Paradise, when I
was told that there were not enough
seats for all of the ticketholders.
The frustated usher grumbled about
the production company as he
explained that there was not enough
room for me. "They overbooked us,

mwft But,

MONDAY
SEPTEMBER 18, 2000

I

Cray makes
Sunday's
B&J fest an

overall hit

-

Jimmy
Scott
BTrd of Paradise
Saturday

again" he said.
I stayed any-
way, finding a
wall to lean
against and
ignored several
requests for me to
leave. Eventually
I found a corner
stool to sit on
where I did not
obstruct anyone's
view and was
allowed to stay. I
watched as sever-
al other less for-

Little Milton serenaded the crowd at Gallup Park on Saturday night.

Shakey Jake shakes up Saturday's events. I

Photos by Sam Hollenshead/DAILY | Rosle Ledet played Sunday in Gallup Park.

tunate ticketholders were turned away.
Excitement continued to build as
Scott's band the Jazz Expressions
took the stage to warm up the crowd.
Mean while, several audience mem-
bers noticed the singer lingering by
htebar in the next room and dashed
ovcf to say hello, take a picture or
ret pest a signature. The woman sit-
ting next to me, who had traveled
fro~i an island in Canada to see the
Mner, was thrilled to have shaken
hihand.
Though "Little" Jimmy Scott per-
Irxied with some big names in the
50s, bad record deals have kept out of
the limelight. A performance at the
funeral of another singer, Doc Pomus,
in 1991 earned him the recording con-
tract that has recently brought him to
wider attention.
J-fnally, after two tunes by the
Expressions, Scott made his entrance.
See SCOTT, Page 12
. m'

By Tom Sinas
For the Daily
Musicians performing at outdoor fesi-
vals always face an inherent set of chil
lenges. Gone is the opportunity to grab aid
sustain an audience's attention via the com-
forts of a low-lit club. Instead, fans at festi
vals like the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz
Festival respond to an uninteresting set by
diverting their attention to conversation or
Frisbee games. Performers at this Sunda 's
festivities scored mixed results in thefW
of such challenges.
The penultimate performer on Sunday's
bill was female Zydeco artist Rosie Ledet
and her Zydeco Playboys. Ledet's op
infused, groove-oriented material w6rked
well to grab the attention of festival goers,
who responded by forming a sizable dance
party at the foot of the stage. Ledet put her
best foot forward by opening ip with sonic
well-crafted, hook-laden material tat
showcased her bluesy rasp.
Ledet maintained an air of good feels
throughout the performance. However, a
lack of substantive material took its toll on
the one-hour plus performance.
Homogenous tempos and repetitive songs
gave fans little to remember other than the
incessant badgering of the eldest Payby
to purchase Ledet's CDs.
Preceded by a moment of remembrane
for the recently departed sax legend
Stanley Turrentine, The Robert Cray B
took to the stage to conclude this year's t -
tivities. The crowd was instantly infused by
the energy and focus of this urban blues
legend. From the very beginning of the set,
Cray's years of experience spoke for the-
selves. His warm guitar sound and pristie
voice provided the perfect accompanimmgt
to the varied material that comprises his
repertoire. His blues/R&B/sou style is li
his own and regardless of where you're
coming from Cray makes you a belieyer
While Cray's personal attributes
the most noteworthy point of his set,
contributions of his fellow musicians id
not go unnoticed. The ensemble as a whole
was very tight and connected which pro-
vided a sense of continuity and profession-
alism. Outside of the spotlight, Cray.
proved to be a key rhythm section player,
with his offbeat guitar chording reminis-
cent of a reggae maestro.
While it is true that Cray's style lei a
itself to a certain kind of understatem{
and reservation, one did feel the urge to
hear Robert Cray cut loose a bit more that
he did. There were a couple of moments
where Cray opted for material with pop
aesthetics over some good guitar waling.
However, Cray wisely offset these luls
with a bit a jamming between himself and
his keyboardist.
While this year's Ann Arbor Blues and
Jazz Fest had to overcome a few ifiore
logistical snags than in years past, the
on Sunday was one of success thank
large to the Robert Cray Band. If ther is
anything to be said for last impressions,
one can be glad that a seasoned vet like
Cray got the last word.

- .....mm -----.----,- - -
Sam Hol!enshead/DAiLY
Rhone Avielle, an Ann Arbor musician, attended the festival on Saturday.

Kermit Ruffin& trombone player hit the stage on Sunday at 3:30 pm.

a-

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