The 32nd Annual Russian River Jazz Festival/Jazz on the River was a blast last Sunday! The weather was perfect and the music was great. On the Main Stage, extraordinary guitarist Earl Klugh and his band jammed. I was there for his last few songs which included the classic “Dr. Macumba” and tunes from his current release Spice of Life. Dynamic guitarist Terrence Brewer grooved for two sets on the Garden Stage with everything from Wes Montgomery and Frank Foster to his own orginal compositions, “Blues for Katie” and “A.D.D” from his current releases, The Calling: Volume 1, The Calling: Volume 2 and QuintEssential. Back on the Main Stage, keyboard virtuoso George Duke was putting a hurtin’ on the keys. His set included classics “Sweet Baby”, “Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself”, and “No Rhyme or Reason.” He also treated us to four songs from his new release, Dukey Treats including “Sudan” which talked about the crisis in Sudan and Darfur. He closed out his set with the title track “Dukey Treats” which was a fresh take on his straight up classic funk sound. It was shonuff funky! Our afternoon of great music closed with Guitar and Saxes which featured the incredible talents of Peter White and Jeff Golub on guitars, Gerald Albright and Jessy J on saxes, and Jeff Lorber on keyboards. Jessy J also played the flute and percussion. Rounding out their band were Dwayne “Smitty” Smith on bass guitar and Rayford Griffin on drums. Albright, White, Jessy J, Lorber, and Golub played gems from their own recordings then they all came together at the end on AWB’s “Cute The Cake.”
Photo of guitarists Terrence Brewer and Earl Klugh by James Knox. All rights reserved.