Home Jazz A beautiful tribute to Wein highlights the Newport Jazz Festival

A beautiful tribute to Wein highlights the Newport Jazz Festival

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Pianist Hiromi expresses her gratitude to Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein.Matthew Healey for the Boston Globe

The music, in its range of styles, its quality, and the age of the artists performing it, also projected Wein’s spirit. The sets of the two legends suffered somewhat from logistical glitches. Ron Carter’s set opening the Fort Stage was half an hour late to start and then cut short. Likewise, band Jazz Is Dead, featuring saxophonist great Gary Bartz, were still testing the sound on the Quad Stage 20 minutes into their set. Anyone hoping to catch some before heading to Fort Stage for Jason Moran and the Bandwagon faced a tough decision on when to give up and move on.

Left to right: Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin and Anat Cohen perform on Sunday at an all-star tribute to George Wein, the late Newport <a class=Jazz Festival founder.” class=”height_a width_full invisible width_full–mobile width_full–tablet-only” src=”https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/_qrpc6YgVR6mBD2CB9Xm_GSD3N8=/960×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG” srcset=”https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/lKCFGTDZUqmlYuq7L8KlBv6zXgQ=/1440×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 1440w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/TGX99DygSWYnTqwNBtqMtDlECTY=/1280×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 1280w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/LMhIBJsBM_O35hWfscLc_fe35VY=/1024×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 1024w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/Fyd_8lQSZMpH5VGFWOufsEqvk5k=/820×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 820w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/SZTVTDRyHsppAhzOUXRIrOJLez0=/600×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 600w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/-rP89FpgXVFUZJ8K3iMVu9zzRrk=/420×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 420w, https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/G86y08qMA4WPxFJJwg9wKZfiY0w=/240×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG 240w” bad-src=”https://bostonglobe-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/Aeh0VUIhOBsVRIAf2H1cfg0WxIg=/20×0/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/bostonglobe/ECTOTEH3MGO3K2MVDBTA4OINH4.JPG”/>
Left to right: Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin and Anat Cohen perform on Sunday at an all-star tribute to George Wein, the late Newport Jazz Festival founder.Matthew Healey for the Boston Globe

The Moran set was worth seeing in its entirety – arguably the highlight of the day for hardcore jazz heads. His trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, now entering its third decade as a unit, ripped through a medley of his own music (“Gangsterism on Stages” and “For Love”) and Geri covers. Allen (“Feed the Fire”), Wes Montgomery (“Four on Six”), Fats Waller (“The Sheik of Araby”), and Thelonious Monk (“Thelonious”). “For us, it’s a family,” he told the audience during a break. Later came several plays by James Reese Europe, which Moran described as “the big bang of everything that happens here”.

Moran’s set ended with him leading the audience in a brief accompaniment. Audience participation is commonplace at the Fort Stage, where most bands are chosen to appeal to a large audience. The best of those Sundays was the fiery New Orleans horn ensemble, the Soul Rebels, who carried the cheering crowds to the stage through song and dance missions. Angelique Kidjo was jaw-dropping, but her set didn’t need to get the Fort Stage audience dancing – they were already doing that.

Meredith Baughman and Toomas Toomepuu, both of Detroit, dance during Angelique Kidjo’s set at the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday.Matthew Healey for the Boston Globe

More intellectual things were happening around the corner from the relatively intimate Harbor Stage, among them the Emmet Cohen Trio, saxophonist Melissa Aldana and the Vijay Iyer Trio, which featured Linda May Han Oh on bass and had Jeremy Dutton replacing Tyshawn . Sorey on drums.

British tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia played a stellar set, her Newport debut, at the medium-sized Quad Stage, mixing tunes from her “Source” album with new material and dancing every time a band member played solo . A new coin had yet to be named, but judging by the audience reaction, it will be a keeper.

Jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia performs at the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday.Matthew Healey for the Boston Globe

The tribute to Wein on the Fort’s main stage began with an intergenerational all-star jam featuring Faddis and Randy Brecker on trumpet, Lew Tabackin on tenor sax, Anat Cohen on clarinet, Christian Sands on piano, the artistic director of the festival Christian McBride on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. Jay Leonhart replaced McBride on bass for surprise guest Cecile McLorin Salvant’s vocal contribution. She was followed by piano virtuoso Hiromi, who took to the stage holding up a sign saying “Thank you George”, then performed unaccompanied, periodically smiling at the audience as she blazed through surprisingly difficult bursts of notes.

Trombone Shorty performs during an all-star tribute to the late George Wein during the final set Sunday at the Newport Jazz Festival.Matthew Healey for the Boston Globe

Faddis, Leonhart and Nash joined Hiromi for a touching “Over the Rainbow”. Next came Trombone Shorty, who blew trumpet and sang on “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” then switched to his namesake instrument for “St. James Infirmary. The party of standards Wein adored performed by artists he had loved and defended continued with Cohen’s return for “Jitterbug Waltz.” For the sizable crowd that lingered through it all, Wein’s memory was indeed a blessing.