I find these performances from the 2012 Sacramento Music Festival very moving — a solo and duet from players who know the truth of Bobby Hackett’s assertion, “Melody is a must.”
The Maestro, Rossano Sportiello, brings Western classical music and hot jazz together in a matter of minutes, making his extraordinary light shine through the notes. His solo feature begins with a reading of Lizst’s Consolation # 3 — unusual material for a jazz festival, but it produced an attentive hush in the audience . . . then Rossano segued into a swinging stride exploration of the 1931 pop tune, LITTLE GIRL. I don’t think the two compositions are linked by their possible alphabetical proximity — or, as Sylvia Fine wrote and Louis sang, “Put Lizst on that list!” — they are just both awe-inspiring music with different shadings and approaches to beauty:
Then Rossano invited the splendid Dan Barrett on stage for a searching, tender performance of Billy Strayhorn’s CHELSEA BRIDGE. (Dan begins by thanking Rebecca Kilgore for this interlude — Miss Kilgore knows all their is to know about making melody come alive, as you will see if you don’t already know):
Here is missionary work for my readers: why not forward this post to all the people you know who say, “Well, I really like music. But I don’t like / don’t understand / don’t get what you hear in jazz.” Perhaps Maestri Sportiello and Barrett could do some subtle enlightening and make more people open themselves to this music — spreading the good word without seeming to preach.
May your happiness increase.