March 28, 2012

Berks Jazz Fest 2012: Karen Briggs

Sunday afternoon, there was another double bill, started by violinist Karen Briggs and her band. She opened the show with "Little Sunflower" with elements of Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" interspersed and an extended keyboard solo by Eli Staples, which made for a cool start. Things got jazzier with her swinging rendition of "On Green Dolphin Street", followed by a funked-up version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" that was nicely grooving and veered off into rock territory with a guitar solo by Dan Leonhard. Next was the afro tinged "Rootsy" from her current CD Soulchestral Groove that featured bassist Cheikh Ndoye who hails from Senegal. Then she brought her surprise guest, harmonica player Frédéric Yonnet to the stage who blew us away with his expressive and groovy playing, doing a song from his current, still in the works project Reed My Lips. Don't say that the Berks Jazz Fest isn't good for new discoveries! I will follow the career of this artist from now on and get his album when it is finished. Then they played one song from the solo release of bassist Cheikh Ndoye (which has some great guest players on it), before Frédéric Yonnet joined the band for the final track, "Beautiful Attitude". This was a great concert that was stylistically varied and covered everything from jazz to funk to rock to afro, and - most notably - introduced Frédéric Yonnet to the Berks Jazz Fest crowd.

Posted by Peter Böhi at March 28, 2012 2:12 PM