Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jazz Fest 2016, Day 2: Frank reviews Kandace Springs, misses Erykah Badu, and makes it to Junior Brown

Posted By on Sun, Jun 26, 2016 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Singer Kandace Springs at Harro East Ballroom on Saturday. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • Singer Kandace Springs at Harro East Ballroom on Saturday.

I said it was all about Junior Brown, and that's precisely how things rolled out for day two of the Jazz Fest. Weather-wise it was the kind of conditions that weathermen take credit for. And inside, it threatened to get hot since the buzz was buzzin' for Nashville's super-afroed lady at the keys, Kandace Springs.

As Springs dug into some Coltrane and a little Peterson, along with some of her own designs, she was charming to the max. And she possesses quite a range, which got sultrier the closer she dove into alto territory. But all of this and I just couldn't connect with her.

Springs was sincere and authentic, but her material was too all over the place; there just wasn't a root or thread through the set. She showed the packed Harro East Ballroom (which had simply amazing sound pumping out of the mains, by the way) what she likes -- I would rather see and hear more of who she is next time.

Kandace Springs will perform again on Sunday, June 26, at Anthology (336 East Avenue). 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $30 or a Club Pass will get you in.

Erykah Badu took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and was late by a couple hours, and I sure as hell wasn't going to miss Junior Brown at Anthology. So I forwent Badu and got down with Brown.

After meeting the man backstage and pressing the flesh, I settled in to an amazing show full of deceptively simple rhythm and time signature shifts by Brown and his able band. I don't know which half I like hearing from more: the guitar or the steel guitar. Both are part of his double-necked Guit-Steel -- the instrument equivalent to conjoined twins.

Brown switched off between the two liberally, with some string bending hi-jinx, and played with the low string tuner peg so it would plunge multiple octaves that almost came close to his beautiful baritone. Speaking of his voice: the ghost of Ernest Tubb lives there.

It'll be Charles Ruggerio, The Majestics, and John Abercrombie tomorrow night, along with lots of people watching.

Junior Brown played Anthology on Saturday night. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • Junior Brown played Anthology on Saturday night.

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