Sunday, July 1, 2018

Jazz Fest 2018, Day 9: Frank keeps his clothes on and beats the heat with Deva Mahal and Tower of Power

Posted By on Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 12:05 AM

click to enlarge Deva Mahal and her band played the Harro East Ballroom on the final night of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • Deva Mahal and her band played the Harro East Ballroom on the final night of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.
Frank streaks the Jazz Fest; pictures at 11.

Well, no, not really, but it would have felt good. Remember it's not the heat; it's the stupidity. And yes, it was stupid hot last night, but the Harro East Ballroom had us on ice with the AC and the super cool Deva Mahal.

Now I've heard the term "genre defying" bandied around a bit in reference to Mahal and thought it was lazy — but Mahal and her band were actually impossible to classify. It wasn't blues; it wasn't jazz. She has a great voice with over-flowing energy. It was kind of rock but with a Pentecostal delivery. I know it was Mahal's gig, but her band sorta out-shined her. Especially the cat on guitar.


For maximum bang for your buck in the funky horn department, look no further than Tower of Power, baby.  The band was super-tight. That's what happens when you stay together long enough to celebrate 50 years in the biz. The crowd was huge — I'm  guessing about 10 million — and a little wild from drinking gallons of  beer in the sun by the East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage.

And this is where I called it a night and headed home where I streaked the kitchen.

The good thing about music is when arguing about it both sides are right. I want to thank my CITY Newspaper colleagues Jake Clapp, Ron Netsky, and Daniel Kushner; it was cool sitting with them at the smart kids' table. And you, the countless readers who came up to us to agree or disagree, or point fingers and call names. And  John Nugent and Marc Iacona: thanks for providing me with this forum to listen to some beautiful music and run my mouth about it.

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