COVER STORY The Jazz
Now here's something you can really sink your teeth into. So to speak.
We're talking about substance, and since the Bite of Oregon has been upgrading its offerings of restaurant fare and rock 'n' roll, it's only right that this year it also will present world-class jazz artists as well. And in its spirit of cooperation, it has turned to the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival. The result is what's being billed as the jazz festival "encore," from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on the PGE Fountain Stage. And the lineup looks as appetizing as anything being served up the whole weekend. It starts with a little local flavor, the beguiling young singer/bassist Belinda Underwood, backed by pianist Randy Porter and Pink Martini members Phil Baker and Martin Zarzar.
The national stars come out with the Eric Reed Trio, featuring the impressive pianist who came up under the tutelage of great L.A. bandleader Gerald Wilson and, later, Wynton Marsalis. Then we've another treat in Gary Bartz, a Julliard-trained saxophonist who began a promising career in the 1960s hard-bop scene, played with Miles Davis in the early 1970s and ventured into funk fusion, then returned to a more straight-ahead approach.
The main course, though, is Bobby Hutcherson, one of the world's great masters of the vibraphone (leading a quartet, as will Bartz. He emerged in the early 1960s, working with such leading experimenters as Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill and Tony Williams, and though his later, mature approach is more refined and polished, it retains the depth and sense of possibility that mark the greatest music.
Possibility then becomes the watchword for a concluding jam session of these marvelous talents.
-- Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, August 12, 2005