Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get Jazzed at the Gene Harris Jazz Fest

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:37 PM

The Boise Modern Jazz Ensemble rocks Gene Harris.
  • Amber Clontz
  • The Boise Modern Jazz Ensemble rocks Gene Harris.

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is no longer the roaming multi-venue experience it has been in years past. Every set now takes place in the same room, allowing the listener to reflect between bands breaking down and setting up, rather than schedule their next move.

And the Lynn Seaton Trio's performance on March 21 is a perfect example of this. At times during the show, Seaton looked up and seemed pleasantly surprised that the audience stuck around for what might as well have been a casual get-together between drummer, piano and bass aficionados.

Seaton leaned against his bass, smiling and watching the percussionist's solo, then returned to plucking the upright beast. Seeing the artists enjoy their own performance added quite a bit to the experience.

The trio's set was juxtaposed with the lung-powered performance of The Boise Modern Jazz Ensemble, which had big-band chutzpah.

The centerpiece of the ensemble was Boise South Junior High band director Dave Bear, who played saxophone in a Hawaiian Don Ho print button-up. It was evident that the ensemble had fans in the crowd—teenagers dressed in all black wearing newsboy caps cheered throughout for their jazz director's performance.

During the ensemble’s final piece, “Sweet Georgia Upside Down,” someone in the crowd uttered: “I hope he lets us play this piece Monday.”

In a six-song set, the ensemble convinced the audience they had actually purchased tickets to a Caribbean cruise. The performance featured hits like “In Tropical Paradise” and “A Little Minor Booze," which sent a warm breeze through the room.

You can catch The Lynn Seaton Trio again today, Thursday, March 22, at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival at 8:30 p.m. with guest saxophonist Rich Perry.

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