So little ole Winnipeg was very lucky to have Chick Corea come to town with his new band of wonderkins entitled The Vigil. Chris Smith, local jazz ‘columnist’ (and festival stiff) incorrectly called the new album ‘Vigil’ Dear Chris…please pay attention.

Now you can got to his ‘review’ (more like a score card…’this song followed by the new, with nice solos, names of the band members, blah blah’)It is always hard as a veteran to see a band like this I mean the drummer alone was 2 years from high school and was smokin! Ya his grandpa is Roy Haynes so he got the leg up but he is no clone. He is more like a modern Billy Higgins. Light on top, time like you wish you had a smidgen of and total control of dynamics.
The guitar player (same sorta age) had chops to spare and, when he laid off the distorted electric, really shined with depth, chops and melodic content. Being a guitar in a large group particularly with piano, particularly with Chick, is a hard gig and he handled it well by picking his spots and doing something hard for most guitarists…he stopped playing. Sometimes he exited the stage.
The bass player seemed to be a crowd favorite for good reason. His energy and close to the edge playing style make him hard to ignore.This band had impeccable control of time right down to the woodwind player. Yes a sax player with good time. I know it is hard to fathom!! Most groups with drum set and percussion deal with it by a few stock ways:
1. The percussionist mimics the drum part lightly
2. The percussionist stays out of the way with a bunch of noise makers (rain sticks, whistles etc.)
3 both over play and go all Gordie Howe makin and breakin elbow roomWell in Chick’s band they did none of this. Instead, they gave each other room, played off each other creating rhythmic counterpoint and took turns laying out…beautiful!!

To top it off, while the mix was not perfect and took a little time off the top to sort out, this was the best I have heard a piano sound through a system in many a moon (and the best since moving here)

The show came in at around 2 hours but for me I could of had 2 more easily. So the mystery to me is the folks who left after 2 pieces and the ones who left at 9??

You paid $80 bucks to hear only part of the show??

The other mystery is all the people who showed up late (and the staff that let them take their seats mid tune) Dear Winnipeg: show some class.

The Jazz Fest director was there stood at the back took a cell phone out of his murse, took a picture and disappeared for the night.

On the good side we didn’t have to put up with that jazz hating hypocrite taking the stage to introduce Chick and taking credit.

On that tangent. This show had and embarrassing number of empty seats. The floors where pretty full but the loges where almost empty at ground floor while the balconies where a ghost town. The attendance was 719 which is paltry for a band of this stature but with 1,638 seats in the building…more that half the seats empty is down right embarrassing.

Of course when you look at the marketing (if you can call facebook posts and posters marketing) it is no surprise.

When you spend your time marketing to fans of DJ’s and Indie bands you are OTL when it comes time to market to adults.