Monterey Jazz Fest 2011: Day 2
September 18, 2011
Photos by Stuart Thornton
Right off the bat, day two of the MJF had everyone grooving to the sounds of New Orleans, courtesy of An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins and Glen David Andrews with guest MC, Wendell Pierce, star of HBO's Treme and The Wire.
The two-hour spectacle in the main arena could have gone on for three hours more, but the rowdy group of stellar musicians handed over the stage—though they played again on the Garden Stage that afternoon—to Huey Lewis an the News.
As a steady flow of airplanes swooped in just above the Fairgrounds, the mainstay, 80s outfit tore through several tunes from their Stax-inspired cover album, Soulsville. Huey also spoke of his deep connection to the MJF: His parents used to drive their VW bus to the event every year, since its inaugural year in 1958, and camp on the beach.
The Marin County-based band ended their set with a string of crowd faves including "The Heart of Rock and Roll" and "Power of Love."
But the real magic of the second day came in the late-night hours: At about 11pm, one of the gods of jazz, Herbie Hancock, took the stage with his quartet for a Head Hunters-centric performance.
Hancock, now in his early 70s, is still just as sharp as he was in his early days. Some of the highlights of the set included extended versions of "Watermelon Man," "Cantaloupe Island" and a masterful jam featuring Hancock on a Roland AX-7 keytar.
My only disappointment was that Hancock's set was so dang short. I guess it's better to be short and sweet rather than long and bland.