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    Jazzfest Report- Dirty Lowdown

    Boz Scaggs

    This year's Ottawa Jazz-fest has successfully rolled itself, temporarily, across Laurier to Festival Plaza, while Confederation Park attends to some boggy drainage issues- a mechanical enema you could say, but probably wouldn't. This environmental investment requires that, for just a year, we trade the cool grass and familiar shady haunts of the park for the exposed concrete digs at City Hall. So be it, we can handle some slight discomfort for the sake of our future environment, right? 

    Although the trademark Festival main stage has been transplanted, some familiar vendors and the free OLG stage remain static along the West end of Confederation. In expanse, the festival footprint now also includes the Tartan 'After-Dark' tent at Lisgar field- so there is a bit of hustling and jockeying required if you want to catch all the action. The scene is quite reminiscent of our early millennial Bluesfest,  especially in baby-boomer representation- whose sprawling lawn chairs, festive blankets and healthy prepared snacks occupy 90% of pitch real estate. One glaring difference with the site's previous tenant is the overbearing inclusion of the now inevitable tiered experiences which permeate the festival, with various exclusive tents and fences. This trend unfortunately leaves the 'Average music lover who didn't bring a chair and doesn't mind being with other people' section quite a small slice of the sectional jazz-pie.   

    Nevertheless, the vibe is really quite nice, and subdued, especially on a beautiful night like Friday's where Boz Scaggs and his band entertained a solid turnout with some (very) mature musicianship and several tasty musical treats. Highlights predictably included 'Lowdown' (buoyed by the incredible lady-like falsetto of his hulking keyboardist), 'Jojo' and the smooth party anthem 'Lido Shuffle' which was unfortunately drowned out by an aggressive chorus of drunken elder-bros howling like forlorn manatees. Boz hogged the spotlight in his glowing white shirt and face,  dropping a few surprises on the crowd, most notably a cover of Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" which had all the squares twisting like Vincent Vega at Jack Rabbit Slim's, minus the junk and milkshakes.

    After some whisper quiet blues and a tasty ripping solo from Boz, whose guitar was close to inaudible otherwise during the set, many of us made our way over to the After Dark tent, for Moon Hooch. We tucked in like Trinity Taylor, and felt the tent filling up with an enthusiasm to which, I'm sure, this trio is surely accustomed. The Brooklyn group, comprised of a drummer who clearly loves to rock, flanked by two dialed-in, horny AF sax players, serving a high energy electro-jazz which flirted with house and dub step, while remaining connected to jazz sensibilities and dynamics. Extreme shifts in groove, feel and tempo, kept listeners on their toes and got the crowd moving, and yes, grooving. Looking forward to the week of shows ahead!  


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    Now I know for sure that Lido Shuffle is not a Billy Joel song.  I used to think that it was until one day, I had searched google…but I didn't know what the lyrics were from listening.  Lita? Litto?

    I searched on "whoa whoa whoa" and "one more for the road" and learned it was a Boz Scaggs song called Lido Shuffle.  aha!

    Another thing I learned last night was that Lowdown was his tune.  I heard Pleasurecraft cover that many times. very cool song.

    Cool show during the last 1/2 hour.  the first chunk was way too cheesy and sound was weird, like the guitars weren't wired up to the mains.  Later, it all came together when they landed into lowdown, lido, etc.

     

     

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    "Jazz-fest has successfully rolled itself, temporarily, across Laurier to Festival Plaza"

    - knowing where the After-Dark tent is usually, how have they fit the main stage on that side as well? 

    (edit 1:  from this https://twitter.com/myleneabizeid/status/1010012187727761409 it looks like the stage is near Laurier and faces east.  I guess tartan stage would have to be almost directly beside this)

     

    (edit 2:  it seems they have it shown on google maps this year rather than an illustration, https://ottawajazzfestival.com/2018-jazz-festival-map-carte-festival-de-jazz-2018 and tartan stage is over on Lisgar field)

    "leaves the average music lover who didn't bring a chair and doesn't mind being with other people' section quite a small slice"

    - gets worse every year.   and this time around we're supposed to sit on the concrete ?

    Edited by tbone

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    13 hours ago, tbone said:

    "Jazz-fest has successfully rolled itself, temporarily, across Laurier to Festival Plaza"

    - knowing where the After-Dark tent is usually, how have they fit the main stage on that side as well? 

    (edit 1:  from this https://twitter.com/myleneabizeid/status/1010012187727761409 it looks like the stage is near Laurier and faces east.  I guess tartan stage would have to be almost directly beside this)

     

    (edit 2:  it seems they have it shown on google maps this year rather than an illustration, https://ottawajazzfestival.com/2018-jazz-festival-map-carte-festival-de-jazz-2018 and tartan stage is over on Lisgar field)

    "leaves the average music lover who didn't bring a chair and doesn't mind being with other people' section quite a small slice"

    - gets worse every year.   and this time around we're supposed to sit on the concrete ?

    Hey tbone! I think Festival Plaza is a temporary site while they fix up the sewers at Confederation Park. It isn't ideal, but it's a nice convenient alternative! The Tartan stage is definitely over on the Lisgar field- same tent.

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