The afternoon was spent in Dizzy’s Den: first listening to a discussion about John Coltrane on the occasion of his 86th birthday, then hearing a Q&A with Jack DeJohnette. Writer Ashley Khan moderated the first discussion with sax player Chris Potter and poet/writer AB Spellman. It was a lengthy discussion that once more proved the legacy of Coltrane remains powerful.
DeJohnette, as well as being a great drummer, has led a fascinating life. As Khan noted in introducing him , ‘You’ve played with everybody!’ His recollections of Miles were poignant and fascinating. ‘Play something else,’ Miles would say if he didn’t like something.
Later that evening DeJohnette and Bill Frisell teamed up for a great show in the Den. The interplay between the two was intuitive and rather than bending to accommodate the other’s style they seemed to mesh perfectly.
I caught some of the Monterey On Tour set in the main arena with Dee Dee Bridgewater but I was more than happy with the mighty DeJohnette/Frisell tour de force.
The evening ended in the Night Club with a very funky set from keyboardist Chester Thompson and his band. Thompson, who had been with Santana for 20 years, was in fine form. Ironically, I bumped into his old boss two days later in Haight Ashbury.
So, I ended up seeing Jack DeJohnette four times and Bill Frisell twice. Cannot complain about that.
Monterey Jazz Festival is a comfortable weekend and worth it if you want to get close to some jazz legends. There is a pleasant and laid back atmosphere as well as a friendly audience. While you have to sometime line-up for the grounds shows the Grounds Pass tickets are really cheap.