Those of you who know me know that I’m a bass player. Or that I pretend to be one.
As a bassist, one of my long time heroes has been Ron Carter; I think I have a book by Ron Carter from when I started learning the upright.
So I was truly thrilled when the Jazzfest 2011 program was announced to see that Ron Carter was a featured performer here at this year’s event, and even moreso when it turned out that he would be appearing on the first weekend – the weekend that I was attending.
Of course, with new Orleans Jazzfest, the primary issue is not deciding who you are going to be seeing; it’s who you decide to not see, such is the vast array of talent on offer. Just to put this into its proper perspective, decided to not see Tab Benoit, Robert Plant, OTRA, and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, amongst many others.
Well, that’s not quite true: I did stick my head into the blues tent and catch a little of Tab’s set while I wended my way across to the jazz tent.
But Ron was not alone on this occasion. I’ve long been a fan of Mulgrew Miller, and for jazzfest, Ron was appearing with Mulgrew Miller and Russell Malone as the Golden Striker Trio. So this was a double bonus for me.
I missed the start of their set, but I loved the part that I managed to grab. It’s always a pleasure to watch musicians who are a the top of their class, and class is exactly what these three jazz masters exuded. I think that today, there are few bassists of Carter’s experience and mastery around, and I just sat, listening and enjoying the master do his stuff.
What a great way to end the first day of this year’s New Orleans Jazzfest.
All photos are copyright (c) 2011, Gary Stark. Do not use without authorisation