Among the many highlights of Brecon Jazz 2015 was the chance to take a look at less familiar aspects of two favourite musicians.
Robert Glasper, whose ultra-cool Black Radio and Black Radio 2 albums in recent years have blended jazz, soul and hip hop to win him the R&B Grammy, was the headline act on Sunday, with an acoustic trio, rather than his electric Experiment quartet.
He captivated an enthusiastic last-night audience in the festival’s biggest venue, the Grolsch Market Hall with a set of his own compositions and covers of pieces ranging from Prince to Herbie Hancock.
Another keyboard maestro, Britain’s own Neil Cowley, was at Theatr Brycheiniog on Saturday, without his familiar trio, and instead presented his tribute to 1960s jazz (and comedy) star Dudley Moore, in a clearly personal and heart-felt tribute, The Other Side of Dudley Moore.
Starting with Dud’s trademark Beethoven parody and ending with the Not Only But Also sign-off tune, Goodbye, which had audience members joining in, this was an informative, fun and sometimes moving tribute to an exceptional talent.
Other highlghts of the festival, again faultlessly run by Orchard Media and Events, included Ray Davies, Dr John, Courtney Pine, Go Go Penguin, and Phronesis, among many others.
With the fringe festival offering its own eclectic line-up, and a fine selection of street entertainment and buskers, Brecon Jazz really is one of the outstanding arts and entertainment weekends in Wales.
Click on the years for reviews of the 2013 and 2014 Brecon Jazz Festivals.
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