The tiny meadow across from Red Hook Terminal is the site of this year’s Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival. For the seventh year, James Keepnews and Mike Golub have assembled a roster of top shelf personnel making up six different bands, all original and exciting.
The view of Buttermilk Channel — coupled with the honking of passing tugboats and assorted vessels — contributed to the charm of this tight-knit, neighborhood experience. People picnicked, children danced, friends chatted, couples held each other close and readers pored over the Sunday papers while enjoying the sun and sounds.
The day came to a close with Richi Debonis’ NOWtet, a quintet playing jazz arrangements of the music of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant as well as compositions by the band’s animated leader. Two Debonis originals, “J Train” and “Flatleaver” easily went toe-to-toe with the classic Page/Plant classics, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Going to California” and “Kashmir”. Debonis is a strong leader, apt composer, fierce and able drummer and sensational showman. His outstanding bandmates, David Bryant on keyboard, Carlo De Rosa on bass, Greg Gisbert on trumpet and Adam Kolker on saxophone are individually forceful and wildly talented. This is a band you will want to follow.
The June 15th lineup features THE M– USEUM BAND OF TEETH & RESPECT, WELF DORR UNIT, GEORGE COLEMAN, JR. & THE RIVINGTON PROJECT, GENE ESS & FRACTAL ATTRACTION and DECAY.