Detroit Jazz Fest – day 1 (8/29/08)

Day 1. Sort of. Hard to call it a day, exactly, when I just got in a couple of
hours ago. Thanks to two cancelled flights, misplaced bags, a re-routing
through St. Paul and all the rest of the usual airport fun I got in around
6:30. That's about 5 hours later than originally planned. But, there was a
moment this afternoon when it wasn't looking like I'd make it here before
tomorrow. Perspective. 5 hours isn't so bad!

It's 86 and very humid. Nice to catch a breeze off the river once the sun
disappeared behind the tall buildings owntown. Good thing all I brought
to wear is my best 'August in Vermont' collection of jeans, sweaters and
"it's-in-the-30s-at-night-where-I-come-from" gear.

But aside from the endless boring travel and wardbrobe whining, the Fest
itself got off to a classy (Diane Reeves) and fun (Marvin Gaye tribute) on
the main stage. Diane's a longtime fave from my long-ago days in Denver
where she was a regular at the clubs there. And, Donny Hathaway's eldest
daughter with a hot, brassy group in an all-Marvin Gaye showcase: is it
'jazz'? No way. Does it matter? NO WAY. Motown at its best.

Diane Reeves on the Reev-o-vision

Diane Reeves on the Reev-o-vision

One thing that strikes me about the city is a sense of some peripheral emptiness. Downtown itself is vibrant, at least right now with the Festival ' underway. But all along the highway between here and the airport there were innumerable empty industrial buildings, weedy parking lots, and warehouse space for lease. It's a hardtimes landscape that's especially notable for its contrasts; the numerous billboards that loom over many of these same places colorfully display ads for tires and cars. Advertising
has some way to go before its resounding optimism is anything close to the reality of today's Detroit I think.
view from floor 9 of The Rivierside

view from floor 9 of The Riverside

Yours truly from the 9th floor of the Riverside Hotel, (formerly called "The Pontchartraine", I have learned - no kidding, on this 3rd anniversary of Katrina's landfall...this hotel and the lake in Louisiana both named after the same
18th-c. French Marine Minister. I've been learning a little about Detroit, and finding how much if its history goes back to the Sun King era. Interesting. Need to read more about that.)

One Response to “Detroit Jazz Fest – day 1 (8/29/08)”

  1. Luigi Fulks Says:

    fantastic advice and sharing. thanks.

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