Tom Harrell slowly walked from stage right. Standing just off center stage in Kilbourn Hall. One movement wove into the next in short, deliberate steps. Long, crumpled coat, raised, and lowered, arms guiding the seven piece chamber ensemble through jazz interpretations of works by Debussy and Ravel. Some familiar moments, some familiar instruments in an unknown song. Like ghosts in the trees.
Radio static in the dark. A bandstand shaped like a boom box. Sounds of different stations as this radio wandered the dial. The shadows of the band creating these radio sounds.
Then Esperanza Spalding strolled out onto the stage of Kodak Hall of Eastman Theatre, where she played bass, sang, and led her band through Saturday night's musical journey as part of the Xerox International Rochester Jazz Festival.
Arriving earlier than usual on Day One at RIJF, we had a nice walk through the streets as bands tuned up, vendors stocked up, and fans lined up. It was barely past 4 pm and the line was around the fence for Acoustic Alchemy scheduled to play Harro East Ballroom at 5:30.