Maceo Parker played on Day 1 of the festival, coinciding with the start of the G8 and G20 summits. Herbie Hancock Imagine Project took to the stage the next evening at about the same time the protests got under way. With the torching of police cars and a reported 1500 arrests, a ring of police, with helicopter support surrounded the festival. The festival carried forth, the music played on and the protests, riot police and most likely the world leaders, all kept their distance.
For me the festival got under way on Day 4, the first concert I managed to attend, the Dave Young Quartet. Dave Young is an acoustic bassist of some renown, one time bassist for Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones and Lenny Breau. The quartet was made up of trumpet ace Kevin Turcotte, piano virtuoso Robi Botos and equally talented brother Frank on drums. The Stanley Clarke Band featuring Hiromi was the main act on the bill. I had come to see the Dave Young Quartet.
The G20 summit had wrapped up leaving behind a remnant of protesters who happened to circle the festival main stage tent this evening. The protesters were outnumbered by riot police who circled the protesters. The jazz fans were in the centre of all of this turmoil, a cool, peaceful, jazz loving sit-in in the middle of this political anger. The quartet ignores the protest and opens with a swinging tune, trumpet is the main feature. Turcotte lets loose a volley of notes, a sumptuous sound, smooth and soothing. Robi Botos is up next and Dave Young takes it back to a group effort with all members firing in harmony. Frank Botos adds tasty fills, he is in jazz traditional mood, laying back and swinging madly.
The band finishes tightly and with out a word launches into their second song, an up tempo, swing heavy tune with a great trumpet line. The band has a tremendous energy level, the interplay between bass and piano is spectacular and reminiscent of the interaction that existed between Bill Evans and Scot LaFaro.
By the third song Dave Young takes a moment to introduce the members of the band. He thanked the audience for coming out and for putting up with the protesters. Announcing the previously played songs as "Being In The Bays", "Subconsciouslee", "Mean What You Say" from the most recent CD of the same name, an independent release featuring this very same quartet.