JAZZ FEST | 04.26 - 05.06 | NEW ORLEANS

Words by: Kayceman

05.05.07 :: SATURDAY

What a difference a day makes.

George Porter Jr. & Snooks Eaglin
05.05 by Adam McCullough
After Friday's harsh weather, Saturday at the Fairgrounds was perfect. Following previous day's deluge it was shocking how great the fairgrounds looked. Expecting mud, fans were delighted to find things in marvelous shape. Walking towards the Jazz Tent there is an overwhelming display of local art that reminds patrons that JazzFest is more than just music - it's time in New Orleans amongst her amazing residents. Some questioned if New Orleans would be able to retain her mystical mojo after Katrina, and though she's a different city now, NOLA is certainly still the most soulful city in America.

Inside the Jazz Tent trumpet master Nicholas Payton put on one of the top shows of the weekend. One look at the man, dressed in a slick dark suit with a white hat, and you can tell he's a smooth character. Backed by an astonishingly good band - upright bass, keys, percussion and drums - Payton's sublime melodic movements dipped in and out of the rhythms, riding above the fold one moment and punctuating the changes the next.

Stephen Marley :: 05.05 by Adam McCullough
Basking in the sun, Stephen Marley carried the roots reggae torch quite well. He drew from his father's strengths and even seemed to channel him at times. Stephen put a nice twist on "Catch A Fire," which showcased his female backup singers. As impressive as the Bob classics were it was his rendition of Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue" that made Stephen's set so fruitful.

After spending some time with Roy Hargrove's giant brass band and soaring vocalist, The Allman Brothers closed it down to a massive crowd. The two guitar attack and dirty slide work was the perfect way to dip out of the day and into the night.

Continue reading for Friday's coverage...

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