Monday, October 09, 2006
Vacation Day 6 - Big Sur to Monterey Jazz Festival
We slept in this morning. Once ready to go, we headed straight to Sierra Mar Restaurant for lunch, on another perfect late summer day.
After lunch, we spent a little time on a wooden bench, just outside the restaurant entrance. It's a great view spot.
Liis and I share a little history here that always makes us laugh. Three years ago, in August, we sat on the same bench on a very warm and impressively clear evening. It must have been 80 degrees F that night. On a clear evening the Milky Way is almost shockingly bright and present in Big Sur, especially from Sierra Mar, where one of the featured activities is star gazing. Adding to the magic, it was the height of the Perseids Meteor Shower. The setting, the view, the shooting stars and (hopefully) the company compelled Liis to say, "we're going to get married here." Ever since, I've insisted that she proposed to me that night.
Just beyond the bench is the guests-only area of the Post Ranch Inn. The following image captures two of the grass and wild flower covered ocean suites, hanging 1200 feet about the Pacific Ocean:
It's Saturday and the Monterey Jazz Festival performances begin in the afternoon, so we drove up the coast, stopping a few times to admire the view.
Bixby Creek Bridge
Our first performance at the festival was The Duke Robillard Band on the Garden Stage:
Performing next on the same stage, was the McCollough Sons of Thunder Brass Band, an aggregation billed as: "Shout Gospel from Harlem." That's Seattle's own Dee Dee Rainbow leading the procession, under the umbrella on the right:
We walked around, enjoying the fairgrouds, the happy crowd, and eating and drinking until time for our evening performances.
First up tonight, on the Dizzy's Den stage, was the prodigious vocalist Kurt Elling.
Our era features quite a few skilled female jazz vocalists, but not very many male jazz vocalists, skilled or otherwise. Among this small group of male vocalists, in my book there are three exceptional talents: Kurt Elling, Andy Bey and Freddie Cole (brother of Nat "King" Cole and uncle of Natalie Cole). Liis and I saw Kurt Elling tonight and were lucky enough to see Andy Bey at last year's festival.
Next up was the Robben Ford Band, featuring the versatile and prolific Mr. Ford on guitar. In Seattle, in 2003, I wrote a review and my friend Bruce Moore took photographs of a Robben Ford performance at the spectacular Triple Door nightclub in Seattle.
Our last performance on Saturday night featured the talented vocalist Tierney Sutton: