I was in Belgium last month, and was all set to go to Day Three of the always-pleasant Ghent Jazz Festival. Circumstances intervened — a long, involved story whose upshot is me stranded in Leuven with my car locked in a parking garage that closed inexplicably early — and I simply couldn’t make it over there. Oh, but what, pray tell, did I miss? Only a thirty minute jam session that broke out spontaneously and that pulled in performers from earlier that night (including Vijay Iyer) and even subsequent nights!
I didn’t actually learn of this until I happened across a review of the festival last night, and was positively thrilled when I found decent video footage of the madness that played out on stage. This is stuff you hear about happening in smokey jazz clubs, but it’s very rare for it to break out at such controlled environments like big-budget jazz festivals. And, yes, nearly impossible for it to happen when you actually attend — it’s always something you hear about later. Of course. Read the rest of this entry »