City Sirens
Free Father

Free Bird

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After being shut out of this summer's final Pool Party in Williamsburg, I happily made my way back across the L to Tompkins Square Park for the 17th annual Charlie Bird Jazz Festival , across the street from Bird's former flat on Ave. B. Hardly a consolation prize, I made it in time to catch veteran pianist Cedar Walton play an hourlong set with his quartet (Javon Jackson, tenor, David Williams, bass, Joe Farnsworth, drums). Walton, who played on Coltrane's Giant Steps and spent three years as one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, has been leading his own outfits for over 40 years and regularly sells out all the big rooms in town. Solid chops, incredible mind. One of the most elegant and sophisticated performances I've seen this entire summer -and it was all for free.  Do yourself a favor next year: skip the schlep to Brooklyn. (More pics below.)

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