Marc Cary Solo & Trio
For 12 years, vocalist Abbey Lincoln employed a young pianist named Marc Cary, who proved a kindred spirit. Cary saw jazz as a genre not merely to be mastered but as tool to connect things, or run through them. And as a leader he found the conviction to make it happen.
By the time Cary released "For the Love of Abbey," his first solo album, last year, he had already made nine records essaying forms ranging from electronic music, West African, Native American and Indian classical musics, hip-hop and blazing post-bop jazz. All this music eventually led him back to Ms. Lincoln, who passed on in 2010.
Opening night at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Cary will be playing songs from "For the Love of Abbey," most of which Lincoln wrote. But you can be sure they will sound substantially different than they do on the CD, just as they don't sound on the CD the way he played them when he was in her band. Improvisation, of course, is supposed to guarantee that live jazz doesn't repeat itself. But there's a formality to that concept that has nothing to do with Marc's approach. When he plays he conjures it all on the spot, a process that banishes audience expectations, replacing them with thrills.
There is indeed much love in these songs and not only because Cary treasures his mentor. This love is about a heart open to letting things happen, and the trust that they will. There is no greater tribute that Abbey Lincoln could possibly receive, nor more promising way to open this year's Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
Grange at Healdsburg SHED (View)
25 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448