Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by J Hunter
Day 2: A few less clouds, a little more warmth, and the kind of bright blue sky that makes the green surrounding Lake George seem even crisper. The color explosion that comes with fall hadn’t started yet, but you could see its beginnings in the tinges of orange on the tips of the trees in Shepard Park. Either way, the Autumnal Equinox was still six days off, so the agenda for the afternoon was to sit back, relax, and take in the last day of the last jazz festival of summer.
Anyone who’s experienced Jazz at the Lake knows that the creative force behind the festival – artistic director Paul Pines – used to run a jazz club in the Bowery called the Tin Palace. Pines has talked about it and written about it, but until tenorman John Tank stepped onstage, many of us had never heard anyone else speak about the venue the Canadian expatriate played in the 1970s. Dressed for the season in a yellow jacket, white pants, and a jaunty blue slouch cap, Tank called the Tin Palace “a community-based group.” Although Pines brought in big-name talent like vocalists Sheila Jordan and Eddie Jefferson, Tank said, “If you just lived in the neighborhood, you could work at the Tin Palace.” These were happy and strong memories, and they definitely fueled this opening set.