LIVE: The Brandon Lee Quintet @ Skidmore’s Bernhard Theater, 6/12/10

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Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee


Trumpet wunderkind Brandon Lee is certainly making a mark for himself in the jazz world. Not yet out of his twenties, Lee is already being trumpeted loudly by none other than Wynton Marsalis.

With two critically acclaimed albums under his belt, Lee led his quintet into Skidmore College’s Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater on Saturday night, and it was unquestionably one of the highlights of the fourth annual Saratoga ArtsFestival.

Although the audience was disappointingly thin, Lee’s trumpet soared and swooped through a dozen or so originals and standards, filling the Bernhardt Theatre with a flurry of thick, luxurious notes. Tenor and soprano sax man Geoff Vidal bobbed and weaved with grace and power, while the rhythm section of bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Martin Felder and pianist Kristopher Bowers chugged along like a well-oiled machine. All five men were deeply steeped in the neo-bop jazz tradition made famous by Lee’s trumpet mentor Wynton Marsalis.

The concert was sponsored by the Skidmore Jazz Institute, and anyone who loves modern jazz would have cherished the performance served up by Brandon Lee and his bandmates at the Bernhard.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Geoff Vidal and Yasushi Nakamura
Geoff Vidal and Yasushi Nakamura

Martin Felder and Kristopher Bowers
Martin Felder and Kristopher Bowers

Geoff Vidal
Geoff Vidal

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