Taylor Hicks at Telluride Jazz Celebration: Rocky Mountain ‘High’lights
A solitary figure stands at the side of the back stage area, drum stick and cowbell in hand, waiting to go on the stage of the biggest Jazz celebration of the summer held for the 35th year at Telluride.
Part One of Three parts: A photo essay of the Taylor Hicks-headlining show at the Telluride Jazz Celebration with Little Memphis Blues Orchestra contributed by Louise Uznanski. Photos of the three day event by Richard Uznanski and Louise Uznanski.
“Taylor’s the Man!” declared Telluride Jazz Fests on Twitter after his electric performance on August 6th with Little Memphis Blues Orchestra. In speaking with several people in attendance at the show on Saturday, we found out that the reason they came to the Jazz Fest on Saturday night is because they were at the Festival anyway. The reason they stayed at the show was similar to the Jazz Fest’s declaration: I came to see Taylor not as a fan. I went away loving Taylor, his voice and his amazing band.
Moments earlier it seemed easy for Taylor Hicks, the night’s headliner, to cut loose and bang the cowbell while waiting backstage to go on. The adrenaline could be felt through the drumstick Taylor pounded against the cowbell.
Taylor’s band, Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, struck up the familiar notes of ‘Compared to What’ and warmed up the audience, most of which did not know what an evening of pulsating blues and rock they were entering.
The band was finely tuned and awaiting Taylor’s arrival on stage. Preparation was obvious. The sound, the lights and the instruments were ready for this one moment when the band and the headliner would start what would turn out to be the highlight of Telluride Jazz Celebration. So unexpected from a band considered to be blues and rock at a Jazz celebration. In ninety minutes the audience was completely transformed into Taylor Hicks fans.
The band was tight and extraordinarily in tune. Taylor brought out the harp and all hell broke loose. With the thin, cool air, it was a wonder that Taylor could blow the harp with such force. No finer sounds were heard on that instrument in the past three days.
Taylor whipped the audience into his musical ride and brought the members of the band along.
Part Two up next!