Long distance reflections: Bath festival

A conversation over coffee was the prompt for this brief muse over my slice of the Bath Festival. Yes, it was a month ago, but the stimulant stimulated the recollection and remembered pleasure. My final dose of energy from Beats and Pieces on the Sunday night was a perfect finale to my weekend(this review of a gig the day before captures it nicely and Tony Benjamin for Venue concurred as do I!).  On diminished resources this year, a balanced jazz programme meant you could reflect and meditate or jump up and down as taste or inclination prompted.  I chose an intense and reflective Saturday in the Guildhall, followed by a more in your face Sunday at Komedia with Zoe Rahman putting the biggest spring in my step, but there were no down moments in my itinerary. Full marks then to a programme that was varied, drew on British as well as international names and made a virtue out of necessity; no big American names or truly global stars but I’m cheering.  There’s so much fabulous music closer to home and the size of the audiences seemed to suggest that whilst not sold out, the billing had appealed sufficiently to bring in good crowds.  Farewell to Joanna MacGregor as the artistic director. The character of the billing evolved under her watchful eye; it did retain a clear identity, so here’s hoping that her successor can pull of the same trick.

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