Milling at the Mall

But it was in the Old Office, the basement acoustic room with its own bar, where the club feel could be found. The room was just right for the tight arrangements, full sound, and witty asides of Chico Hamilton's Euphoria. And it worked well for the much underrated saxophonist Sonny Fortune, who with bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Steve Johns turned in some of the finest musicianship of the festival, each piece a gem of energy and unity. The downside of the room was that the groups playing there were abandoned by management, and forced to introduce themselves and to see to their own sound. But there's something to be said for the adult authority with which these musicians took control and shaped their own performances, removing the music from the junior high school talent show aesthetic which has for too long dominated and depressed audiences all across the Village.

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