The O.B. Music and Arts Festival emerged from its economically influenced hiatus on September 11, more ambitious than ever with 7 venues and 27 acts.
Difficult to pick standouts, but the performance of the Geoffrey Keezer Trio at Winston's was inspired. Keezer is an internationally acclaimed pianist and his trio included the outstanding L.A. bassist Hamilton Price and local drum hero Duncan Moore. The show started when Keezer closed his eyes and began a remarkable series of hammering arpeggios in an ecstatic introduction to "My Favorite Things." Next up was a medley of Coltrane tunes — "Equinox" and "Mr. P.C." — which featured Keezer reaching into his piano to mute the strings while he played lightning fast runs with his other hand, producing a koto effect.
The tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts and his tight, veteran quartet nearly blew the Hodad's tent down with their volcanic set. Watts can stun you with his careening, rapid-fire strands of scalar runs, then bliss you out with his piquant caressing of just the right note. He played a wooden "cedar flute" on his original "Spirit Song" that had the entire standing-room-only crowd leaning forward to catch every note of his soaring solo.
- Concert: Geoffrey Keezer Trio and Ernie Watts Quartet
- Date: September 11
- Venue: Ocean Beach Music and Arts Festival
- Seats: standing room only