Umbria Jazz 1985

5 - 14 July 1985

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A miracle was witnessed at Perugia’s football stadium: the divine, inaccessible Miles Davis, who loved to play with his back turned on the audience, stepped down from the stage with his famous red trumpet and played for some time (and brilliantly) amidst the public. Once again the Festival got off to a start in the city of Terni, with the magnificent Liberation Music Orchestra, the realisation of Charlie Hadendi’s musical dream of combining passionate music with his political commitment in favour of the third world, and with McCoy Turner.

The Orchestra’s concert was not one of its best, but John Coltrane’s former pianist, brought in at the very last moment to replace Jaco Pastorius left behind in New York after a moment of madness had seen him burn his own passport, offered an intense, virtuoso display of musical bravura. The memorable events held in the central arena (the “Frontone”) that year – apart from the digression created in the stadium due to the excessive number of spectators – included Art Blakey’s irresistible Jazz Messengers; Horace Silver back in Umbria with his quintet, the belly rolls of Fats Domino at the piano, together with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s concert in the city square.

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