This was the year of an incredible Miles Davis. His concert at the Frontone was one of the most moving events of his later years. He really wanted to play, and he did so brilliantly: when he moved into blues territory with his pared-down notes, or when he transformed Time After Time into an emotional musical cavalcade far removed from the poppy production by Cindy Lauper. Another jazz veteran made his appearance at the Frontone: Stan Getz heading a quartet with Kenny Barron on piano. Having had a cold reception on his appearance at the outdoor, politically-committed version of the Festival, he now turned in a super performance to win over the public, a performance of a polished, elegant, inspired nature.
The new acts included the highly dexterous guitarist, Stanley Jordan, first disappointing then suddenly a great success, Gillespie and Phil Woods together, and also McCoy Turner and George Benson. Carmen McRae took over St. Francis’ church from Gil Evans, with that taste for late-night music, and Charles Mingus’ music lived on in the performance by one of the many groups set up by his former band members.