one, two, three, WE FOUR – by Deborah Demoss Smith

When it comes to listening to the epitome of authentic jazz, Sunday February 21st at the Winningstad Theatre proved to be a high note. WE FOUR – featuring saxophonist Javon Jackson, bassist Corcoran Holt, and jazz legends pianist George Cables and drummer Jimmy Cobb – delivered a “now, that’s jazz!” performance. The audience obviously concurred as I heard no sighs of boredom and saw no one leave early.

Immediately after the concert, Javon headed to the Moda Center to play “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Trailblazers’ game. The solo national anthem scored another PDX JAZZ high. Standing beside me were three young men. I heard one resignedly say, “Oh, another saxophone.” At the tune’s conclusion, they stood there with mouths open and moist eyes. (Jazz rules!) Before we exited the building, Javon was stopped more than once from audience members thanking him for his ballad-rendition. Outside, a recent military vet with his family, offered his hand, saying with emotion: “Thanks,man.” Good to see the beauty of jazz helping others.