H Zettrio / Kyoto Jazz Sextet: Drizzlejazz

It rained steadily during the night and by the time the festival was up for Saturday a fine drizzle was falling. Most people were fully prepared so it wasn’t a problem, though negotiating those hazardous mud puddles is always a chore. Fortunately, over the years, most of the paths have been paved to a certain extent, but the Orange Court is still a big pig wallow.

We decided to take in some jazz. The piano trio H Zettrio was playing the White Stage in front of a respectable crowd who seemed to know their material, which was invariably fast, pounding, and flashy. The band’s playful demeanor is broadcast by the clown makeup they wear, though in person they come across more like a skater crew, relaxed and a bit irreverent with the canonical aspects of jazz. Their original music is basically variations on very simple but incisive riffs, and the leader H Zett M, occasionally switches to keytar when he really wants to get crazy.

Kyoto Jazz Sextet, who opened the adjoining Field of Heaven to a much smaller set of people, is a more traditional jazz outfit, but their leader and major domo is Shuya Okino, who has a club music background and stands to the side acting as emcee and spiritual counselor as it were. The music is definitely groove-oriented, but the solos can get really out there. At times the music dived straight into the avant garde only to swirl back around to an agreeable cocktail vibe. Martini music for people in galoshes.