It would be difficult to find more contrasting interpretations of the jazz tradition than the two groups that opened the Capital City Jazz Festival at the Convention Center last night.
Hands clapping and feet stomping, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band marched in place to a street beat supplemented by a Chicago shuffle rhythm, and bombs dropped from the be-bop arsenal.
The two trumpets traded eights over two riffing saxophones; trombones keened in high register or pumped away tailgate style; deep baritone saxophone honks gave way to the tiny sound of the curved soprano.
"Blue Monk" was typical of the eight-man ensemble's updated version of the collective attack of the New Orleans idiom.
Miles Davis' signature of elongated notes, pinched mute and generous space was presented in the context of synthesizers and electric bass and guitar, the anvil beat of drum and pummeling percussion. One number came in like an air raid; another constructed a massive bulwark of sound. Davis' haunting tone, the guitarist's blues lines and the reed player's feverish soloing were some of the separate positives. But the overall effect, as powerful as it was at times, was one of chaos and electronically manufactured effects.
The festival continues this afternoon and tonight with other groups.