Among the many highlights of Saturday’s Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival was a tribute to Woodstock, the epic, acid-laced “Aquarian Exposition” that occurred over the same weekend a half-century ago.
If you can remember Woodstock, the joke goes, you weren’t really there.
But Steve Katz really was there in 1969, performing with Blood Sweat and Tears. The guitarist swears he remembers the gig, too — and it wasn’t all that memorable:
Video: Steve Katz reflects on Woodstock 50 years later, at Morristown Jazz & Blues Fest:
Katz, 74, played a couple of songs on Saturday to kick off a Woodstock tribute set by Rob Paparozzi’s Juke Joint. Contractual issues kept Blood Sweat and Tears out of the famous Woodstock documentary, Katz said. You might catch snippets of BS&T on some bonus discs, however.
(The Morristown & Township Library is showing them during a Woodstock marathon this Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.)
Here is Katz dipping into the Blood Sweat and Tears catalog on Saturday, with Sometimes in Winter:
Katz has written a memoir of an eclectic career that included stints with the Blues Project and as a producer for Lou Reed and Horslips.
He was invited to the Morristown festival by Rob Paparozzi, a longtime member of the Original Blues Brothers Band who has toured with Blood Sweat and Tears as a replacement for lead singer David Clayton Thomas.
This is Katz and Paparozzi doing Crow Jane, a folk song with roots in the Piedmont:
And here are Paparozzi and his Juke Joint ensemble reprising a pair of Blood Sweat and Tears hits:
Paparozzi was backed by John Korba on piano, George Naha on guitar, Sue Williams on bass, Warren Odze on drums, Tom Timko on sax, Max Morden and Vinnie Cutro on trumpets, Amanda Morden on flute/sax, and Tom “Bones” Malone on trombone, sax and trumpet.
And let’s not forget the humble harmonica–which is anything but humble in Paparozzi’s hands. Check out this solo from Saturday’s festival:
Slideshow photos by Kevin Coughlin and Jeff Sovelove. Click/hover on images for captions: