The odd (sad?) thing was that the better music from each evening almost inevitably referred directly to earlier great music. So you get pastiches of Handy, the Art Ensemble, Ellington etc., which are enjoyable enough but hardly possessing any "vision". Not surprising, of course, but still. Worse, as always, for something describing itself as "free music", countless strictures were constantly in place. There was rarely a moment where you got the idea that a given musician could do anything that came to mind.
Somehow it has also become fashionable to be sort of snarky and unimpressed by The Vision Festival, which surprises me in my naivete, because when I look at the lineup my first thought is "Holy Shit! What an amazing bunch of inspiring and inspired programs!" There's a dart throwing impulse. All I see is the darts; I don't see the background. Of course, all sorts of political and economic controversy has to surround someone like John Zorn, someone like William Parker. Someone like Miles Davis. But I wish I could get a clearer picture of exactly what the dissatisfaction is, exactly where it resides.