Extremes meet at Breda Jazz Festival.... and that's the way a jazz festival should be is my opinion.
Beyond expectation the weather on Thursday (25 May 2006) was great at Breda's jazz festival so the streets, pavements and markets of the city were crowded with thousands of jazz fans and more rather normal people. There were live bands all over the city on stages and on the streets.
Extremes meet at Breda Jazz Festival should be a good device as there were streetparades, traditional jazz bands, blues bands, revival jazz, swing, but also DJ Ser-V and, although not part of the festival, a concert of James Carter at the Chassé Theater.
For me there were two concerts I love to share with you: Blue Rhythm Jugglers and James Carter Organ Trio.
The Blue Rhythm Jugglers is directed by Jack van Elewout. It's a retroband that plays the hot jazz and dance music of the 1920s. During their concert at the Kasteelplein they played tunes from McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Frank Trumbauer and the California Ramblers - hot dance music strictly arranged like the original recordings as it should be. Great music! The whole ensemble played a good match and performing this kind of stuff live gives it that extra dimension that is impossible to catch on a record. I should have a CD !
The James Carter concert at the Chassé Theater was a complete different sensation.
James Carter is one of the great tenor saxophone players of the moment. With the complete woodwinds family under his arm he came on stage, dressed like a gentleman, and filled the complete stage of the Finntax Telecomzaal. His sound is strong and aggresive. To be honest it looked af if he and his backing group found it difficult to find the right sound in the first set. His accompanists, Gerald Gibbs on Hammond B3 and Leonard King on drums, seemed to have the same problem. Carter, who played the tenor and alto saxophone ( he didn't use his soprano) had a lot of trouble with his reeds - he changed reeds for five or six times which suggests that he wasn't content with his sound. James Carter also performed on the flute.
Although Gerald Gibbs showed in his solos that he is a gifted organ player, funky and groovy as a Hammond ought to sound, we had to wait for the second set to have some great moments. Moments that Carter sounded like Coltrane, Gerald Gibbs like Jimmy Smith or Jack McDuff and even the drummer man learned that he could make music instead of a lot of noise at his cymbals.
The James Carter concert at the Chassé theater was not his best, but I'm glad I was able to hear this great sax player perform live.
First image: Happy Feet.