Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday -North Sea Jazz

( Naar het Nederlands) Vrijdag: Northsea Jazz
The 33rd edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival was scheduled from the 11th up to the 13th of July 2008 at the Ahoy Rotterdam venue in Rotterdam. The festival lasted three days; yesterday was its final one. I visited the festival on Friday the 11th of July 2008 and love to give you an impression of the first festival day.

The central square

The first North Sea Jazz Festival was organized by Paul Acket (1922-1992) and MOJO in the Congresgebouw in The Hague on the 16 up to the 18th of July 1976 with great names like Teddy Wilson, Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor to name some, but also Dutch avant-garde Jazz with names like the Willem Breuker Kollektief, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink and Frank Wright, an American in Holland and Dixieland Jazz like Ted Easton’s Jazz Band and the Harbour Jazz Band. Music to suit all tastes.... Three years ago the festival moved from The Hague to Rotterdam, to have better accommodations.

Al Jarreau (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)

Visiting the North Sea Jazz Festival is for most of us like visiting the Bijenkorf, a well known Dutch chain of department stores. You love to have some new pair of socks to replace old ones and on your way to the men’s wear department you have to go through the book shop and the jewellery department and in stead of a pair of socks you buy a book and a necklace for your girl friend. That's how North Sea Jazz feels. I had hoped, as I posted in my contribution North Sea Jazz 2008 to visit concerts by Tom Scott and the L.A. Express with Terence Blanchard on trumpet, but this concert was cancelled; and Hank Jones, almost 90 years old, returned to the States.
Bik Bent Braam (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008)

As planned I could hear the Bik Bent Braam playing a couple of tunes and thanks to the fact that a dozen other concerts are scheduled simultaneous you can shop along the different concert halls, as if it the concerts are departments in a store. So I joined some concerts, like Al Jarreau in the giant Nile Hall, the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, directed by Vince Mendoza, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, the Brazilian-American piano player and vocalist Eliane Elias with a tribute to Bill Evans and the band of Sergio Mendes.
The Nile Hall at the concert of Sergio Mendes (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008)

Sometimes North Sea surprises you, like when I passed the Yenisei venue, where I heard guitar music as played by..... Philip Catherine, the Belgian guitar player, who played the music from his latest album Guitars Two, the album I will review later this week and who got his first music lessons from piano player Lloyd Miller as told in the last week contribution Lloyd Miller in Europe . I have to confess that I only stayed a short period in the Hudson Hall at the Roy Hargrove - Roberta Gambarine concert with their Hank Jones 90th Birthday Concert; I'm sure they will forgive me as I have heard both gifted musicians playing several times last years at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen, in the southwest part of The Netherlands.

Eliane Elias with Marc Johnson and Adam Nussbaum (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008)

I really enjoyed the concert by the Ron Carter Quartet concert, playing a tribute to Miles Davis, Dear Miles and I was surprised by an interview session, earlier that evening, by Don Quellette from Down Beat as moderator, with Ron Carter and the members of his Quartet. Previous to that, Don had an interview wih Mark Murphy, the nestor of Jazz vocalists, famous singer since the 1950s and singer Wouter Hamel, the young Dutch rising star. It ended with a spontaneous vocal duo at the piano. I hope to tell you more about the Ron Carter interview and concert in a later blog. The huge Metropole Orchestra directed by Vince Mendoza in the Maas hall (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008)
I heard several people grumble about the location and the programming: too much popular "pop" artists, soul, funk and hiphop artists, crowd pullers and the fact that the accent of the festival is no longer Jazz. They glorify the Congresgebouw in The Hague, the location until 2005, but they forget that the building was too crowded, so it became impossible to do "shopping" and it happened several times that halls were full-packed, so a lot of people were left disappointed before closed doors. I had that experience in Rotterdam once last Friday too - I haven't seen Herbie Hancock because the Hudson Hall was full-packed.

Ron Carter Quartet before its concert at the Madeira (North Sea Jazz 11th of July 2008)
Maybe these people are right, but they shouldn't forget that most people who visit the North Sea Jazz Festival are no pure jazz fans, but people who belong to the zap-generation and love to wander between the concerts. I understood that the newly organized
The Hague Jazz (Don’t Hesitate) is a growing festival almost entirely dedicated to Jazz. So I have put the dates for next year already in my organizer: 22nd and 23rd of May 2009.

This contribution has been posted in the Dutch language as Vrijdag: Northsea Jazz. Within a few days I hope to post a blog about the Ron Carter interview and concert, about his career and the bass de jour.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Nederlands ( To the English translation)

De 33ste editie van het Northsea Jazz Festival vond dit jaar plaats op 11 t/m 13 juli 2008 in het Ahoy Complex in Rotterdam. Het festival duurde drie dagen en gisteren was de laatste dag. Ik bezocht het festival vrijdag 11 juli jl. en heb in de bijdrage Vrijdag - Northsea Jazz wat indrukken achter gelaten. Morgen vind je hier een bijdrage over Ron Carter, het interview en het optreden op de eerste festivaldag.

Hans Koert

Violao Sete Cordas
Jo publiceerde een informatieve blog over de zevensnarige gitaar, de Violao Sete Cordas, zoals die veel in de Braziliaanse muziek gebruikt wordt. Deze bijdrage is in het Engels.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Keep Swinging News letter Keep Swinging Contributions



Anonymous Anonymous said...

great to have the impression of the North Sea Festival overhere. I would like to draw there but I wonder if I would find some place.
Now I saw the big screen. Maybe that´s a way.........
Thanks for these impressions. I have drawn Ron Carter, Roy Hargrove, Archie Shepp.....
Sunny greetings, Ingrid Müller-Marx

10:06 AM  

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