Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Roberta Gambarini and Roy Hargrove Live in Porgy en Bess

Roberta Gambarini and Roy Hargrove Live in Porgy en Bess (English) Roberta Gambarini en Roy Hargrove Samen in Porgy en Bess (Nederlands)

Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen in the southwest part of The Netherlands: 28th and 29th of March 2009: The Best Place To Be.

Mini Jazz Festival "Summertime"
Hans Koert

In the last weekend of March 2009, a Mini Jazz Festival, titled Summertime, to label this opportunity, was organized at the cozy
Huiskamer Van De jazz, the Living Room of Jazz in the Noordstraat in Terneuzen. On Sunday the Italian-American vocalist Roberta Gambarini was scheduled with her quartet and, thanks to a lucky coincidence, also Roy Hargrove could be present with his quintet during the weekend. So, enough elements for a hot and swinging weekend in Porgy en Bess. Roberta Gambarini Quartet in Porgy en Bess (March 2009) ( photo courtesy Hans Koert)

On Saturday Roy Hargrove brought his new Quintet to Terneuzen, featuring Justin Robinson on alto saxophone and Montez Coleman on drums as some old hands and Joel Holmes at the piano and Ameen Saleem on bass; both newcomers in the band. Although I couldn't be at this concert I learned that Roy and his men had a party on stage, together with some musicians in the house from the Gambarini Quartet, Willy Jones III and Cyrus Chestnut. Roberta Gambarini (Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)

On Sunday afternoon Roberta Gambarini was scheduled for a concert with her quartet. Roberta Gambarini, the Italian born vocalist, has been performing in Porgy en Bess several times before. I remember her on a concert November 2003 with the late Jimmy Woode, the veteran bass player and in October 2007 with piano player Kirk Lightsey.
This time she brought some great musicians, like
Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Neil Swainson on the bass and Willie Jones III at the drums.
Cyrus Chestnut in Porgy en Bess (March 2009) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Cyrus Chestnut started as a piano player in his hometown Baltimore and his first concert ( during a service in a church) was when he was six years old; when he was nine years old he got inspired by the Thelonious Monk album "Monk's Greatest Hits", with tunes like Epistrophy, Ruby My Dear and Crepuscule With Nellie. My first introduction to Cyrus was in the film Kansas City where he played some great tunes as a Count Basie-inspired pianist in a great piano boogie duet on two pianos with Geri Allen. Ten years ago, in April 1999, he performed here in the Porgy en Bess jazz club with the great saxophone player Benny Golson. Willie Jones III (Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)

Willie Jones III played with Roy Hargrove for a very long time and was his regular drummer man for years. In the RH Factor he impressed with Jason Thomas in synchronic drumming. In the 1990s he played in the bands of Arturo Sandoval and Horace Silver. He played with Roy Hargrove since the 1990s and a few years ago he was the drummer man in an all-star group around Herbie Hancock. The Roman number three ( III ) behind his name wants to distinguish him from Chicagoan piano player Willie Jones and drummer Willie Jones jr., who played with Monk himself; all three are no relatives at all. I heard Willie Jones III for the very first time with Roy Hargrove's Quintet, January 1999 ( featuring Larry Willis). On stage he always seems to be a bit shy; keeping himself in the background. Half way the second set during this Roberta Gambarini concert in Porgy en Bess he had part of the audience laughing, unintended, as he wanted to leave the stage before the concert had finished; it embarrassed him! Neil Swainson in Porgy en Bess ( March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)

Neil Swainson was a new face for me, although I knew that he performed with George Shearing for years ( late 1980s up to the late 1990s). I learned during the concert that he is a very skilled bass player doing a good job in accompanying Roberta Gambarini.

Roberta Gambarini (Porgy en Bess March 2009) ( photo courtesy Hans Koert)
In fact this concert tour along European and Japanese venues, was scheduled as a promotion tour for her new album So In Love, which will be released in May 2009. In the first set she sung several tracks from this new album, like the Johnny Griffin' composition The JAMF's Are Coming, That Old Back Magic, Get Out of Town and Estate, a tune made famous by Joao Gilberto. In this first set the four musicians showed that they are a group of skilled musicians in playing ballads from the American song book repertoire; in tunes like No More Blues, You Don't Know What Love Is and Lover Come Back To Me and a great performance by Roberta singing from the Gershwin Porgy and Bess Opera Musical Suite Bess You Is My Woman Now. Roberta Gambarini (Porgy en Bess March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
The second set started with I Fall In Love Too Easily and the Dave Brubeck tune ( no, not Take Five, Cyrus !!) In Your Own Sweet Way. The Billy Strayhorn composition Lush Life, in a great interpretation by Roberta and her men. Roy Hargrove (Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
With the tune On The Sunny Side of the Street the concert took an unexpected turn as Roy Hargrove joined the quartet. Montez Coleman stood in for Willie Jones and Joel Holmes took Cyrus's chair behind the keys for one tune.
Roy Hargrove in Porgy en Bess (March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
A great jam session on stage with tunes like the Thelonious Monk standard Rhythm-a-Ning, the tune Never Let Me Go and a great performance of If You Could See Me Now from Roberta's new album, on which James Moody and Roy Hargrove are to be heard as guest musicians.
The well known tune, Body and Soul , became the final number of the show, in which all members of the quartet ( including Roy) could show what they are made for.
Roberta and Roy in a hilarious vocal duet (Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
This concert, specially the second part, learned what a great jazz musician Roy Hargrove is, a great soloist on trumpet and maybe even greater on his flugelhorn in ballads and he sings too ( ....... watch out watch out !), but above all things he can get the mood for the show - he can transform each performance to a little party for both the musician on stage as the people in the audience. Thanks Roy for that !! That’s where Jazz is made for!

Roy Hargrove (Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy March 2009)
This Mini Jazz Festival "Summertime" (what's in a name - This weekend we went over to summer time in this part of the world) was the last activity for this winter concert season: Great concerts were organized in Porgy en Bess with
Rik Mol, Robin Verheyen, Jeff Hamilton and Tamir Hendelman; the Rein De Graaff Trio with Pete Christlieb en Ferdinand Povel, The Pierre Courbois Vijfkwarts Sextet, Benjamin Herman and Ernst Glerum and a great New Years concert with Rony Verbiest with the Cauter family.
Hans Koert and Cyrus Chestnut ( Porgy en Bess - March 2009) (photo courtesy Peter Koert)
Thanks to all volunteers of Porgy en Bess Jazz Club that made these great concerts possible!

Hans Koert - keepswinging@live.nl

You want a news letter? - keepswinging@live.nl

PHOTO ALBUM of the concert by
ROBERTA GAMBARINI and ROY HARGROVE (March 2009) PHOTO ALBUM of the 2007 ROBERTA GAMBARINI concert PHOTO ALBUM of the ROY HARGROVE Concerts ALL KEEP SWINGING PHOTO ALBUMS Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Keep Swinging News letter Keep Swinging Contributions

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