Tuesday, July 13, 2010

North Sea Jazz 2010: a review

North Sea Jazz 2010: Een terugblik ( Nederlands) North Sea Jazz 2010: a review ( English)

Tropical hot festival days.

Hans Koert

Last weekend, the North Sea Jazz 2010 festival, scheduled from Friday the 9th up to Sunday the 11th of July, 2010 was characterized by the tropical temperatures inside and outside the halls and, of course, the FIFA World Cup 2010 Final between the soccer teams from The Netherlands and Spain and as you might know: Holland reached the second position and Spain was one but last.
Bob Brookmeyer (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

I visited the festival on Saturday, the 10th of July, 2010. Like most festival in the past, the Hudson hall is for me the place to be - the first concert was by the Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra.

Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Bob Brookmeyer, now in his 80s, suggested to start a new project: to install air conditioning. Although known for playing the valve trombone in the 1950s with great names like Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, as one of the founders of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band and conductor of the Danish Radio Big Band, he only played his instrument for a small intro in the first tune - as the leader of his New Art Orchestra he conducted the band sitting on a high chair with his back to the audience marking the accents of the music with some finger snaps......
Bob Brookmeyer with his grandson (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
All tunes played that evening were compositions by Bob Brookmeyer, or as he said: I'm involved with most of them. Most compositions had great harmonic structures - personally I love to hear a more swinging big band .... Well, never mind - Ruud Breuls, our Dutch trumpet player and member of the New Art Orchestra learned that he is a great soloist. Bob had dedicated one of his compositions to his grandson, whose birthday was celebrated in Rotterdam. He surprised his grandfather during the concert with a bouquet of flowers........
Ornette Coleman (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The second band at the Hudson was the Ornettte Coleman Quartet. Ornette, now 80 years old, was the Artist in Residence of the festival- On Friday he performed with an original member of his trio Charlie Haden and the son-of the late Dewey Redman, Joshua Redman.
Tony Falanga and Ornette Coleman (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
At the Saturday concert he played with his regular quartet featuring Al Mac Dowell on electric bass, Tony Falanga on double bass and his son Donardo Coleman on drums. Ornette is a legendary alto saxophone player who upset and divided the jazz scene during the 1960s with his new free style music experiences.
Tony Falanga (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Now, fifty years later, he sounds more sophisticated ( or did my ears changed?) playing his white alto saxophone and trumpet ( and violin on one tune), but he still loves to surprise the audience.Mari Okubo (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
What to think about the Japanese vocalist Mari Okubo, who has, Ornette Coleman says on her website, one of the most beautiful voices coming from a human being. Mari seemed to look out for the permitted limits of the audience, imitating a fufu zela or what so ever .....
Bobby Hutcherson - Cedar Walton Quartet (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The third band that was scheduled at the Hudson, seemed to be a small All-Star band itself: Bobby Hutcherson on vibes; Cedar Walton at the keys; David Williams on double bass and Eddie Marshall on drums.

Bobby Hutcherson (Northsea Jazzfestival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( foto: Hans Koert)
Bobby Hutcherson, one of the last of the vibes players is known for his part in the classic Eric Dolphy album Out Of Lunch and his Blue Note albums, like Dialogue and
Night in Barcelona ( with Hariold Land). Nine years ago I heard him before with the McCoy Tyner-Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, at the Congresgebouw in The Hague.
Cedar Walton (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Cedar Walton, which I heard before with Roy Hargrove ( Porgy en Bess - February 1998) and the Johnny Griffin & Roy Hargrove + Cedar Walton Trio at the Congresgebouw in The Hague ( July 2002), performed in the past with names like J.J. Johnson, Hank Mobley, Clifford Jordan and still is a sought after accompanist.
David Williams (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
David Williams performed in the past with great names like Charles McPherson, Duke Jordan, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Art Pepper, Slide Hampton, and, of course, with Cedar Walton.
Eddie Marshall (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Drummer Eddie Marshall played with Charlie Mariano, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dexter Gordon and recorded with Bobby Hutcherson, like on the 1977 Blue Note album "Now".
Bobby Hutcherson (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Bobby Hutcherson learned that he is still a gifted instrumentalist, fighting against his asthma ( It seemed that a fan near his feet didn't bring much lightening), joked with the audience and had them laughing, while the rhythm section learned what great musicians they are. It was, for me, one of the high lights of the evening.
Kenny Barron Trio & David Sanchez (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Visiting the North Sea Jazz Festival means that you have to make choices. So I missed some great concerts I loved to have joined, like the Kenny Barron Trio with David Sanchez which played for a packed Madeira hall and the David Sanborn - Joe DeFrancesco - Steve Gadd trio. I've heard parts of these concerts and I'd love to hear more - a good reason to return next year.
The Castel-Van Damme kwartet receives the Dutch Jazz award from Hans Mantel (North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
I was just in time to join the presentation of the award ceremony of the Dutch Jazz Competition. The winner of this prestigious award for young jazz players was The Castel / Van Damme Kwartet. Jasper Van Damme, born and raised in our region Zeeland ( like Rik Mol, Jan Menu and the Feen Brothers) also received the Norma prize for Best Soloist 2010. I hope to hear these four promising musicians ( Thierry Castel (piano), Jasper Van Damme ( saxes), - Sven Happel (bass) and Mark Schilders ( drums) once in concert.
Hans Koert

Each year ten thousands of jazz fans world wide look forward to visit the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. It's the biggest jazz indoor festival in the world. On Saturday the 10th of July, 2010 the Hudson hall in the Ahoy building in Rotterdam was for me the plays to be. I joined three concerts with only great names as a living encyclopediae of jazz history: Bob Brookmeyer, Ornette Coleman, Bobby Hutcherson and Cedar Walton. I love to look back to that evening ..... If you like to read about these living legends or you're interesting in jazz as played by nowe long forgotten musicians, you shouldn't miss the Keep Swinging blog. Ask for its newsletter.

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Blogger Cosmo Vitelli said...

Hi, I was at the festival too, teased by the incredible, disconforting tropical heat and lack of ventilationi in the bigger halls. Highlights for me have been Ornette quartet, Jason Moran trio and Michale Moore quartet.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there for all three days
As always a great selection of music
A little disappointing in the choices of extra concertsin Amazon hall though
The BIG problem felt by EVERYONE was the oppressive heat in all the rooms. It was particularly insulting to the artists who were sweating like pigs.
I heard many people complain that they would never come back again unless the venue improved their climate control
Even when it was cool outside, the indoor spaces were unbearable.
Please NSJF and Ahoy.... Get your act together

6:32 PM  
Blogger groove68 said...

Shirley Clarke's Ornette: Made in America


video on demand stream

9:06 PM  

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