Thursday, July 19, 2007

jazz on the north sea

mccoy tyner
Originally uploaded by djtakefive.

for the 4th year in a row, my dad and i met up in holland to attend the north sea jazz festival. it is a 3 day festival -- a jazz extravaganza! and real jazz -- not like the concerts we have here in the States, where Dave Matthews and Cream perform and they still call it a "jazz" festival. last year, due to the scheduled performers, we chose to only go 2 of the 3 days. it was nice and manageable -- but this year it was unavoidable to go all 3 days. plus, for the first time, we went to a few venues where an additional fee is required -- they are more intimate and a seat is assigned - so no pushing and fighting to get a good view.

Ok - so here goes:
DAY 1: (jam-packed)
1) TERENCE BLANCHARD played the scores that he wrote for SPIKE LEE movies thruout the years. Spike took the time to cut footage from each of the featured films to show while Terence and crew played - brilliant stuff. Bilal, Patti Austin & Jamie Cullum each performed 2 songs to accompany Blanchard. the highlight, both from a visual and lyrical perspective was Cullum's rendition of Sam Cooke's 'change gonna come'. the closing song and sort of anthem for Spike's 'X' - about black leader Malcolm X. the fact that we went to a paid venue to start the whole festival was a great move -- civilized before the crazy crowds.

2) McCOY TYNER quartet - WOW! we saw them last year as well. this is just straight up INCREDIBLE real jazz. the mean age of the performers was 60 - and their experience showed. wonderful stuff.

3) THE ROOTS - there are 2 really big venues at the festival where they book more mainstream acts. I dragged my dad to go so the "LEGENDARY ROOTS CREW FROM PHILLY" -- and as usual - they were great. they played their, now signature, ode to hiphop today and yesterday, by skillfully mimicked 30 different songs by other artists. they delved into rock and jazz and performed some of their hits. my dad actually really enjoyed their set.

4) WYNTON MARSALIS and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra - I flew 7.5 hours to see the guys that play a 10 minute subway ride away here in NYC.. hahahahahaha. they were great though.

5) BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB - we ended the night at a paid venue too. when you've started your day at 6pm - and its now midnight, a seat is a wonderful thing. the Cubanos did not disappoint. a stellar end to the day.

DAY 2 : (more dancing, more singing, less acts)
1) TRIBUTE TO JAMES BROWN - Instead of going to see a live act, my dad was really excited to see DJ Manga play james brown hits. he had some wonderful live tracks that i've never heard before -- and he also rocked some other great soulful dancy tunes.

2) RAUL MIDON - I've written about him before, and suffice it to say -- go out and buy his album STATE OF MIND. just buy it - he's freakin' amazing. India Aire who performed later on at another stage surprised him for one song - he had no idea what was going on... my dad and i went to see her briefly on the big stage, but opted to get food instead of listening to her seemingly 10 minute introductions for each song.

3) DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER - She is normally a lounge singer - who went to Mali (africa) to discover her roots and returned to perform some great african inspired tunes with a wonderful group of musician from Mali and around the world. Again, a seat in the paid venue at night's end was lovely.

DAY 3 : (amy no-show)
I, along with many other attendees, was most excited to see Amy Winehouse on sunday -- however, she cancelled at the last minute due to exhaustion - understandable as she's been globe-trotting on her tour -- but disappointing nonetheless.

1) We wandered in and out of littler venues and saw some nice straight-ahead jazz -- very chilled -- as we have done historically on sundays.

2) SLY STONE - a shadow of himself at nearly 60 years old, it was nice to see him get out there and try to do his thing -- but disheartening to see his staggering declining health.

3) JOSHUA REDMAN trio - in a word INCREDIBLE. he made a few references to his latest album "Back East" - especially poking fun at the fact that he was competing for audience with Snoop Dogg - who was performing on the main stage for the festivals conclusion simultaneously - saying "i feel bad stealing some of his crowd -- Snoop and I basically share alot of the same audience" -- and "the next song is from my newest album BACK EAST - no offense to Snoop -- i still love the West Coast." Josh brought on two friends, with whom he belted out phenomenal alto/ tenor sax collaborative "solos".

My dad and I again had a great time. It is a nice chance for us to reconnect like the old days, just he and i sharing our love of jazz and of each other's company. more photos on my flickr page.


Patti said...

Love the pics especially the one of you on the street with the houses in the background.

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