Thursday, July 12, 2012

North Sea Jazz 2012

North Sea Jazz 2012

Dear fans of Elena's blog, it is a pleasure for me to contribute a little of my own writing, the blog is named after me after all :)

On Sunday July 9th, Elena and I went to Rotterdam to celebrate the North Sea Jazz (NSJ) festival with our friend Joost Zwijnenburg. He lives in Rotterdam with his beautiful wife Marina and daughters Nora and Suze.  I have been enjoying NSJ with Joost since 1999, and although I wasn't always in the Netherlands over the years, I think I have only missed 2 editions. Anyway, faithful readers of this blog know already that Elena and I frequented some jazz festivals, including NSJ 2011 and Jazz Maastricht. NSJ is a great tradition we'd like to continue for a long time! As always, Joost and Marina are amazing hosts, and we can sleep at their place.

We took the metro to Ahoy, quite convenient due to the threatening rain all day. A busy jazz-lovers schedule was waiting for us there.
Joshua Redman
We started out with some Joshua Redman, tenor sax, and artist in residence of NSJ 2012. Last year we had plenty of time to admire him, however this year we had to hurry to see NYC's favorite crooner, Tony Bennett. An 85 year old gentleman, who still entertains. His songs were short (2 minutes each), but he sang many standards. Also, he did a duet with his daughter Antonia, very sweet. It was amazing to see this artist perform at his old age, we feel very happy to have heard him (you don't know how much longer he will sing after all :p ).

After Tony, we went to see a very weird big band, led by saxophone player David Kweksilber, a guy that could be related to Kramer from Seinfeld. They played some crazy tunes, I guess for real die hard fans, but not our thing ;)
David Kweksilber
It stopped raining, so we enjoyed a few songs outside by Lianne La Havas, a cute Norah Jones type, before Joost spotted a saxophone player in the program he didn't know; Marius Neset. As NSJ offers the great opportunity to discover new musicians, we quickly went to his concert.

This turned out to be the best performance of the day. Marius, a 25 year old Norwegian sax player, was playing with his quartet. It was amazing! He plays like a young Michael Brecker, and really impressed everybody with his skills and musicality. In one piece he started some crazy rhythmical multi-phonics, which continued the whole piece (he can't get tired apparently) and was awesome.

Marius Neset
Next on the list was Jan van Duinkeren's Footprint, a nice hip Jazz ensemble. It was fun to learn that this trumpet player was a former (kind of) classmate of Marina. Also, during the whole days Joost would continuously run into friends, colleagues etc. Nice to see how many people he knows.

Benny Golson
An old legend was next, tenor sax player Benny Golson (83 y), with his Dutch quartet. Benny used to play with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and John Coltrane to name a few. His repertory was full of bebop/ hard bob classics, most composed by himself. He liked to introduce his songs with lengthy stories, but when he took more than 20 minutes to introduce "I remember Clifford", we left.... The stories were entertaining at first, but we came for the music you know ;)
The last concert we attended was by Benjamin Herman, a famous Dutch sax player. He had recently composed the soundtrack from Eddie Terstal's Deal, and today he came with a big ensemble (with lots of strings) to perform this soundtrack. I think he spoiled most of the movie's plot by introducing all tracks, but who cares anyway. The songs were great!

Here's an interesting video of Benjamin Herman.
This concert concluded our NSJ 2012 experience, and it was wonderful! Thank you Joost for introducing me to jazz and NSJ!

Btw, can you guess what Joost plays himself?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing a post babe! I love you're musical insight. :)