Friday 6th of July 2012: The night of the Jazz legends
North Sea Jazz: Festival of Legends (English) | Northsea Jazzfestival: Een weerzien met oude legenden (Nederlands)
The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, scheduled for the 100,000th time, the host of the Hudson hall in the Ahoy building in Rotterdam, stretched the truth, must be one of the largest jazz festival of the world with ten thousands of visitors each year. Three days, with more then eight hours of music each day - new music - old music - great names - young promising musicians - dozen stages with boiling concerts and almost 45 concerts to select each day .......
The audience in the Hudson Hall - Ahoy (Rotterdam) ( Friday the 6th of July, 2012) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Although the festival is still labeled as a Jazz festival a lot of other music styles are scheduled: from blues, funk, brass, modern creative, singer songwriters, soul, world music up to hiphop - it's all there. The classic jazz styles. the music which developed in the post-war years, is still scheduled, but not as much as twenty years ago, when great names like Dizzy Gillespie, a young Michael Brecker, Don Cherry and Gerry Mulligan joined the festival - they are all gone now. But each jazz fan will find enough concerts that will surprise and fascinate him or her. This is my selection for the first festival day: Friday the 6th of July, 2012 ......
The Flat Earth Society with Ernst Reijseger. f.l.t.r.: Ernst Reijseger - Kristof Roseeuw -Bruno Vansina - nn (3x) ( Hudson hall - Ahoy) (Rotterdam) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Our first festival day started in the Hudson hall with a concert by the Belgian Flat Earth Society, featuring the famous Dutch violoncello player Ernst Reijseger. The music played by the Flat Earth Society is a mix of free jazz, world music, film music, humor and free improvisations - a musical style hard to label, developed in the 1970s and 1980s by Dutch bands like the Instant Composers Pool or the Willem Breuker Kollektief - the latter now part of history after the death of its leader, Willem Breuker. The Flat Earth Society is a great representative for this music, which surprises the audience. Ernst Reijseger is a genius on his instrument, the violoncello, which he can sound in hunderd different ways, even played a guitar - a great opener for this first festival day.
McCoy Tyner ( Hudson hall - Ahoy) (Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The second concert, in the Hudson too, was reserved for McCoy Tyner, 73 years old, who brought his quartet featuring Ravi Coltrane, introduced as the son of his former employer John Coltrane and young lions Gerald Cannon and Montez Coleman in the rhythm section. It was great to hear this legend, who played since the late 1950s in bands like the Benny Golson-Art Farmer Jazztet and the John Coltrane Quartet to perform for a live audience ........ more then 50 years of jazz history in front of you.
Ravi Coltrane f.l.t.r.: Gerald Cannon - Ravi Coltrane - Montez Coleman ( Hudson hall - Ahoy) (Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
It was great to listen to Ravi Coltrane, the third son of the legendary John and Alice Coltrane, who lost his father at the age of two, but took his instrument, the tenor saxophone, to follow in his father's footsteps. It was a surprise to listen to McCoy and Ravi's version of Naima, if my memory serves me well ......, a well known tune played by John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner in numerous live sessions early 1960s.
Rita Reys and the Trio Peter Beets ( f.l.t.r.: Joost Patocka - Ruud Jacobs - Rita Reys - Peter Beets) ( Madeira - Ahoy) ( Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The third concert was scheduled in the Madeira with 87 years young Rita Reys, European First Lady of Jazz, who has won their spurs in jazz since the 1950s, when she was the leading Dutch jazz vocalist in the European jazz scene, and recorded with the Wessel Ilcken Combo of her late husband drummer Wessel Ilcken and since the late `959 with the Pim Jacobs Trio, featuring Pim and Ruud Jacobs and Wim Overgauw at the guitar.
Now, more then 50 years later, she still sings, a young girl in a slightly older body, as the host of the evening labeled her, with Ruud Jacobs on the base and the Dutch Oscar Peterson Peter Beets at the piano ...... and Joost Patocka on drums. A great concert by the still widely popular vocal legend Rita Reys.The third concert was scheduled in the Madeira with 87 years young Rita Reys, European First Lady of Jazz, who has won her spurs in jazz since the 1950s, when she was the leading Dutch jazz vocalist in the European jazz scene, and recorded with the Wessel Ilcken Combo founded by her late husband drummer Wessel Ilcken and since the late 1950s with the Trio Pim Jacobs, featuring Pim and Ruud Jacobs and Wim Overgauw at the guitar. Now, more then 50 years later, she still sings, a young girl in a slightly older body, as the host of the hall labeled her, with Ruud Jacobs on the double bass and the Dutch Oscar Peter(son) Beets at the piano ...... and Joost Patocka on drums. A great concert by the still widely popular vocal legend Rita Reys.
The Ron Carter Golden Striker Trio ( f.l.t.r.: Donald Vega - Ron Carter - Russell Malone) ( Madeira - Ahoy)(Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The final concert was also scheduled in the Madeira: Ron Carter's Golden Striker Trio. He was interviewed by his biographer and Downbeat editor Dan Quelette in the NRC Jazz Café earlier that evening about his latest album with his Ron Carter's Great Big Band ..... Although Ron played the double bass at more then 2,500 album, he never recorded his own big band record. Ron Carter finished the evening with a concert by his Golden Striker Trio featuring the Nicaraguan-born American jazz pianist Donald Vega and guitarist Russell Malone.
Ron Carter and Russell Malone in deep concentration ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Ron Carter, now the leading double bass player of the jazz scene in the world, a living legend, who played with Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Timmons and Randy Weston, to list some of the names in jazz history, is, among all those other giants I heard this Friday in Rotterdam - from McCoy Tyner up to Rita Reys, the personification, the link to the past - the period in which the modern jazz, the 1950s and 1960s, was created ....... It brings me the spirit of the past!
McCoy Tyner Trio + Ravi Coltrane ( f.l.t.r.: McCoy Tyner - Gerald Cannon - Montez Coleman and Ravi Coltane) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
A great final concert of an impressive first festival day with only great legends in jazz. I didn't hear that night Lee Konitz, Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Dave Douglas, Brian Blade, Joey Baron and James Carter, to list a selection of other great jazz men in the house, but visiting North Sea Jazz Festival, the largest indoor Jazz Festival of the world, learns that you have to make your own selections - a rather impracticable task.
The photos in this blog are made with my cell-phone and low-fi, due to the fact that semi-professional camera's are not allowed to bring into the festival without a written press accreditation.
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The North Sea Jazz Festival belongs to the top music festivals of the world. Although the name suggests, Jazz is no longer the main music style that can be heard - the festival schedules dozens of music styles, from Funk, Hip Hop and Fusion to World Music, Jazz and Modern Creative, but the more (common) jazz fan, will find dozens of concerts that can fascinate and surprise him. For me, the first day of the 2012 edition was the night of the jazz legends ......
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