Archive for October 2010
Going to hear a Miles Davis album revisited, without Miles, wouldn’t seem like such a great idea anyway, but I got curious, because in this case, for Tutu, Marcus Miller was kind of relevant. And at first I got the impression Christian Scott would be on trumpet (which unfortunately wasn’t the case after all, it was Sean Jones). I thought it didn’t by far have the energy levels, taste or nuance that the original album has, or the live shows with Miles. But people seemed to enjoy that a lot, nevertheless. In Estonia, one shouldn’t be too critical of the jazz offerings. Even though, I find the situation quite depressing. As a bass player Marcus Miller is spectacular, of course. But as a whole thing, it was kind of boring and a lot of it felt random, for example the bass clarinet playing by Marcus Miller, rather corny In a Sentimental Mood, and jokes around the Nokia melody. But what bothered me most was that they didn’t seem to give their best to it (which is probably because they’re on such a long tour, and they’re humans after all). But that makes me even more sorry to be in the Estonian audience. Well, and I’m a snob! Didn’t please me!
There is a new jazz club in Helsinki – Birdland, with some kind of connection to the Birdland of New York. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be run in the same level as in New York. The place looks nice and the sound is good, but the space is divided so that in the far ends of the club people don’t (can’t) listen or see the band. The general feeling is that they don’t take the music side that seriously in the club, or have a respect for it. Why have a jazz club if one doesn’t take the music seriously? The drinks are also quite a bit overpriced, a glass of wine almost 9€ and beer (not even a pint of it) is 6€. And the compulsory coat check another 2,5€ each.
They do have some great artists from time to time, though. Yesterday I heard a concert booked by the Jazz Department of Sibelius Academy – Lionel Loueke’s trio with (half Swedish, half Italian) Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth (half Hungarian, half Hungarian ;)) on drums. I thought it kept getting better and better, as they got warmed up. Really tricky meters in the music, I totally gave up trying to figure those out.
I’m in Tallinn, Estonia at the moment. It was great to see Ben Monder here recently – he came to play with Kristjan Randalu @ the Viljandi Guitar Festival. I wrote a review about this for the Estonian newspaper Postimees, but unfortunately didn’t see it in the online version, so can’t link it here. It was a nice gig, they played many of the same tunes they did in the Estonian House in New York, but it was nicer here since there were so many more people diggin’ on it 🙂 Kristjan especially seemed to be in great shape, that might also be because Ben brings out many of his greatest qualities – I really enjoyed listening.