Lionel Loueke Trio @ Birdland, Helsinki
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.