The tree of life of jazz grew strong from blues, swing, bebop to cool and branched out into various directions like funk, fusion and free jazz. Today it still stands tall. Adding something fresh to this one-hundred-year-plus history isn’t quite an easy task. However what is fresh? Something truly new and innovating or finding your place within this history by means of your own creative terms? Kamasi Washington chose the latter path and released a three-hour sprawl called The Epic which takes you deep into the heart of jazz. Continue reading →
‘Summer, summer, summertime…‘ Yep, we’re both huge fans of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Especially at this time of the year. For that exact reason these are our best releases of 2015 until today. Continue reading →
Summer is here! And that means a new edition of North Sea Jazz is also here once more to pump up the quality of the Dutch festival landscape. Like always the festival lineup is packed with some great names. What to think of Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Sun Ra Arkestra, Dave Holland, Outkast and Pharoah Sanders, just to name a few. No wonder the festival was sold-out well in advance. Yesterday, around five o’clock, spectators began to pour into thirteen areas of the Ahoy venue, eagerly awaiting an evening filled with jazz, blues, R&B, soul and funk. So, enough chit chat now, let’s kick-off this live review of North Sea Jazz’s friday the 11th of July. Continue reading →
Please bear with me for a moment: this review is about a young Canadian jazz trio that calls itself BadBadNotGood, which is written as BADBADNOTGOOD and abbreviated as BBNG. Seems simple right? Alas, it isn’t, especially when learning that BADBADNOTGOOD also is known under the confusing names of GoodGoodNotBad and The Odd Trio. Solely judging on the many band names one could say they’re struggling to find a comfort zone within the unruly landscape of the contemporaryjazz scene. Or are they just here for the fun of it? Earlier this month BBNG dropped their third studio album since they started out in 2011 and remarkably carries the convenient name… III. Continue reading →
Transforming Goya’s painting Duelo a garrotazos into an epic noir rock track is one of Elysian Fields most notable milestones to date. After hearing it for the first time, Jennifer Charles’ lingering voice got me swamped as well. Charles’ sleepwalking and somber style is the band’s biggest strength and trademark. For House Cats And Sea Fans therefore contains more of the same delightful romanticism, and, frankly, that’s not a bad thing at all.
Lets face it, Gregory Porter is all about superlatives. With his impressive appearance and magnificent voice Porter is among today’s top jazz vocalists. Since the release of the debut album Water (2010) everything he touched turned into gold. Water was enthusiastically welcomed by the press and received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. In 2012 his sophomore release Be Good proved to be just as successful as its predecessor. Be Good was a number-one debut on the iTunes Jazz Album Chart and reached top ten positions on various other charts. Moreover Porter was honoured with another Grammy nomination for the single ‘Real Good Hands’. Recently I saw Gregory Porter perform on the North Sea Jazz Festival with the Metropole Orchestra and, to throw in another superlative, it was breathtaking. Porter is on a high, so there´s no surprise a new release in 2013 was on the stocks. Beforehand there was no reason for fans and critics to worry about quality of Liquid Spirit, for Indeed the brand “Gregory Porter“ already stands for high quality jazz and soul. I However am obliged to uphold a critical attitude to all that´s hyped and hip and therefore question if the towering achievements of Porter
don´t lead to a case of the Midas touch. Continue reading →
In many regards much about The Netherlands is small, yet this stereotype is not applicable when it comes to the amount of music festivals that are organized during the summertime. Each weekend, starting from June, the concert agenda is packed with festivals ranging from dance to rock, or maybe even better, both! One of the more prominent events is the annual jazz festival North Sea Jazz, that is currently taking place at the moment of writing. Are you new to North Sea Jazz?All right, here’s a very, very short introduction. Continue reading →