Jazz Fest Berlin links with NewYork, Sao Paulo and Cairo for a novel multi-platform event
Following the ‘enforced innovations’ of its digital edition last year, Jazz Fest Berlin returns with another hybrid continent-spanning programme from 4 to 7 November. With a core line-up of inperson concerts to be held at the Silent Green concert venue in the city, the wider programme will take in performances livestreamed from Johannesburg, Cairo and São Paulo, as well as shows in New York and around Berlin itself with approximately 40 artistic productions – including numerous premieres and multimedia commissions – and an extensive panel discussion programme. Among the notable names appearing in Berlin will be Trickster Ensemble’s premiere of ‘Mimesis’ featuring Cymin Samawatie (vocals, piano), Mona Matbou Riahi (clarinet), Naoko Kikuchi (koto) and more; The Killing Popes’ ‘Ego Kills’ with singers Jelena Kuljić and Natalie Sandtorv, drummer Oliver Steidle, keyboardist Dan Nicholls and Berlin-resident UK bassist Phil Donkin; pianist Aki Takase’s ‘Japanic’ featuring saxophonist Daniel Erdmann; ensemble Koma Saxo with bassist Petter Eldh, saxophonists Otis Sandsjö, Jonas Kullhammar, Mikko Innanen, drummer Christian Lillinger and vocalist Sofia Jernberg. Another premiere comes from singer Cansu Tanrıkulu featuring bassist Greg Cohen, clarinettist Tobias Delius and special guest guitarist Marc Ribot all combining on their piece ‘Kantoj de Fermiteco’. Another work, ‘Futari: Beyond’ (New York / Berlin), is a collaboration with the Pierre Boulez Saal featuring Satoko Fujii (piano) and Taiko Saitō (vibraphone). The Brazilian part of the line-up includes the audiovisual commissioned work ‘São Paulo Underground’ featuring cornetist Rob Mazurek’s trio with keys player Guilherme Granado and percussionist Mauricio Takara as well as the audiovisual works ‘Quartabê’ led by drummer Mariá Portuga and ‘Metá Metá’ featuring vocalist/kalimba player Juçara Marçal.
With much of the Johannesburg line-up TBC and the Cairo portion to include several films/ visual presentations, the New York names include the Vijay Iyer Trio, Susan Alcorn Quintet, Mary Halvorson’s [main picture] Code Girl project, trumpeter Nate Wooley’s ‘Seven Storey Mountain VI’ with a strong crew of Samara Lubelski (violin), C. Spencer Yeh (violin), Ryan Sawyer, Teun Verbruggen, Steve Heather (drums), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), Julien Desprez, Ava Mendoza (guitar) Bram de Looze, Håvard Wiik (piano),
Megan Schubert (vocals), alongside performances by Dave Douglas’ special commission ‘Secular Psalms’, with an ensemble including cellist Tomeka Reid, singer/pianist Marta Warelis, tuba player Berlinde Deman, Frederik Leroux (guitars, oud, banjo, vocals) and Lander Gyselinck (drums, electronics), and the Sylvie Courvoisier Trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Other notable concerts include Bobo Stenson Trio (in Stockholm), the international Melting Pot Band; the Pat Thomas & Han Bennink [pictured below] duo (London/Amsterdam); ICP Orchestra: ‘Komen & Gaan’ (Amsterdam); Ahmed: ‘Super Majnoon (East Meets West)’ (London/Berlin) with Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright; Maria Faust’s Sacrum Facere: ‘Organ’ (Copenhagen), plus a solo organ recital from Nordic keyboard wizard Ståle Storløkken.
All Jazzfest Berlin concerts will be recorded by ARD and Deutschlandradio and broadcast live or soon after the event, while concerts will also be filmed for the Arte Concert and Berliner Festspiele on-demand online platforms, making the concerts available live on site and digitally online. For details visit https://bit. ly/3uxmj3Z
BACK IN THE DAY:
Five Bob Fireworks Return with us now to the 4 November 1967 issue of Melody Maker, just as the Summer of Love was feeling the first chilly drafts of the winter to come. Belsize Park’s Country Club was a hip jazz night spot, well-tuned into the contemporary scene but also beginning to host psychedelic and improvising underground rock bands as the walls of the city shook with the new music and exploding liquid light shows. But the fireworks on Sunday 5 November were provided by the equally brain sizzling heat of the Joe Harriott Quartet, fresh from his Indo Jazz Fusions jazz chart topper, who was joined here by the the tasteful and highly talented trumpet of Kenny Baker, and all for just five bob (25p)! We dedicate this Back In the Day column to the Country Club’s much loved promoterand MC Stuart Lyons, who died recently. (JN)
well-tuned into the contemporary
6 Jazzwise November 2021
Album sleeves they’d rather forget... Jeff Lorber Step ByStep Heads Up International (1985) Surely only a musician with a taste for coma-inducing smooth jazz licks could have come up with such a ludicrous piece of unmistakeably 1980s sleeve artwork as this. But why it had to involve New Romantic models posing in abstract arty shapes is anyone’s guess. Could they be pieces in a post-modern designer version of chess? Meanwhile our leathered up leader-keyboardist Jeff Lorber looks unmoved, sitting high in the clouds on his way up the three steps to smooth jazz heaven. If Jeff can be forgiven for such ostentatious artwork – to be fair even some of Miles Davis’ album images were dripping with full-on 1980s gloss back then giving smoovie jazz royalty Kenny G his first big break in the Lorber Fusion band is c models posing in abstract something for which real jazz fans can never forgive him. Selwyn Harris