Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blue Note Records Festival 2007 - Part II

Last night (Wednesday, July 11) the BNRF featured an amazing bill. Four great acts in a row, offering over 6 hours of fantastic sounds!

Koop (electronic/jazz/pop)
Koop is an electronic jazz duo from Sweden. The band, which consists of Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson, have made three albums, and has also been involved with numerous remix projects, including a remix for Astrud Gilberto's "Here's That Rainy Day" for the Verve Remixed project (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Up till yesterday, I hadn't really heard a lot of their music. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by their refreshing mix of electronica, lounge and nostalgic swing and big band music. The show started off with a loungy instrumental song called Beyond the Sun featuring a narrative by Earl Zinger (whose voice mistook for Gary Brooker's of Procol Harum – silly me).
The rest of the set was made up by a selection of Koop's most uplifting tunes like Let's Elope and Darling.
Zingman and Simonsson were backed up by an energetic live combo and a captivating female vocalist by the name of Yukimi Nagano.
I've located some links to two of Koop's albums – Koop Island and Waltz for Koop. You'll find them in the comments section. Enjoy!

Eric Truffaz (fusion)
Eric Truffaz played quite a few songs from his lastest album Arkhangelsk (for a review and RS-download of the album, see earlier post). Onstage, the intimistic atmosphere of that record was transformed into about over an hour of fusion extravaganza.
At times it was almost hard to believe that it was just 4 guys on the stage. Truffaz was at his best on trumpet, while Patrick Muller blew the crowd away on electric Rhodes piano. But the real sensation was singer Ed Harcourt, who performed on the vocal pieces of the set!

More on Cinematic Orchestra and DJ Shadow later on...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Blue Note Records Festival 2007 - Part I

It's been a while since I last did a post here. Well, let's say I've been quite busy lately...

The holidays are coming up so I'm looking forward to a whole month of doing absolutely nothing! Well, I'll start by enjoying some concerts at The Blue Note Records Festival. I'll make sure to let you know how that went.

This Sunday (July 8th) I kicked off my annual vacation by attending day 3 of the festival. Jef Neve trio (B) – being one of my favourite acts for the evening – offered a great gig and proved that the trio is at its best in a live environement. The studio albums by the trio are a bit on the mainstream side of jazz, however the energy they genarate onstage and their great sense of improvisation took their performance to a higher level.
The closing act that evening was Chick Corea and xylophone player Gary Burton. A pretty minimalistic line-up for a fusion combo, if you ask me... But the results sounded surprising. The minimalistic approach left a lot to the imagination of the audience, which is always fun of course.
Anyway, I'll look forward to finding more about this particular duo.
By tthe way, I posted a review of Chick's latest album earlier this year. If you haven't already checked it out, do it now.