On the first day of the North Sea Jazz festival you could watch the festival online on Drummerzone.com. In cooperation with Dutch TV channel NPS Output we were able to stream the full coverage of the festival online from the afternoon untill the end of each festival day. You could watch Vinnie Colaiuta playing with Jeff beck and Ron Brunner with the Clarke/ Duke Project.
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The Bad Plus clinic The day started with a lovely clinic of The Bad Plus, with one of the upcomming drummers of this moment, David King. This was the first clinic for TBP in this setting. For over one hour they showed more than 50 people how you can rearrange songs for an acoustic trio. The Bad Plus is well known for their special interpretations of songs like Iron Man of Black Sabbath. During the clinc they told us a primar: their study of one of the songs of their all time favourite bands Rush, ‘Tom Sawyer’.
With loads of humor these guys made it clear that playing and creating free music isn’t about intellectuality or snobism - the audience just loved this! King is very present as a player, reason enough for one of the people in the audience to ask if the rest of the band wasn’t intimitaded by him playing next to them.
Clinics often are difficult to do as a musician; sometimes people are afraid to ask questions or the clinicians tend to play without inspiration. These gentlemen gave us the perfect example of how things can be different.
Eddie Palmieri with Horacio Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo Judging the applause it seemed that the 2000 people had come to Rotterdam only to see Giovanni Hidalgo, playing with Eddie Palmieri. It had been a long time since this conguero virtuos played in The Netherlands. His speed and sound were beautiful to watch and hear. Which, of course, also goes for drummer Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez, soloing in a cha cha like he had never done before. This is a drummer who made polyrhythmical drumming an art instead of just a skill. Too beautiful to describe.
Fourplay Music from the best! With Harvey Mason on drums a very special opener of the day. The master of grooves and musicality surprises each and every time with creative rhythms, fills and his musical interpretation. The band with Nathan East (a.o. Lional Ritchie and Eric Clapton), Larry Carlton (with over 3000 studiosessions on his name with a.o. Steely Dan) and Bob James treated the audience on a one and a half hour lasting show with the ‘best of’ but also with recent work with beautiful solo’s of the individual musicians.
Brad Mehldau Trio The former pianist of a.o. Jimmy Cobb and Joshua Redman is nowadays one of the big names in the Jazz scene himself. In a (literally) warm session the painist playing with bass player Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard managed to get the entire audience silent. Jeff Ballard sounded like the king of the Jazz groove. In the trio of rising star Brad Mehldau it seems his creativity has reached another level.
Tom Beek Quintet Last year Tom Beek won the price for ‘best composition’ in the Dutch Jazz Competition. With major Jazz artists like Marcel Serierse on drums, Karel Boehlee on piano, Martijn van Iterson on guitar and Jeroen Vierdag on double and electric bass, Tom was one of the openers of the festival. To give you the insight right away: what drummer Marcel does is always right! He is one of the most experienced and versatile drummers of The Netherlands who has played with famous (international) artists like Rene Froger and Paul de Leeuw, but also with saxophone player Tineke Postma of whom a concert was broadcasted by the NPS recently.
Gabriel Rios Garbriel Rios’ rhythm section excists of a drummer and two percussionists (Eva Schampaert en Kobe Proesmans). The belgian from Puerto Rico is extremely popular, and not only with the female part of the crowd! The music of the ‘Samba belgian’ was used by Theo van Gogh (the in 2004 assasinated movie director) in the movie 06/05 and Gabriel and his band played on major festivals like Lowlands, Pinkpop and Noorderslag. Nice detail on stage: drummer Karel Debacker is playing on belgian drum brand Lignum.
John Engels with Fay Claassen Claassen was lucky she was playing in a hall where people could be seated, perfectly right to set the intimate setting the music demanded. John Engels was celebrating his 30th anniversary on this years North Sea Jazz festival (he only missed one edition so far!) and you could see him enjoying playing here once again. His recognisable dark Engels-sound in combination with the impressive Hein van de Geyn on double bass was more then the right support Fay needed to sing her ode to Chet Baker.
Jeff Beck It looked like Vinnie Colaiuta had gotten a carte blanche from Jeff Beck. The drumometer would have had the most difficulty keeping up with Vinnie! This conert was one of the special acts of this year and it blasted from the stage in the Nile hall. The incredible timing of the guitarist with his most distinguised sound was more then a pleasure to listen to and he took the crowd on a historical trip through his ouvre. Vinnie was playing more then spectacular and did once again the impossible. What a spectacular drummer to see and hear! Songs like ‘Behind the Veil’ of his Grammy Award winning album ‘Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop’ (with Terry Bozzio on drums) and ‘Led Boots’ from ‘Wired’ were played by Vinnie with an intension that can hardly be reached by anyone.
Nik Bärtsch’ Ronin This music is special. Another caliber of music which provides very special sferes. The band Ronin is named after the japanese samurai fighter. The zen-funk she is playing can be summarized under the category ‘ritual groove music’. With drummer Kaspar Rast and percussionist Andi Pupato the band has a perfect rhythm section that creates the right settings for this type of music. It is not strange or weird music, and it wasn’t one of the outcasts of the festival. It is special and unique and certainly worth visiting live!
Stefan Lievestro Bass player Stefan Lievestro has gathered the perfect 6-tet around him. With the great Hans van Oosterhout on drums it is hardly imaginable anything can be messed up in this band! But also with guitarist Jesse van Ruller, on horns Jasper Blom and Mete Erker and pianist Harmen Fraanje the connections this group of people has and create on stage the music they play is beautiful and keeps you on the edge of your chair.
Al Jarreau In previous years the artist of the Plus-concerts, this year Al Jarreau was available for everybody in the Nile hall. Drummer Mark Simmons was playing with probably the most famous singer of the North Sea Jazz festival. With very tight and dynamic grooves he played the big hits in a new and refreshing way. It is amazing to see that after so many years the 66 year old singer is just as new and creative with his band and his voice.