A week on from my last JazzTube report and what’s changed? There are less people listening at the tube stations wearing shorts for sure, oh, and when I emerge from the station at Museumsmile there is less daylight than previously. The music? well that’s changed in styles but thankfully not in quality. Jentgens6tett, Deep Talk and The Moreno-Rosario Quartet all ensured an enjoyable way to wind down after a hard week’s work.
At Bonn Hauptbahnhof (Thomas-Mann-Strasse) it seemed as if little had changed as I climbed the concrete steps. As last week I was greeted by a saxophone player. Sax is definitely in where Jazz in the 21st Century is concerned. This week’s player ws Jakob Jentgens, leader of the Jentgens6tett. With sax, trumpet and trombone you won’t be surprised to hear theirs is a brassy sound. Smoothe and floaty in its delivery but with the extra cut and thrust that a good trumpet player can provide. Good then that the sextet has such a man in Navid Rezaeian and I especially liked his phrasing on an Ornette Coleman number. Sax is cool, but trumpet, when well played, is mega-cool (or mega geil as the locals under twenty might say). Interesting that the band has a female contra bass player and a female trombonist – is there a female trumpet player out there? Is there indeed a complete female jazz band out there in the Cologne/Bonn region? Please shout, would be interesting to know.
One half of Deep Talk is female and I hear her sweet angelic voice on a number I’ve previously heard by Chet Baker. It wafts down the platform at Uni/Markt to greet me. Chet’s vocals in the heyday of his singing were of course very feminine in their timbre so it’s no surprise that the ladies recreate it so well and if Lydia Schiller could be played daily on the loudspeakers I’m sure commuter stress levels would halve in commuters stepping on or off to or from wherever after a verse or two. The remainder of her set that I caught was centred on scat singing. I still struggle to see scat as anything other than covering up when a singer forgets the words. It’s not my favourite form of jazz you can gather, but here it’s given some dynamism in it’s interplay with the other half of Deep Talk – Contra bass player David Andres. The sparse sound of just voice and bass certainly leaves plenty of room for the music to breathe and every nuance of human and instrumental sound can be heard and enjoyed. In a busy Underground station passageway? You would be amazed at how quiet people can be when they think it worthwhile – and plenty did think so when Lydia and David were exchanging notes.
I was thinking before I actually saw them play that maybe Deep Talk, with their relaxed stripped bare sound, would have been a good choice to play at Museumsmile. As usual though Thomas Kimmerle had got his locations spot on. If the music is good enough the audience will listen. It was, and they did.
So what is in store to round week four off at Museumsmile? I asked the big man. I got a big smile back and the encouraging words – “Let’s go over there and I think you will like it!”
I arrive to find two familiar faces bookending the musicians playing before a large attentive audience. Jeroen van der Ley on bass and Morgana Moreno on flute are no strangers to the Bonn Jazz scene, in fact I caught both on a windy day at the Sommergarten this year on the Bundeskunsthalle roof with Samba Jazz Clube. The band were also very successful in 2016’s JazzTube when they made the final. This evening though, as is common in the local Jazz scene (and maybe others too?) it’s a different formation going under the name Moreno-Rosario Quartett and it’s a very different sound too, due mainly to the presence of the other part of the duet’s name – Marcelo Rosario on spanish guitar shares the band’s sound and focus with Morgana Moreno’s flute to make a varied show that never flags or becomes monotonous.
That sound is of course, based on Moreno and Rosario’s home of Bahia a Brazilian one and that’s the good news. The bad news is that after delighting Bonn/Cologne audiences for so long, they are returning to Bahia and sadly taking their multi-coloured Brazilian instrumental sound with them. Undoubtedly one of the top bands playing Jazztube this year in terms of musicianship and sheer musical dynamism. JazzTube has taught me that there is a plentiful supply of young Jazz talent in the area, but even so, sad to lose such talent. Marcelo reflected before the final tune how much they had enjoyed playing here over the years. As I took the steps up to Rheinweg after the show I reflected too how much colder and darker it was and how much I would miss the warmth that such Brazilian rhythms bring to cold Winter days.
Next week sees the final round for this year’s JazzTube, featuring, amongst others, Waldek Leczkowski’s Orange Fusion Featuring Albert N’Sanda and Peter Protschka’s Organic Universe. Let’s hope the music lives up to the names. There’s only one way to find out…