Well, it must be said that the names were certainly attention getters in the final week of this year’s JazzTube competition: Waldek Leczkowski’s Orange Fusion Beat Featuring Albert N’Danda, Peter Protschka’s Organic Universe and the more sedately monikored Radius. But, as the saying goes, ‘what’s in a name?‘. Names don’t play Jazz, people do, and what do the people passing by make of it? A last chance to find out in 2017.
I’ll shorten the Band name at Hauptbahnhof to a more manageable Waldek Leczkowski but that would certainly be short-changing the vocal talents of Albert N’Sanda who really gave the band a Gregory Porter feel. Sax in the City man Leczkowski delivered some powerful soloing at Thomas-Mann-Strasse but to me it was the counterpoint of N’Sanda’s laid back vocal phrasing that gave the band it’s edge. N’Sanda has some pedigree behind him musically too, with three discs, not to mention working alongside top band’s like Culcha Candela.
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest audiences I’ve yet seen at this location. I arrived for their second set and clearly there were a lot of people still listening from set one. When I headed off to uni/Markt for the next band I noticed that despite set two ending not many people were heading for the tram with me. A clear sign that many had chosen their ‘winner’ for today’s JazzTube contest.
N’Sanda and Leczkowski made for a fine mix at Thomas Mann Strasse
The quartet around guitarist Jonas Vogelsang over at Uni/Markt had also assembled a large and steadfast audience it seemed. Radius have been around for a few years now, with their members, as is common practice in Jazz circles it seems, regularly to-ing and fro-ing between other projects. I recognize immediately Stefen Rey from appearances with Marion and Sobo who themselves are Jazztubing around the stations to hear the music I notice.
The Radius sets encompass mainly own compositions from their 2016 CD. Their’s is an enjoyable Modern Jazz groove fuelled by an intuitive understanding of each others sound and by an obvious enjoyment of simply making music. Smiling faces all-round from the band and also from the sizeable audience .
A Radius of smiling faces surrounded the band Radius
Peter Protschka’s Organic Universe are standard bearers for the Jazz Hard and Post-Bop genres. The fact that I write that is itself a tribute to the effectiveness of JazzTube: Jazz newbies like me get to dig a bit deeper into the seemingly bottomless pool of genres that make up Jazz. ‘A Must for fans of the Burning Modern Mainstream’ it says on the band’s advertising blurb, which is all a haze to me generically speaking, but I know what I like and I liked what I heard. Larry Young is a big inspiration of the band Bandleader Peter Protschka, who described the sets in advance as “Organ Jazz with a special Cathedral sound!”.
Enjoying the Jazz – Peter Protschka
I’m guessing the acoustics here were were a major decider for his appearance on the JazzTube. Certainly the band was a high carat one including Johann Hörlen whose Alt Sax can be heard on 4th November at the Pantheon when he is a part of Confluence with Andy Hunter. Clemens Orth delivered the ‘Cathedral’ organ sound, which, with such a low ceiling, was never going to be quite a religious experience – but combined with the confidence and obvious talents of such top local Jazzmen was a fitting way to end JazzTube for 2017.
For all the youngsters playing this year, and ultimately they are what JazzTube is all about, these guys were a useful yardstick to measure where they were. For the rest of us non-Jazz musicians they were a reason to go home sad that such great music underground is over for 2017 and glad that it has been so well received that a Bonn without JazzTube would be unthinkable.
Welcome to Peter Protschka’s Organic Universe
On 3rd November you can catch this year’s winner in a special concert at Pantheon, but as every year, the real winners are the public who come out to hear these special concerts in ever increasing numbers. What started out in the beginning as a chance offered by the SWB for young local Jazz players to get experience live and find an audience has now become a genuine festival in it’s own right. The opening Stadtgarten show was a clever idea to put the word out about the Season to a potential audience who enjoy good, live and free music – many of them students of course. Whether that was the reason for a surge in audiences each Friday it would be hard to say, but a surge there most definitely was – especially notable for Porteno Global at Uni/Markt and Mary & The Poppins at Museumsmile.
The JazzTube Festival now rounds off the year as, from 3rd to 5th November, the winners concert is then followed by two class Jazz evenings including appearances by the earlier mentioned Confluence and Trioscience (“The New Faces of German Jazz” – Stern). All in all I think a big THANK YOU is due to SWB and Thomas Kimmerle for an enjoyable, varied and successful journey on the Jazztube in 2017.
If you are curious to see how the voting is going, click HERE for the latest news.