Don’t tell the weather, but it’s now Autumn. Better keep quiet and enjoy sunny days with good music in the open-air. Speaking of which… The Park restaurant Rheinaue still has some live music up its sleeve between now and the end of September. This Sunday it was the turn of Jazz guitarist Ali Claudi and his Trio to do the entertaining – which they did in fine style.
There never seems to be enough Jazz Guitar about. I suppose when you hear the likes of Wes Montgomery,and Kenny Burrell you probably just decide to buy a Stratocaster and form a rock band – or take up the saxophone instead. It’s not such a problem for Ali Claudi though, since Ali has been playing far enough back to have grown up alongside such luminaries, having started his own career as a jazz guitarist in the early 1960’s. Ali was even a part of the Krautrock band Gomorrha in the 1970s.
This afternoon’s set is one built for sunny cloudless skies and an audience wanting to chill out with a glass of wine and nothing too demanding on the ear. A sensible choice it is too with a smattering of Ray Charles ‘I’d Walk a little more for you’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me’. There’s a predictable version of Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’ towards the set end. Richard and Linda Thompson’s ‘Dimming of the Day’ is ascribed by Ali as being from Bonnie Raitt, and today is very much a Country affair, far removed from Thompson’s Folk version, or the definitive version by Sandy Denny. Its cheery uptempo tune matches the cheery up-tempo audience though.
Where the class really shows through is when the trio gets to stretch out creatively. Claudi introduces what he says will be ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ but with some Baroque improvisation by the band. It’s an enjoyable moment in the set – Maybe this would have been Jazz for Henry VIII. It has a Tudor feel about it. Best of all though is a glorious take on Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Take the A Train’ that became Duke Ellington’s signature tune. Wonderful piano here from Hans-Gunther Adam (who impressed me throughout the afternoon) and nice touches from Christian Schröder on drums. Really a track that showed a band pairing the experience of maturity without losing the enthusiasm of youth in their playing. A pleasure to have passed an evening in the sunshine with you gentlemen.
Still to come at the Rheinaue Restaurant and Beergerden:
20 Sept: Stefan Ulbricht Boogie Trio (Boogie Woogie & Blues)
27 Sept The Bad Goats (Rock ‘n’ Roll)
All Sunday shows: 2pm -5 pm PARK RESTAURANT RHEINAUE