R.I.P. Jazz legend Chris Barber. The celebrated Jazz trombonist died on 2 March aged 90. One of the ‘three B’ greats of trombone alongside Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball, Barber will be remembered beyond his instrumental abilities. His involvement in bringing some of the early legends of popular music to the UK was pivotal to Pop’s evolution, as he brought names like Sister Rosette Tharpe, Muddy Waters and Bill Broonzy to young 50s audiences containing eager listeners who themselves would go on to make Britain the Pop Music Kingdom of the ’60s. Bands like The Stones, Beatles and even Hard Rockers like led Zeppelin.
Stéphane Avellaneda will be familiar to many readers. I remember first seeing him as the new drummer behind Ana Popovic some years ago now. My thoughts then were that he was a rock drummer and that he was LOUD too!. After a couple of shows though, it became apparent that Stéphane could also play subtle accompaniments too, and was a man always ready to experiment a little with the sound. Of course, within the confines of the Ana Popovic Band, it was the lady in charge who dictated the shots. Fair enough, it’s her band and her songs. Fast forward to 2019, and with Ana Popovic now ripping it up a storm Stateside for much of the year with her band, Stéphane has taken the opportunity to team up with French vocalist/flautist Rachel Ombredane to make an intriguing debut disc via Kickstarter donations. The result is a duo named RosaWay and an excellent Jazz/Synthpop EP named ‘Stranger’
Michael Jackson seems to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these days. Rüdiger Baldauf’s Jackson Trip was actually released in 2017, but with the current Jackson Art retrospective at Bundeskunsthalle, now is the perfect time for the top trumpeter from Bensberg to bring a part of Jackson that is in no dispute back in the public eye – his incredible contribution to Funk/Soul and Pop music.
She calls them her ‘Holy Trinity’ of music, and I’m sure Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter would all have enjoyed Astatine‘s excellent concert at Bonn Harmonie on Sunday. Put together some of the best Jazz composers of the 20th Century and a talented band of musicians and you really can’t go wrong. As Mr Gershwin would have observed – “Fascinating Rhythm’!
Comparisons to George Benson and Wes Montgomery are an indication of how highly rated Düsseldorf born jazz guitarist Torsten Goods is in the modern jazz pantheon. Friday nights show seemed too low key an affair to give a definitive answer as to whether the comparisons are justified, but it left no doubt that Ortszentrum Dottendorf and its ‘Dottendorfer Jazznacht’ really is establishing itself. The plain looking fascade hides a local venue to enjoy World Class Jazz in a ‘living room’ atmosphere.
World jazz with JMO, and Rumanian folk/jazz with Ler.che. Certainly, there was no danger that it would be an evening of music you’ve heard a million times before. Given the high standard of concerts already at Stadtgarten this year, the only certainty was that it would be well played.
In 2013 a new young band entered Bonn’s Jazz Tube competition. In the following year, the Jin Jim quartet triumphed over a field of nearly 200 entrants to win the „Future Sounds“ competition at the Leverkusener Jazztage festival. At the Baltic Jazz Festival in 2017 Jin Jim received standing ovations and a contract from the the ACT Jazz label, who are Committed to promoting new bands with great potential. The result is ‘Weisse Schatten‘.
For many people in Bonn, particularly teenagers and students, the Stadtgarten season at Alten Zoll is already an institution. An extension almost of the numerous teenagers often seen and heard in the shade of the University trees strumming guitars as the sun goes down. I’m sure that opening act in 2018, Cynthia Nickschas, has been one of those strummers. This time around though she had an audience of well over 2000 picnicking on the grass beside her. French electro Folkies Fergessen, Indie-Rockers Koj and Jazz quartet Radius completed the opening weekend of music under the setting sun.