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12 Points 77

“A real discovery of European Jazz”

The festival was opened by the band Big Blue. Young Finns created an interesting sound dominated by Kalevi Louhivuorie’s trumpet. Interestingly, the leader is not patterned by American trumpeters. He is closer to Norwegian Nils Peter Molvaer or Danish Palle Mikkelborg.

First impression you get is the strong integration of sounds formed by all band's members who seem to be one musical body. The second impression, very often attributed to Scandinavian bands, is the skilfull use of the sounds that stay long in the air. The mystery ballade performed by Kalevi on his flugerhorn and intrigue dramaturgy of other themes trapped audience’s attention.

The band also absorbed listeners by contrasting mixture of soft trumpet’s sounds with worrying rhytms of percussion and by melodious themes completed by unexpecting harmonies of Antti Kujanpaa’s piano.

Thought-Fox band from Dublin are the quinted with Lauren Kinsella as a vocalist. The name of the band inspired by Ted Hughes’ poetry suggests that they care about thoughts hidden in words. The Irish vocalist sings poetry and her own lyrics who are summary of her innovative achievements. She doesn’t avoid vocalises like Urszula Dudziak or scat singing like Betty Carter. Lauren’s dynamic style didn’t let the listeners focus on her timbre, which becomes to be her adventage.

The real sensation of the festival was left by director Gerry Godley to the very end of the first festival’s night.

It was Belgian trio De Beren Gieren, the only band like that on 12 Points. For the whole performance I tried to guess which other band they can be compared to, but I couldn’t find any analogues. The Belgians discovered such unusual formula of piano trio that even legendary Sweden e.s.t. seems to be classic jazz. The composer of the proposed music is pianist Fulco Ottervanger, modest and rather shy when not on stage, at the piano he changes into a real demon of piano improvisations.

I would locate the sounds of De Beren Gieren between modern jazz and contemporary music. Their jazzy groove with motoric rhytm separates them from dificult avangarda. Fulco Ottervanger has the ability of mixing all the most attractive aspects of classical music, with Chopin’s romantizm or Satie’s impresionizm. His virtuosity is very close to American jazzmen and his creativity in harmonic complications – to European musicians.

Marek Dusza

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