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10.4.04

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Beginning of Jazz Kaar 

One of the closest notable jazz event here in Tallin seems to be Marc Ducret Trio performance on April 19, as to introduce the upcoming JazzKaar festival.
Ducret is one of those independent avant-gard type guys mixing together post-bop, rock, classical music, flamenco etc,. To me it seems something very similar Der Rote Bereich concert last year, which, in fact, was one of the most enjoyable.
Interestingly, that Ducret confesses his guitar interests coming from TV : ““I just wanted to sing like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. I mean, at 14 or 15 we had these cool groups, like rock groups and stuff.” Ducret plays on a very wide range of instruments, including acoustic and electric 12 string guitars, frestless and baritone guitars), probably, a clear mark of his mixed style as well. He became a member of the first National Jazz Ochestra in France in 1986 and later established his own trio. Since 1991, his collaboration with saxophonist Tim Berne has made Ducret one of the few European musicians regularly playing overseas. Frequently invited to be a guest soloist by groups, composers and radio programs in Germany, he created his own tentet “Seven Songs,” exploring the music of the ‘60s with a very personal touch.
He plays regularly with Louis Sclavis and Dominique Pifarely’s Acoustic Quartet. Ducret has also collaborated with the band AKA Moon and with percussionist Bobby Previte in duet and the quartet Latin for Travellers. He is leading a collective trio, Big Satan, with Tim Berne and Tom Rainey.

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Don't Worry Be Happy together with Bobby McFerrin 

This is really the summer spring of jazz in Eastern Europe. I was already writing about Roy Hargrove, Brecker, Hancock, Wilson and Scofield visits this year. Sure it is not enough, as Bobby Mcferrin is performing in St. Petersburg and Moscow on May 12 and 13. McFerrin is undoubtedly an unchallenged jazz singer (able to reach an amplitude of 4 octaves), original conductor and arranger, imitator and improvisator. At least, I cannot recall anybody being a great, sophisticated jazz singer and imitator of jazz playing trumpet, contra bass, violin or flute altogether. A great sense of humour and a feel of audience is what I remember from his appearance in Royal Albert Hall during London Jazz Festival. The sensual mixture of emotions when the audience was singing along the lines of “The Wizard of Oz” brought my counterpart to remark that “I haven’t felt this kind of musical orgasm before”. If somebody wants to reassure what I have said about McFerrin, then I recommend the opening credits of Bertrand Travernier movie “Round Midnight” (1986). It is not a trumpet playing.


Bobby McFerrin’s been on stage for 20 years already but this is his first time in Russia. So close to Baltics and other places around. A great opportunity to hear, undoubtedly, one of the musical events of this summer.
Bobby McFerrin will perform in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow on May 12 and in St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall on May 13.

3.4.04

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A Melt of Jazz and Hip-Hop: Roy Hargrove in Vilnius and Moscow 

Eastern European concert tour comes to an end for the famous jazz trumpeter/composer Roy Hargrouve. On April 27, he will perform at Kaunas Jazz Festival but on April 29, 30 and on May 1 at the Moscow jazz club "Le Club" with his new "RH Factor: Hard Groove"
Conceived, composed and produced by Hargrove, Hard Groove assembles some of the most respected young R&B artists like D'Angelo, Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu and Stephanie McKay, jazz/neo-soul/jam band players and hip hop MCs Q-Tip and Common. As Hargrove puts himself "I just wanted to open a door that would allow the musicians involved in jazz and the musicians involved in the R&B/hip hop mainstream to form some music that would have no limit", explains Hargrove. "It's like a merging of those two worlds." Unfortunately, during the tour, the vocal part will be done by himself, although the band part remains fully completed: Bobby Sparks (keyboards), Keith Anderson (sax), Billy Jones III (drums) and others.

Short info on artist:
Roy Hargrove may be only 33 years old, but in just 14 years as a professional, he's established a reputation as one of the most versatile and hardest working players in jazz. In 1999, he had his debut album "Diamond in The Rough" coming out (at the time Hargrove is just 20 years old!). The debut recording was followed by 10 other recordings, among them "With the Tenors of Our Time"with Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman. In 1996, he went to Cuba and recorded the famous, Grammy winning "afro-cuban jazz landmark" "Habana" with Chuco Valdez, David Sanchez and Gregory Maloun.
Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove was born in Waco, TX on October 16, 1969. Inspired by the gospel music he heard in church on Sundays and the R&B and funk music that played on the radio, Roy began learning the trumpet in the fourth grade. By age 16, he was studying music at Dallas's prestigious Booker T. Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts (fellow alumni: Erykah Badu and Norah Jones).

RH Factor: Hard Groove
The RH Factor: Hard Groove represents a turning point in Roy Hargrove's definitions of the music: "Personally this represents the passion that I have for the music to want to take it forward. That feeling alone made me realize that this was a spiritual event and that it was something that was history -- something to be remembered That's what the record is -- opening a new door. And this is only the beginning. There will be more episodes to come."

Roy Hargrove's performance in Kaunas Jazz Festival is definitely "the jazz event" of Baltic States!!! Recommended for everybody enjoying hip-hop, soul, jazz and funk.
Sources: Roy Hargrove at Verve and Jazz Kvadrat
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Jazz Mobsters "Sax Mafia" in Vilnius 

It's been a while, since rumors about the powerful Lithuanian mafia aroused. As always, nobody knew anything, just a suspicious glimpse and gossip like guesses. Now it seems, that if down there is something to be called mafia, then it's gonna perform on April 8 in Russian Drama Theatre, Vilnius.
All the members of Russian sax quartet SAX MAFIA are both improvisers and authors. Nikolay Rubanov
is well known as saxophonist of Russian rock band "AuctYon" and as a leader of "Union of Commercial Avant-Garde"; Edward Sivkov plays in folk group "Ne Te", in the various projects by Vlad Makarov and in Moscow Composers Orchestra, Yury Yaremchuk played in "Moscow Composers Orchestra", "3Ya", Sergey Letov is known as founder of the oldest Russian free jazz trio "Tri-O", plays in rock bands "Civil Defense", DDT a.o.
"Tri-O" was found in 1985 and soon became critically acclaimed not only in Russia, but in jazz festivals around Europe and even in United States. Starting as a avant-garde jazz ensemble performing in literary evenings, exhibitions and art events, they grew to becoming a contemporary jazz ensemble performing in all the USSR jazz festivals and, eventually, in such clubs as "Knitting Factory", "Anyway" in New York. They have also performed together with New Jungle Orchestra, this year's guest at Jazz Kaar, Estonia. Howard Mandel, a Down Beat critic, even wrote that "It's not necessary to be Afro-american to get the structure, strategy and freedom of jazz. In this particular case, all the attention goes to the small "Tri-O" ensemble (...). Their music is based on personal and social experiences, generated by the same spontane, self-understandable impulses that created the very early jazz and are supporting the contemporary one."
Quite amazing fact, that all the members of SAX-MAFIA live far away from each other: Rubanov - in St.
Petersburg, Sivkov - in Vologda, Yaremchuk - in Lvov, and Sergey Letov - in Moscow. The first performance of a quartet took place at Cultural Center DOM in Moscow.
Yury Sivkov found the project in February 2002. "SAX-MAFIA" has released 2 albums: "SAX-MAFIA by HOR Records - Concert in the DOM (quartet)" and "ethno.ru" (concert in Tyumen, trio) on Sergey Letov's
label PENTAGRAMMA.
"SAX-MAFIA" has performed in Moscow, Tyumen, Vologda, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Bonn, Mainz, Speyer, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Dresden.

Sources: Vilnius Jazz Festival , Sergei Letov Web Site

1.4.04

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JAZZANOVA in Club Prive, Tallinn 

Everybody, who has been following the electronic music/acid jazz scene, knows Jazzanova, one of the many German electronic music wonders emerging in the recent years (see Kruder&Dorfmeister, De Phazz etc.). I haven’t dig in them much, “In Between” record seems pretty chilled, fusion of rhythms, instruments and samples. A very ambient, but messy piece of music. Their website (www.jazzanova.ee) states that “Jazzanova have developed a percussion-oriented, sophisticated, clean and warm broken-beat-style that is constantly changing in form and allows no pigeon-holing. It’s just simply Jazzanova!”. Sounds very intelligent and great, but to my opinion, nothing good comes out, when you mix everything you can (hip-hop, soul, deep jazz, bosa nova, strings with a good topping of pretension). Also there is more jazz in the title, than in the content (probably, the rare sax and flute sample are the ones bravely claiming the snobbish title). Ok, maybe I'm not in the best mood now, and those going to Club Prive tonight will groove high together with the latest from the electronic jazz scene.
Jazzanova will perform tonight, April 1, in Club Prive.
Check out more at www.clubprive.ee

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