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Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2010

Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2010
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Copenhagen Jazz Festival
Various Venues
Copenhagen, Denmark
July 2-11, 2010

With the current crisis of the major record labels and the folding of venues all over the world, it could be argued that jazz, as an art form, has entered the age of survival where it is simply a basic matter of keeping the music alive, rather than trying to let it flourish and expand. However, there are also signs that the so-called crisis of the music business is the fuel that has fed the fire of a whole new wave of musicians and entrepreneurs who are re- thinking how jazz should be communicated and distributed to an audience. What drives them is their passion. They're not in it for the money, but for the love of the music.

The new entrepreneurial spirit of jazz was strongly felt at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2010 where a host of groundbreaking initiatives showed that jazz is not only able to survive, but also has the potential to regain its position as the popular music of our times, and this is no coincidence: It is hard to find a musical genre that is more balanced when it comes to giving a proper reflection of society. No other genre is able to reference and embrace its own historicity in the same way, while still being open to the post-modern permutations of genres. While classical music is about the past and pop music about the present, jazz music is about both: It is the music of then and now. Thus, the whole continuum of music history was reflected and transgressed at the festival, where everything from traditional Dixieland and mainstream swing to fiery avant-garde and genre-bending grooves echoed throughout the city.

The Music of the City and the City of Music
It must be emphasized that attending Copenhagen Jazz Festival isn't just a matter of hearing music, but also, in a way, a state of mind. Much has been said about the fairytale-like nature of the city where bicycles, rather than cars, are preferred, and green areas provide welcome hideouts for star-crossed lovers. However, what is most fascinating about the city is that, like New York, it has its own rhythm and its own beat, pulsating throughout the city.



The rhythm of Copenhagen isn't the hectic sounds of modernity or the nostalgic musings of yesteryear. Like jazz itself, it is something in-between. It is a sensual kind of swing that oozes out of every pore of its body. Jazz is literally everywhere: From remixing-sessions done at the top of the buildings to the soft hum of an old Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet
-record, heard late night at the harbor, and the joyful licks of skilled amateurs on the street corners, music isn't only played in venues, it embodies the city. Copenhagen is one big scene where one is just as likely to experience jazz in the zoo or the local mall as in the historical and beautiful surroundings of venues like the recently resurrected Jazzhus Montmartre.





As usual with the festival, the abundance of offers is a positive problem. To choose one good gig at any given day of the festival is the same as missing minimum five. However, staying for a long period in the city allows for a rich sample of the festival's luxurious program and it was also the case this time where the ticket included legends like singer/songwriter Caetano Veloso
Caetano Veloso
Caetano Veloso
- 1942
guitar
, pianists Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
, Martial Solal
Martial Solal
Martial Solal
b.1927
piano
and Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
, but, perhaps more interestingly, also modern groundbreakers like saxophonists Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
and Joshua Redman
Joshua Redman
Joshua Redman
b.1969
saxophone
, pianists Jason Moran
Jason Moran
Jason Moran
b.1975
piano
and Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
b.1971
piano
and avant-garde icons like pianist Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
b.1947
piano
, and saxophonist John Tchicai
John Tchicai
John Tchicai
1936 - 2012
saxophone
, not to mention a talented pool of Danish jazz musicians in trans-national collaborations, including the young pianist Rasmus Ehlers playing with saxophonist George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
, French guitarist Marc Ducret's new ensemble featuring drummer Peter Bruun and trumpeter Kasper Tranberg and last, but not least, the massive undertaking of saxophonist Benjamin Koppel
Benjamin Koppel
Benjamin Koppel
b.1974
sax, alto
who, together with pianist Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
b.1951
piano
hosted a star-studded mini-festival in the suburb of Valby, bringing in such heavyweights as drummer Al Foster
Al Foster
Al Foster
b.1944
drums
, saxophonists Chris Potter
Chris Potter
Chris Potter
b.1971
reeds
and Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
b.1953
sax, alto
, guitarist John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
b.1944
guitar
and bassist Scott Colley
Scott Colley
Scott Colley
b.1963
bass
.

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