Enjoy Jazz, 13th Edition: Heidelberg/Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Germany, October 27-November 1, 2011
Leaving for Frankfurt on the morning of November 2, there was still another couple weeks left to Enjoy Jazz, which will include performances by Mathias Eick, Henry Threadgill's Zooid, pianists Marcin Wasilewski and Craig Taborn, and Nik Bärtsch's Ronin (with a new bassist replacing the recently departed Björn Meyer), as well as an anticipated return by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré, who will be bringing Punkt to Mannheim for a follow-up to its successful one-day event there in 2009.
It's always a tough call, when invited to Enjoy Jazz for a week, to choose the right one, and there are always plenty of shows that, regrettably, have to be skipped. The only way to do it is to look for a week where there's a combination of artists high on a personal "must-see" list, as well as some lesser-knowns that look intriguing. Checking Metheny, Lukas and Bleckmann off the list, this week at Enjoy 2011 was just as enjoyable for the triple-punch of Empirical, Lorenz Raab's :XY Band, and the Claus Boesser Ferrari/Thomas Siffling Duo.
Hopefully there will be an opportunity to return to Enjoy Jazz in 2012. Its commitment to artists, fans and journalists has created, with Managing Directors Rainer Kern and Christian Weiss continuing to fight the good fight for presenting a festival of tremendous artistic breadth, a context that allows everyone as a result to absorb, reflect upon and enjoy it.
All Photos: John Kelman