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Live Reviews

Garana Jazz Festival, Garana, Romania, July 12-15 2012

By Published: August 10, 2012
Bugge Wesseltoft & Friends—pianist/keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft, trumpeter Erik Truffaz
Erik Truffaz
Erik Truffaz
b.1960
trumpet
, saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin
Ilhan Ersahin
Ilhan Ersahin

saxophone
,beats/percussionist Joaqin Claussell and a percussion group—came next. The ever-versatile Wesseltoft demonstrated anew his refreshing openness and stylistic diversity by inviting his friends to join him in Garana. Perfectly attuned to the acoustic environment and to the audience—as through a miraculous audience-targeting—the international band gave a fulminating show mainly sustained by the rhythmic background of the percussion group, which also included a DJ. Wesseltoft's invitation to dance was followed by the audience, as the rhythm gained presence and became the dominant component. Sophisticated interventions by the piano alternated with lyrical passages, the masculine tone of the saxophone in dialogue with Truffaz's firm serenity, grafting themselves on the pulsing background without diminishing their impact and fluency. The show closed in a dancing frenzy, charged by the wonderful Garana audience.



Carlos Bica and Azul—bassist Carlos Bica, electric guitarist Frank Möbus , and drummer/percussionist Jim Black
Jim Black
Jim Black

drums
—were the greatest surprise of the festival. Combining a Latin melodicisms with well-placed jazz elements, the Portuguese bassist's trio gave a dense, lively performance, from the ascending rhythms of "Believer" to the stimulating interaction with strong rock accents in "Horses." The compactly interwoven sonic lines and the melodic flow, backed by a humorous tone in "It's a Big, Big World" and "Tea for Two," brought in a remarkable expressiveness, doubled by a refined sense of nuance.

Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos —guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot
Marc Ribot
Marc Ribot
b.1954
guitar
, keyboardist Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman
b.1955
piano
, bassist/vocalist Brad Jones
Brad Jones
Brad Jones

bass
, percussionist/vocalist EJ Rodriguez and drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez
Horacio
Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez
b.1963
percussion
—closed the festival. The joy experienced by Ribot each time he plays with the Cuban band Los Cubanos Postizos did not fail to affect the audience—which, following his invitation ("don't listen to the music; dance! Just dance!"), did not resist the impulse to dance for the second time in the same evening. The gentle tone of Ribot's guitar, like a tender breeze, led a performance with a pronounced Caribbean note on rhythms of salsa and meringue, as alert passages alternated with inspired instrumental intercessions. With this performance, the Garana Jazz Festival closed on a general tone of cheerfulness, as if to highlight the overall unmatched success of this year's edition.

Photo Credit

All Photos: Richard Wayne


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