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A superbly informative piece of writing. Many thanks.
Thanks, Anthony; always nice to hear kind words from another (fine) writer!
I was there ! I am french and our Ecm festival began with the Gismonti concert (my wife and me had to make a choice !), you could imagine driving during about a thousand kilometers and arriving just in time to hear the first arpeggios of Zig-zag… great moment : unforguettable ! We found that your review of the whole event is perfect, from the concerts themselves (unfortunately we had to leave just after Brahem, we missed Rava) to the round of the four days ticket buyers (we recognized each other after a while) living in between the two concert places and the festival café.
Too bad that you didn’t review the Towner/ Fresu duo but, may be, you needed a break ?). Sure, this festival, sometimes, looked like a marathon ! We had great time with these two musiciens. We just went out from the Louis Scavis universe, asking ourselves : what could it be heard after that ? Just before the encore, behind us a small group of young ladies, stand up, shouted : we love you, (I didn’t know that jazz could have such a power !), assurdly one of the highlights of the festival. And then, upstairs, came the duo in this big square room with no sound system at all.
Just after a few nylon guitar notes and a big reverbereted trumpet sound we though that they couldn’t make it… Mistake, they could and we had a pure moment of grace, from Towner masterpieces to strongly played jazz standards.
Any way, thank you very much again for your vision of the event and for the photos… (specially the Egberto Gismonti one whitch is very touching)
Thanks for writing, so glad to hear from someone who was there.
Indeed, the only reason I didn't cover Towner/Fresu was because after only four hours sleep Friday night, participating all day at the ECM Symposium, by the time midnight approached, and with a show at 11am the next morning, I knew that if I went to Towner/Fresu I'd be too bagged to cover the Sunday shows. It was a terrible decision to make - I have been a Ralph for 35 years - but I simply couldn't muster the energy... :(
I also loved the room Ralph played in, The Hall of Knights. You could hear a pin drop-not just because the audience was so quiet and attentive, but because the acoustics were so alive that you didn't *need* a soundsystem... :)
Thanks again for the very kind words - and for the equally encouraging words about the pictures - I was very please with some of them, in particular the Gismontis, in fact. It was really so incredibly moving to see father and son share a stage, wasn't it?
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