All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Jyderup Accordeon Traef 2015: Meeting of the Master Improvisers

Jyderup Accordeon Traef  2015: Meeting of the Master Improvisers
Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Jyderup Accordeon Traef
Jyderup, Denmark
June 14-21, 2015

Where do you find some of the greatest improvisers in music today? The answer, in a folk high school in the middle of a forest near a small Danish town called Jyderup, seems like a bad joke. Nevertheless, it is the truth -at least these days where a meeting of improvisers is taking place in an unlikely, but beautiful setting. It is an encounter between students and teachers, old and young, but it also a special chance for kindred spirits to get together and share musical thoughts and ideas and enjoy each other's company.

The man behind it all is the Danish drummer Kresten Osgood, who has gathered an awe-inspiring list of master improvisers for a musical summit called Jyderup Accordeon Traef. It is the third time the meeting is taking place and this year the list of teachers included bassist William Parker, saxophonists Akira Sakata and Bennie Maupin, bassist and keyboard-player Alan Silva, violinist LaDonna Smith, drummer Josef Klammer and guitarists Davey Williams and Seppo Gründler. It is a diverse setup with many different aesthetic sensibilities, but the musicians all share a love of improvisation and music in general.

Openness is a keyword when it comes to this 7-day course from June 14-21. People, whether they are young musicians or experienced improvisers, are here to learn and be challenged. Osgood has a holistic approach when it comes to the experience of art and the people who attend the course are not only exposed to lots of strange and wonderful music, but also lectures in all possible areas, from poetry readings and the noble art of calligraphy to Akira Sakata giving a lecture on Brackish-water Amphipod Gammarus.

The greatest lessons come from the musicians and Akira Sakata is not only able to tell his students about Amphipod Gammarus, but also has important knowledge to pass on to the group of musicians he is teaching. He tells how it is important to reach what he calls a marathon high, a state of ecstasy in improvisation. To get there, it is crucial to let go of feelings of right and wrong, every emotion is acceptable. His group plays music that changes between noisy explosions and subdued moments. At one point, he tells the young drummer to play a solo. After the solo, he tells him to play faster, but he senses that the drummer does not let go completely and tells him and the rest of the group about the importance of surrendering to the moment without any type of emotional and intellectual restriction. Music is a gift from above and we need to recognize this and accept the gift without hesitation.

The spiritual element that is present in Akira Sakata's musical philosophy is also clearly felt in bassist William Parker's music. He has not brought any music with him beforehand, but has composed a piece on the spot that fits the musicians at hand, including two drummers. The music is a suite, divided into four parts, with many musical layers that give the musicians a great deal of freedom. On the other hand, there is also a clear structure with gradual introduction of instruments and use of dirges and drones. There is a rhythmical ebb and flow where Parker has an ear for every detail, for instance, he suggests that the tuba puts an accent on a bass line that carries a groove in the second part of the suite. At one point, he plays flute, but mostly he directs his energy towards the young musicians and listens to what is happening. He prefers to avoid conducting, but is ready to give cues when the energy is not there.

After the rehearsal, a large portion of the young musicians gather around him and he talks with them about music, female jazz musicians, the role of subsidiary in Scandinavian countries and the nature of improvisation. Improvisation is something everyone can learn, a child intuitively starts finger- painting without any preconceived notion of art. Parker talks about finding the right key to play in, the one that fits with the inner energy of the individual and the fact that many people can play music, but not the same music. He relates it to the difference in musical cultures and the need for respect for other musical traditions.

In another room, Bennie Maupin is teaching his students about the importance of the sound level. They are working on a piece with many reed-players and Maupin wants the students to be aware of the dramaturgy of sound. How is it possible to create tension and development if you start out from the highest level of energy? Maupin makes the students aware of this relevant question.

Interesting musical questions are considered everywhere. According to the students, Ladonna Smith brings an element of performativity to the way she teaches music while Alan Silva considers the relationship between sound and image and has a large projector in his room.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium" Live Reviews King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium
by Eric Thiessen
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "Novara Jazz 2018" Live Reviews Novara Jazz 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Instant Composers Pool at The MAC" Live Reviews Instant Composers Pool at The MAC
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor" Live Reviews Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 15, 2017