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...

4

Molde International Jazz Festival 2018

Luca Vitali By

Sign in to view read count
Moldejazz Festival
Molde, Norway
July 16-21, 2018

The Moldejazz festival is the second oldest in Europe—it was started in 1961, just one year behind Ljubljana, in 1960—and is still the most important one in Norway. It was here that Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek took their first steps in creating the Allentown pianist's "European quartet." It was here too, even earlier, that Garbarek came into contact with George Russell, the composer and pianist from Cincinnati who did so much to inspire jazz in Norway.

This was the fourth season of the festival directed by Hans-Olav Solli and on Sunday morning, just after it ended, the editor of the festival magazine FireFlate headlined with: "The best festival ever?!" It was July 22, a day that weighs heavily because it carries the memory of the 2011 massacre at Utøya. The atmosphere was particular and certainly not euphoric, so there is every reason to believe him: it was definitely a great year for the festival!

As always, in addition to the traditional roster of acts, the festival hosts an "Artist in Residence" who serves as a fulcrum for much of the program. This year it was the composer and arranger Maria Schneider. The festival also celebrates an iconic musician who has helped to put it on the map: this year, the double-bassist Arild Andersen. And finally, on alternate years, it has the task of launching emerging young Norwegian talents with the famed "Jazzintro" award announced by Norsk Jazzforum, as well as an annual scholarship given to the best young composer, "JazZstipendiat."

Let's start with the acts from this year's 58th edition: 28,000 tickets sold, 18 concerts were sold out. Ticket sales in terms of money were the best since 2009. 550 volunteers participated in the festival.

The line-up for the first week (which I missed) had some "big-time" artists. There were many Americans: the group "Hudson" (John Scofield , Jack DeJohnette, John Medeski, Scott Colley), David Sanborn, Donny McCaslin , Robert Glasper with Terrace Martin, Stanley Clarke. But local artists also appeared: Tord Gustavsen with his trio, the debut performance of Trondheim Jazzorkester & The MaxX, Ytre Suløens Jazz Ensemble and the trio Gurls . There were more rare finds too, though, such as Universal Indians with Joe McPhee, Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, and even some diversions into pop, with Van Morrison.

Artist in Residence

The opinion was unanimous: Maria Schneider did an excellent job and left an indelible mark on Molde. I was sorry to have missed the opening concert with Ensemble Denada, with guest Donny McCaslin and music arranged for David Bowie, which many journalists and critics viewed as one of the high points of the festival. I was able to attend the sublime closing concert in the cathedral, though, with the classical Trondheimsolistene ensemble and soprano Eir Inderhaug—which we'll talk about later. It was a successful collaboration, sealed by Maria's thanks to everybody who was involved in the project during its six-month gestation.

Arild Andersen

A giant of Norwegian jazz and a great musician who is respected and appreciated all around the world, Andersen is also an inspiration and mentor for a scene that is constantly growing and evolving. He was presented with the annual Molderosen award for helping to increase the festival's visibility. There's no question that he has brought something unique and particularly moving to life in his duo with the poet Jan Erik Vold. Finally, along with Dave Holland , he was one of the key people in the "Festivalakademiet" conference cycle organized by the scholar Bjørn Stendahl.

Young Talents

An important time for the Norwegian incubator: the jury (composed of double-bassist Ellen Andrea Wang, saxophonists Mette Rasmussen and Kjetil Møster, and pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff, and chaired by the Jazzforum representative Øyvind Skjerven Larsen, awarded the prize -of 200 thousand Norwegian kroner to the Young Young Jazz Musicians of the Year in addition to the Gramo grant of NOK 150,000 -to the newcomer trio from Trondheim (around 20 years old) I Like to Sleep (name is taken from a Thelonious Monk quote) Amund Storløkken Åse (vibraphone—following in his parents' footsteps: his father is the keyboardist and composer Ståle Storløkken and his mother is the vocalist Tone Åse ), Nicolas Leirtrø (baritone guitar) and Øyvind Leite (drums).

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 "Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner" Live Reviews Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "John Abercrombie Tribute Concert at Roulette" Live Reviews John Abercrombie Tribute Concert at Roulette
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café" Live Reviews Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club" Live Reviews Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018