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...

1

Nice Jazz Festival 2018

Martin McFie By

Sign in to view read count
Nice Jazz Festival
Nice, France
July 16-21, 2018

The 2018 Nice festival started like a damp squib when a crashing, flashing thunderstorm hit the city an hour before the opening. The ensuing deluge made the stages and electrics unsafe. With no chance of rescheduling, most musicians left town for their next gig and the first night was cancelled. The ambassador of the Festival Gregory Porter delayed singing his tribute to Nat "King" Cole by a day, giving a free concert late Tuesday night. It would have been interesting to hear live the guitar of Kyle Eastwood who has appeared in films produced by his father, actor, director and jazz aficionado, Clint Eastwood.

With time to spare, the question of the amount of jazz content in jazz festivals came to mind. When instrumentalists led jazz away from lyrics, melody and dance rhythms in the 1950s, the young section of the audience took their money, their dance moves, their love songs and turned to the Blues side. They found R+B and Rock waiting for them, then Soul and Tamla Mo'town developed and The Beatles sealed the deal. Blues related music became more financially successful and enduring across generations than jazz. (US recording sales 2012-Rock $102m/R&B $49.7m/Jazz $8.1m). Jazz evolution has no reverse gear but Jazz Festivals need commercial music to pay the bills. Played well, nothing is right or wrong it's all music, and in Nice, six bands every night for one price means a choice of music.

On Tuesday, July 17th, both stages were back in action. The smaller 2,000 seated outdoor stage area generally presented jazz, the larger 8,000 standing capacity stage other genres. There was a half hour overlap so It was possible to catch some of all six bands each night.

A group called "Caja Negra" took the smaller stage. The guitar was played high in a classical position but not flamenco style with two scat singers hand clapping palmitas in the rhythmic counterpoint Spanish gypsy way. The underlying sound wandered between Southern Spain and the Arabic music of North Africa using two percussionists, stand up bass, piano, guitar and the band leader Pierre Bertrand on alto saxophone. M. Bertrand composes, plays and also leads the Nice Jazz Band. This was a free concert but on the main stage people paid to hear straight Soul music from Derobert and the Half Truths, in from Nashville, TN. Derobert has a smooth rounded voice trained in church. The whole group worked hard to build the energy on a hot and sultry night. The standing audience swayed, danced and applauded.

Later, Robert Glasper on piano led R+R=NOW in a Herbie Hancock number "Butterfly" with heavily echoed spoken sections in a long segment. The predominantly electronic sound was broken by a horn solo from Christian Scott and vocal intervention from Taylor McFerrin son of ten-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin.The second segment was a solo vocal percussion McFerrin piece called as "Taylor Time."

On Wednesday, singer Camile Bertaud took the smaller stage for her almost entirely scat performance with a jazz trio. A pianist herself classically trained at the conservatoire in Nice, Ms Bertaud showed the range of her voice in scat versions of music by Bach and Ravel and a homage to Eric Sati, titled "Sati, are you satisfied"? On the same stage, the treat for the evening was The New Monk trio featuring Eric de Wilde on piano with bass and drums(pictured). M. de Wilde wrote an autobiography of Thelonius Monk and has extensively researched the music. They opened with "Misterioso" befitting Monk's mysterious and sometimes contrary character as portrayed in "Monk's Mood" and they ended with a slow version of "Locomotive." In their presentation of "Friday 13th" M.de Wilde demonstrated how a theme of just four measures turned into an 11 minute recording. Soul for the evening was delivered enthusiastically by Deva Mahal and her band, her power and energy direct from church gospel, the trademark of soul singers. There was pithy urban poetry from French rapper Orelsan and the main stage was filled with musicians and dancers for a spectacular of Afrobeat music from saxophonist Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 following in the footsteps of his father, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Flow Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Flow Festival 2018
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge Live Reviews
Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2018
Read 3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Live Reviews
3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 9, 2018
Read Live From Brussels: Turkish Psychedelic Nite, Charlemagne Palestine & Anna Von Hausswolff Live Reviews
Live From Brussels: Turkish Psychedelic Nite, Charlemagne...
by Martin Longley
Published: August 9, 2018
Read Papanosh in a Finnish Forest Live Reviews
Papanosh in a Finnish Forest
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 8, 2018
Read Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 7, 2018
Read "Summer Jazz and Fringe Jazz Fest in Copenhagen" Live Reviews Summer Jazz and Fringe Jazz Fest in Copenhagen
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Herbie Hancock at the Gaillard Center Music Hall" Live Reviews Herbie Hancock at the Gaillard Center Music Hall
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Spencer Day at The Green Room 42" Live Reviews Spencer Day at The Green Room 42
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 21, 2018