Tampere Jazz Happening 2014

Henning Bolte By

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It couldn't have formed a bigger contrast with the subsequent E-Collective of trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Blanchard is a highly skilled, virtuosic musician and merited composer. His E-collective gathered a group of known talented, young musicians like pianist Fabian Almazan and guitarist Charles Altura. Unfortunately, Almazan's keyboard too often had a tinny sound and Donald Ramsey's cheap sound on the bass guitar, together with Oscar Seaton's bass drum, had the same grinding effect on the music as described for Takuya Kuroda's band. And this was no intended trashy sound or old fusion sound recycling. Altura's soloing in this sound bed lasted far too long which altogether had a dulling effect. No doubt there was musical substance, but it was drowned and spoiled by an unattractively reverberating sound.


Two concerts at Klubi were attended but not reviewed: the night concert of the group Tamikrest from Mali on Friday and the—hilarious and powerful as ever—closing concert of Stian Carstensen's Norwegian-Bulgarian bunch of Farmers Market.

The programming showed well-spread and balanced variety and variation, was a good European representation, and offered some good insights into the characteristics, mentalities, and dynamics of the Finnish scene. The festival schedule and time were convenient, compact and audience-friendly. The stage changes and reorganisation in-between the acts were amazingly effective and smooth and the number of concerts and short distance to/between the venues made the experience clear and doable. The festival's organisation owes a remarkable combination of pro-and reactive capability, effectiveness and relaxed caretaking. Their hospitality was extraordinarily kind, attentive, generous and caring.

Telakka is a wonderful place, but it's a bit difficult to really get 'inside' and share the atmosphere with the Finnish audience celebrating their musicians and groups, when commuting between the Old Custom House opposite and Telakka. Maybe this needs some (more) 'hyvää' practice.
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