Gent Jazz

Yesterday we had our annual date with Gent Jazz festival. Despite the unpredictable weather it turned out to be an excellent evening. The new design of the festival site is – in my eyes – a great improvement. It’s something special to build your concert tent around a small orchard, but when it comes down to it: you have trees inside your tent and people still can’t see through trees. This year the tent was besides the orchard, which now was the location for the drinks tent. This was made possible due to the changes at the site for building the new STAM museum.

But OK, let’s talk music. When we arrived at 16h20, there were few people on the terrain and this stayed so for the first show. There was no reason for this. Despite that the musicians from Quartet Del Cuore were quite young and just fresh out of school, they played a great set. I have no idea how much of the credit should go to Paolo Ghetti who coached them the last couple of weeks and joined them for a couple of numbers, but this is the kind of music I could listen to for hours.

After eating an overpriced sandwich it was time for the second show. Al Foster / George Mraz Quartet feat. Fred Hersch gave a tribute to Joe Henderson. The music was good and the speeches between the numbers were somewhat strange at times, but I enjoyed the performance without really being wowed.

The third performance turned out to be the highlight of the day for me. I’m talking about the performance by the Dave Holland Quintet. I truly loved each second of the show. This was my kind of music performed by good musicians having a really good evening. It didn’t matter if they were playing solo or were playing together: it was perfect. The double standing ovation at the end of the show was more than due.

This was a hard act to follow. This honour was for the Al Di Meola World Sinfonia ft. Gonzalo Rubalcaba. It was a good performance by great musicians, but the show missed the dynamics of the previous performance. And to be honest I’m not really a fan of the Astor Piazzolla influence you could clearly hear in the music. Enjoyable, but I’d preferred to see more of the previous show.

To finish let me just give an overview of the line ups this evening so they right people are credited:
Quartet Dal Cuore feat. Paolo Ghetti
Paolo Ghetti (coach), Bruno Van Der Haegen (tenor and alto sax), Jo De Geest (guitar), Lieven Van Pee (string bass), Laurens Van Bouwelen (drums)
Al Foster / George Mraz Quartet feat. Fred Hersch: A Tribute to Joe Henderson
Al Foster (drums), George Mraz (bass), Fred Hersch (piano), Eli Degibri (saxophone)
Dave Holland Quintet
Dave Holland (bass), Chris Potter (saxophone), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Nate Smith (drums)
Al Di Meola World Sinfonia ft. Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Al Di Meola (guitar), Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano), Kevin Seddiki or Peo Alfonsi (guitar), Gumbi Ortiz (percussion)

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