A touch of summer

you’ll always find in the music of Sergio Mendes, whom we saw in London on July 14th performing at the Indigo2 – a Brazilian summer party with everyone up and dancing and singing along and having a great time. On some of the songs Sergio changed the arrangements, so that playing them again and again on tour doesn’t make it a routine, so he keeps the music fresh and his band challenged. Just love to hear this man play the electric piano, beautiful and sensitive the few notes float around and give the whole music this unique touch.

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Yesterday we saw Melody Gardot at the Teatro Circo Price in  Madrid – performing the repertoire of her new album The Absence, a more Portuguese influenced affair, with a bunch a really beautiful songs – Amalia, So Long, Impossible Love and Iemanja. Her slightly expanded band (dr, perc, sax, guit, cello and 2 additional vocalists) is absolutely amazing and she uses them in various formations to create that intimacy, that always has been her trademark in concerts. New and old repertoire fits very well, as did a medley of standards – all adding to the human touch of the performance. Not even a sound problem could stop her for long – she simply explained to the audience that there was an elephant below the stage, who tripped over a cable … and while talking the sound came back and with it the show and the feeling that she is singing ‘just for me’. A great night out !

Just a few CD’s to listen to – SLEEPER, a concert recording from 1979 by Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielson and Jon Christenson, as well known as Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet (as at the same time the had as well his American Quartet with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian). I was lucky enough to see this amazing group perform in the late seventies – and this document just confirms my memories – long and incredible soli by the musicians, lead by Jarrett and Garbarek in top form. 8 tracks on 2 CD’s – enough time for each song to develop and get to the essence – and that’s what they do! If you like Belonging, My Song and Nude Ants – this is for you, if you don’t know these recordings by that group, this is a great starting point.

For all who read ‘To Music’ by Ketil Bjornstad, ECM just released the CD companion to the Trilogy of books about the Life of young pianist Aksel Vinding (To Music is the first part) featuring the music referred to in the books and a solo piano disc of improvisations and compositions inspired by the moods and characters, performed by Ketil himself on the first disc of the 2 CD set. The solo music is darker, almost orchestral in comparison to his solo efforts on Rainbow Sessions, a selection of 3 discs worth of solo piano jewels. The second CD of Vinding’s Music contains pieces for piano by Mozart, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Chopin, Ravel, Beethoven and Barber, performed by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Christian Eggen and various pianists. Listen while reading! With a good glass of wine.

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