Intensity, concentration, diversity



The Atomic and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra combo whipped up a whirlwind leading us to believe that we were listening to free jazz, when in fact the music is precisely written down note for note. In a concert calling for intensity and concentration, these Scandinavian musicians united in the Kursaal Auditorium rolled out a fine example of their excellent savoir-faire.

There was also intensity by the bucket-load in the Plaza de la Trinidad. Joshua Redman is one of the most charismatic sax players to have come out of the 90s. All of his visits to the Heineken Jazzaldia have left us wanting more. This time he came with three fabulous musicians, Scott Colley, Ron Miles and Dave King, to present his latest album, Still Dreaming, considered by the critics to be the culminating moment of his career.

For their part, the group Unspeakable Garbage is a sort of spin-off of Mostly Other People Do the Killing, currently one of North America’s most popular bands. Two of MOPDtK’s souls, Moppa Elliott and Ron Stabinsky, front this new project, a real steamroller of sound. The unrelenting rain, which drove many spectators to leave the square, deprived them of greater triumph.

The chemistry between Martirio, one of Spanish copla’s most illustrious singers, and the jazz pianist Chano Domínguez continues to buzz. Twenty-three years after launching their album Coplas de madrugá at our Festival, they returned to bring us their new project, based on the work of the Cuban pianist and singer, Bola de Nieve. Judging by the reaction of the audience packing out the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, the project is a hit.

The Japanese pianist Chihiro Yamanaka is one of the essential pieces of Japan’s jazz scene. Drawing on a classic sound, strongly influenced by the legendary Oscar Peterson, her music has evolved and acquired new hues. Her concerts, such as the one she gave in the Victoria Eugenia, are a joy embraced with delight by the audience.

The Green Stage would have attracted a much larger audience had the weather been kinder. That said, the performers played to the satisfaction of their faithful followers. Jaime Stinus, legendary guitarist from San Sebastian in the 70s, returned to his city to present the album Canvis, recorded with the Catalan singer, Xavi Vidal. Neneh Cherry remains faithful to herself in her album Broken Politics, focal point of the concert, with a ground-breaking aesthetic and musical style.

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