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Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2508
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010 - 1:47 pm:   Edit Post

We used to have the legendary North Sea Jazz festival in my home town of The Hague, but that was moved to Rotterdam. Fear not, there is now the The Hague Jazz festival - same venue, somewhat smaller programme. My wife's employer works for one of this year's main sponsors, so we got free tickets for Friday night, plus food and drinks - always nice!

Anyways - I thought we'd catch Randy Weston's African Rhythms. In a word - wow! Just a piano trio, with bassist Alex Blake and percussionist Neil Clarke - they did four pieces, and kept things going gloriously for over an hour, full of zest. They seemed to be enjoying themselves too. The two side-men would hum out some of the tunes and solos, but not annoyingly.

Alex Blake was sitting on a drumstool, with the shoulders of the double bass at shoulder height, which looked odd, but it didn't keep him from playing the s* out of that bass. Neil Clarke was more a pillar of strength, keeping the momentum with the occasional flourish, and just one major solo near the end. And of course the genius of Randy Weston - perhaps the fingers have gone a little stiff with age, but the way he would sketch the outline of a full orchestra score, spicing it up with some terrific riffing, adding colors and textures ... When bass and percussion would be riffing tough for some time, he'd just plant one or two pretty quiet single notes, and they'd still ring out.

If they're coming your way, don't miss it!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9394
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010 - 2:07 pm:   Edit Post

Great review Adriaan! Thanks! Looking for Weston on youtube, here's the first thing I ran across. It's the trio; and yes Blake has an interesting playing position! Very cool!
Username: musashi

Post Number: 81
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Friday, June 18, 2010 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post

Alex used to play Alembics. There was an iconic photo of him playing an LSB in a coffee table music book that I used to see in book stores all the time, but which, it goes without saying, I neither bought nor now remember the title. I will attempt to attach the only image I was able to find that shows Alex with an Alembic (sort of).

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