It is with vodod that I write this blog post. Once again I was invited to Køge and Modern Jazz Days. It will be the last time the festival ends. The head and ideologist behind Modern Jazz Days, Jakob Baggesen has moved to Kolding, where he has already become Chairman of the Board of Jazz in the Triangle.
Modern Jazz Days was a unique jazz festival that was not afraid to take chances and try out new ways for the jazz. This year there were two themes of colored programming. Women and electronics. They both filled up well in the program.
When I this morning met drummer Terkel Nørgaard over breakfast at the hotel, he asked what concert had been the coolest. I flushed back in my brain and came back to Friday when it all started with Rasmus Oppenhagen Krogh Quartet. He had the trumpeter Kasper Tranberg with, like the album Distill, as several songs were played. I can not remember that I have heard Kasper Tranberg play more beautifully and more clearly than at the concert on Friday. There was not a single indifferent tone from Tranberg’s trumpet. All tones had a meaning and were allowed to stand in the room, as a mirror of time that stood still for over an hour. Rasmus Oppenhagen Krogh’s good melodies were a presentation to Tranberg who grabbed them. An experience that stays seated. Rasmus had also taken drummer Laurits Hyllested and bassist Nils Bo Davidsen with. They both contributed to the last quartet.
Then it was time for the official opening, with a speech from the Culture and Sports Committee Chairman. Jakob Baggesen had asked if I would also like to speak. Since I’m not the big speaker, I chose to stick to what I used to say. I chose to report the whole festival before I had heard the music. The entire language can be read in the commentary below.
The rest of the Friday offered a different bid for how it sounds when jazz meets electronica. I had in my pre-review, highlighted Kalaha as today’s great experience and the prediction held. The quartet with two jazz musicians and two electronic musicians is a composite device that plays with surplus and space to tangle and improvise. The stage light with long LED spikes pointing up in the air was a delicious extra dimension. I have not stopped to hype the Aarhus band Abekejser, and I will continue. They have dropped some songs loose on the digital services, but are now working on making an entire album. Jon Døssing Bendix’s band, where contemporary electronica blends with old school keyboards and afro-colored guitar was again the distance. They played in the Yellow Hall, which is daily a skating hall for an audience that was not strong. In return, they were enthusiastic and certainly new Abekejser fans.
Blood Sweat Drum + Bass
The evening closed with 26 men squeezed together on the stage in the hall. Aarhusian Blood Sweat Drum + Bass had taken the Norwegian wildcat Jørgen Munkebo with. With scattered legs and rockattitude he played saxophone as he stood on Orange Scene at the Roskilde Festival. The sound pressure was gigantic. The day had gone to bed as they went on and the night took over.
Mathias Heise og Jacob Venndt
Saturday started in the mild corner with Mathias Heise and Jacob Venndt’s tribute to Toots Thielemans. The cafe was stuffed with an audience that floated on a wave of swing and good melodies. We got both Killer Joe, Bluesette and some velvety duets. Then Sinne Eeg took over in the hall where all chairs were taken and the rest of the audience had to stand out in the walls. Here, the four artists, who for a while, melted together and served jazz as if there was nothing else in this world. Mind Eeg is still on top.
Agami Brothers & The Supreme Court
Then it began to go strong. Kuku and Joseph Agami & The Supreme Court played jazz hip hop. I came to think of The Roots, as they sounded 20 years ago. Johannes Wamberg’s guitar has some Grant Green in it and Andreas Fryland’s hard lilac drummer made the bottom of the hard swinging group to get together to make a record. Kathrine Windfeld and Jesper Løvdal played at the same time at the café. The tapper sucked and bubbled with jazz joy while the last sun rays of the day illuminated the building.
Thomas Agergaard has collected a new quartet where Ginman and Blachman are retired from earlier, while young Polish pianist Artur Tuznik was the new man. How I did not know. I would even play plates at the same time. The quartet had played at the Bellevue theater, Thursday night for 400 people. Today’s last two artists were the Excelsior and Maximalistica. Again I was taken to the other side.
Sofa Session set fra scenen
When I think about my experiences in Køge, there are several highlights. One of the strongest experiences in memory was when Reverse played with Palle Mikkelborg in 2015. Newly written music played by the young trio who hit Palle Mikkelborg’s artistic glow. It was goose-skin-causing. There have also been concerts with Kresten Osgood Trio, Bremer / McCoy and Fredrik Lundin & De 5 on new adventures that have put lasting tracks in the brain. It’s also been fun to do the Sofa Session. The first couple of times with Niels Christian Cederberg, once with Jens Jørn Gjedsted and then the end of this year together with Jonas Visti, who had taken Thøger Dixgaard. They had been to Brazil all February, so of course Brazilian music went on. I smelled the lantern, so of course I had taken some Brazilian colored cases too. It went on and developed into a nice talk and play puzzle from the couch on the stage. So if there’s anybody out there want a sofa session, then we’re three gentlemen who can pack the bagpipes quickly. Now, unfortunately, we’re not going to Køge anymore.