May 18, 2024

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CD review: Kenny Barron Trio – In Coutances, France 2021: Video, CD cover

For its 40th edition, the Jazz sous les Pommiers festival in Coutances, in Manche, has a special flavor: it takes place for the first time in its history at the end of August, and not in May. Launched Wednesday evening August 25, it runs until Sunday August 29, 2021.

Canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19 (and then reduced to a weekend in a 100% digital version), the Jazz sous les pommiers festival this year attempted the bet of a postponement and of a shorter duration. “We simply said to ourselves that by stepping back as late as possible in the summer, before the start of the school year, we would have a little more chance of this happening”, Denis Le Bas, the director of the festival, explained to AFP. “We are not quite in the world before, we have reduced the sails a little, with a more European program”, he emphasizes. “But at the same time, we’ve always had a very European program and it’s almost an edition as usual.”

On the bill for the 2021 edition, Jazz sous les Pommiers has nevertheless offered a historical figure of American jazz, the pianist Kenny Barron, 78, as well as the faithful of Coutances, such as the double bassist Henri Texier (who came from over fifteen times) or the Italian saxophonist and clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi (in a trio of clarinets), musicians from Africa (Cheik Tidiane Seck, Ballaké Sissoko, Sam Mangwana) … And despite a tight edition, he does not deprive himself creations, numbering seven this year.

The Kenny Barron trio’s concert is broadcast live on on Friday. “We just made the bet of Kenny Barron, who is from the United States”, underlined Denis Le Bas. Despite the recommendation of the American authorities on August 10, advising their nationals not to travel to France due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in France, the pianist, former musician of Dizzy Gillespie or Stan Getz, is still showing on the August 27 program. “His agent has reconfirmed to us that he will come well. He has a terrible desire to play, he considers it safe enough and since he wants to play, he comes. Period.”, announced Denis Le Bas a few days ago.

“It’s important for the musicians, for the creations. We wear seven creations, that means that there are musicians who have composed, who have rehearsed, and at some point they have to play that. made a bet with them to follow them on this or that project, they’ve been working on it for a year and they have to present it “, also declared the patron of the festival, to explain his determination to maintain the demonstration.

Thursday evening, broadcasts the “One Shot Not” evening organized the night before around drummer Manu Katché, with eminent guests such as Keziah Jones, Sandra NKaké and Erik Truffaz. The event must be enriched by a Facebook Live.

Another specificity of Jazz sous les Pommiers, its musicians in residence, at the rate of one every three years for nearly a quarter of a century. The artist undertakes by contract to offer creations and concerts in Coutances and in the region. For this 40th edition, the ten musicians chosen in residence during the history of the festival are gathered for an exceptional concert, Thursday August 26: from Frank Tortiller to Théo Ceccaldi and Fidel Fourneyron, from Airelle Besson to Anne Paceo without forgetting Thomas de Pourquery – among others. Suffice to say that it promises to be sparkling. “Finding all these musicians, all these projects, all this audience, it’s still vital, and it feels good”, concluded Denis Le Bas, director of a festival born in 1982 and now “the smallest of the great festivals”, according to its formula.

If several concerts are already sold out, the program, rich and diverse, invites a lot of exciting moments in perspective, such as the meeting between the group of the talented Franco-Swiss pianist Gauthier Toux (winner of Talent Adami 2021) and the fascinating Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær (August 28), to follow on

Other programs to discover include the splendid Noir Lac project (vibraphone, balafon, voice and choir) on Friday afternoon, the homage of the National Jazz Orchestra (ONJ) ​​to Ornette Coleman in the beautiful setting of the Magic Mirrors (August 27) where will also be presented, among other groups, the beautiful project of violinist Mathias Levy, in the same session. The Magic Mirrors indeed hosts two afternoons of discovery, with several 30-minute “Jazz Export Days” concerts, Thursday August 26th and Friday August 27th.

The summary of the “Jazz Export Days” shows will be broadcast on

Other concerts are scheduled on our streaming platform. First, the formidable Large Ensemble by pianist Carine Bonnefoy, which performs on Saturday August 28th.

Next, the Swedish-Norwegian trio Rymden, made up of two members of the trio of the late Esbjörn Svensson (pianist who accidentally died in 2008), Dan Berglund (double bass) and Magnus Öström (drums), and pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, who performed on Friday August 27.

Another group, El Comité, very promising combo of Cuban music, Saturday evening, with the trombonist Fidel Fourneyron as a special guest.

01. Intro
02. New-York attitude
03. How deep is the ocean
04. Night fall
05. Memories of you (solo)
06. Bud-like
07. Skylark
08. Banter
09. Calypso Calypso
10. Banter
11. Cook’s bay
12. Encore

Kenny Barron, piano
Kigashi Kitagawa, bass
Johnathan Blake, drums

Kenny Barron Trio In Coutances, France (2021)

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