Saturday, 23 April 2011

Jazz et Caetera

In earlier postings I have tried to pay some attention to the jazz life in this part of France; see the postings about the Crescent Jazzclub in Mâcon and Jazz à Trivy. The last series (usually 5 concerts per season) can boast concerts by international jazz artists, such as quite recently by organ grinder Rhoda Scott.
Cluny itself hosts the yearly festival Jazz Campus en Clunysois. Having said this, I must admit that I never have been to one concert in the series. That is partially due to the fact that I am not well into the French jazz scene, and partially because I am not really interested in the work shops that are part of the festival.
The same thing holds for another festival around here, Jazz à Couches. The program shows quite a big number of big band concerts, and one can ask oneself whether it is still possible to maintain a good quality big band. The past has proven, in better jazz climates than nowadays’, that maintaining a good big band was only just possible for great band leaders like Basie and Ellington. Another drawback for me is that, although Couches is in Saône-et-Loire, it is not exactly next door for me.

Jazz et CaeteraJazz et Caetera is another organiser of good jazz concerts. Unfortunately Jazz et Caetera does not have a live website (anymore), but the paper as well as electronic newsletter luckily still works. Jazz et Caetera started off giving concerts in Château de Dravert in La Guiche, but the last few years they organise concerts throughout the region. In Châteu de Dravert I have seen an excellent concert by René Urtreger, the piano player who performed with Miles Davis during the recording of the sound track of “Ascensceur pour l’échafaud”. Michel Hausser, a well known vibraphone player in France, recently gave a concert in Château de Dravert, and Cluny as well as Messeugne hosted concerts by Austrian boogie woogie piano player Martin Pyrker.
Of course it is impossible to maintain that boogie woogie is still one of the leading jazz styles. Having said that, however, what has preference: enjoying an evening out in a nice ambience, listening to good quality “old style” music, or sitting in one’s living room, listening to a CD with more cotemporary jazz music?

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