Days of Swallowing of Freedom

/, Sound, Blesok no. 17/Days of Swallowing of Freedom

Days of Swallowing of Freedom


#8 In the time and place intoxicated by the vulgar practice of politics, we again had the chance for a short escape from reality. From 20 until 25 October this year there was the 19 edition of Skopje Jazz Festival, one of the several cultural manifestations in the country that leave space for us, “the West Balkan people”, to feel at least for a moment that we are “part of the civilised world”. This happened here and now, where the feelings of apathy and hopelessness are inevitable, where illusionists and “the sellers” of an imitation of life are the masters of the game. Therefore the Festival, amidst those that prefer the freedom of thought, from a totally normal music manifestation with a solid concept and own target group grew into a symbol of resistance against “the balkanisation of brain and behavior” in all forms of appearance. A true indicator that their number multiplies every year is the latest edition, which consolidates the conviction that the mission is eventually harvesting the crops and the festival is establishing itself as a pinnacle happening whose offer is permanently and persistently moving in a rising line. In fact, in what other way can be explained the shown interest (read: a real chase for a ticket more, the overcrowded halls, which for who knows for how many times actualise the acute problem of the capital for a lack of an object suitable for such events…) and all that is (already) noticed as a phenomenon not typical at all of this region (Skopje Jazz Festival is spoken of with respect in the capital of world jazz –#7 New York, in Paris, Rio… ; the front man of the Manifestation Oliver Belopeta has not accidentally acquired the confidence to regain the reputation of one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe, the one in Ljubljana). And if the above-mentioned are conclusions one must always bear in mind in the future conditional issues of whatsoever importance regarding this Manifestation, the scrutiny of the event leads us to the following reflections about the prestigious file Skopje Jazz Festival. Let us start from the beginning.
#12 This year’s programme, spread out within the long-time-ago-ascertained six-day term, had all the features of the already established idea for presentation of the events in modern jazz, and it can undoubtedly be compared to the offers at whatever big jazz festival on a global plan regardless of the budget available to them. It was not accidental that the Festival commenced with music originating from the region of those with whom last year’s edition finished – the Cuban music. The media omnipresence of the given sound (especially after the realisation of the project “Buena Vista Social Club”, supported by the well-known and esteemed Rie Kuder, Nick Gold, Whim Venders…), brought CUBANISMO in Skopje last year, and this year it was SIERRA MAESTRA. The comparison of the two performances is perhaps for the benefit of the explosiveness of the composition of Jesus Allemani’s group, who once was a trumpeter of the latter, but on the other hand, the old masters introduced us in the best possible manner into the tradition of the so-called “dream” music and its vitality and survival in time. Plainly and beautifully.
#10 The presentation of the global explosion of Latino music was rounded up by a Brazilian evening and by the performance of Marisa Monte, the most valuable singer of the latest generation. With a concept built on the basis of the just-published (by the way excellent) album “Memorias, Cronicas and Declaracoes de Amor”, which implied artism and visualisation so far non-typical of the festival’s offer, this unbelievably talented singer introduced us to her world of sound in which her version of the Brazilian popular music and the samba of the Brazilian classic composers interwove. Hence, this undoubtedly courageous move of the organiser ran across a suspicion among the people present (read: admirers of the orthodox form), which was not at all an obstacle for the rest of the people to capitulate before Marisa Monte’s charm. In addition to this, there probably remains the thought that the milieu we live in and in this troubled time, there are yet mature conditions for realisation of such commercial projects outside the regular schedule but…
#9 As far as the offer for the gourmands is concerned, here the things are clear. After long years of expectation, we were witnesses of the magic the great piano player and author Ahmad Dzalil carries within himself (in this case accompanied by the masters such as Idriz Muhamed, James Camack, and the special guest, one of the best tenor saxophonists, George Colman) with a concert to remember; we lingered the remarkable project devoted to the spiritual leader, the legendary, John Coltrane, served by the saxophonist David Murray and his octet; we felt the emotionality and the energy conveyed by the performance of the Canadian piano player Dee Dee Jackson, in front of whom new horizons unequivocally open. We were witnesses of the show by the unruly members of SUN RA ARKESTRA, who can be immensely exciting even without their controversial leader and with Marshal Allen as most well-known; we eyewitnessed the Carla Blay’s ingenuity for composing and arrangement…
#6 And finally, although it is not the first time for the musicians from the local music scene to be at the Festival, with the performances of the duo Kitanovski – Madzirov and the Big Band from Macedonian Radio Television, the closing evening accentuated the current happenings in Macedonia. This was not only a move worthwhile but also spoke most eloquently about a different climate that the new generation of jazz players is creating, about their resolute for exchange of energy on a broader plan as well as about the attention they attract in the given surroundings. So, if it is known from long ago that the Big Band possess more than a solid team that knows “to break loose”, the guitarist Toni Kitanovski and the vibraphonist Zoran Madzirov (by the way, prior to this performance he promoted his first album “Home”), in their mutual honoring of improvisation, in whose essence one could recognise the authentic sound roots and the given matrix, showed that it is to be expected that in the time to come they will step into the space where innovation and experiment are preferred.

From the Festival

2018-08-21T17:23:51+00:00 October 1st, 2000|Categories: Reviews, Sound, Blesok no. 17|0 Comments