Luxembourg Jazz Meeting 2018

Sunday 11 November 2018 , Abbaye de Neumünster – neimënster, Luxembourg

text & pics: Storm Bakker

ProgJazz attended the Luxembourg Jazz Meeting 2018, with 12 showcase concerts in the 'Salle Robert Krieps' in the Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster – neimënster. Sunday 11 November was the last day, with again four showcases of 30 minutes in a row, but now starting in the morning at eleven.

Reis Demuth Wiltgen

The first showcase of today, Reis Demuth Wiltgen was immediately jackpot. The trio already exists for over 20 years, pausing for a few years in 2003 when Reis and Wiltgen moved to the States, while Marc Demuth studied in Bruxelles and the The Hague, with Hein van de Geyn and Frans van der Hoeven. Wiltgen played with Kurt Rosenwinkel and Brian Seeger among others. In 2011 the three friends re-united and their first album was released in 2013 for the French label Laborie Jazz. And this year, 2018, Reis Demuth Wiltgen released their second album, ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ on the CAMJazz label, which was beautifully recorded and produced in Cavalicco Udinese, Italy in 2017. It is the tenth album of Michel Reis. During their showcase at the Luxemburg Jazz Meeting the trio played several pieces from that album, and some other works. ... Read the comprehensive review elsewhere on this website.

David Laborier NE:X:T

The second showcase was by David Laborier and his group NE:X:T. In the linernotes of the festival, it says about Laborier NE:X:T that “it is a homogenous co-existence of musical styles resulting in highly accessible colours and atmospheres, rather than giving the listener the impression of an overdone and intellectual arrangement of notes.” So, we had great expectations for the concert and indeed, all bandmembers appeared to be fine musicians, including Laborier who is a skillful guitarist, trained in The Hague by our friend and idol Eef Albers. Laborier plays an hollowbody jazz guitar, which due to smart use of fx pedals is sounding like a solid sometimes. All themes are done with guitar, sometimes doubled by one of the horns, alternated with improvised solo’s upon an ostinate groove. Besides playing guitar, Laborier operates as the band’s conductor on stage. Read the comprehensive review elsewhere on this website.

Machado & Ithursarry

The third showcase, French duo Machado (piano) and Ithursarry (accordéon), was something completely different. According to the festival guide, “Jean-Marie Machado is established at the first rank of the European sphere” - and indeed, he is a very fine pianist, with great skills and good taste. But also Ithursarry is a master on his instrument. The duo has a knack for adventurous dialogue and dynamic changes, without overwhelming dramatic blaze, but easy and relaxed with a certain rhythmic drive, whether it’s a somplie walz, or an advanced rhythm. The piece we liked the most was the one in the middle, a Balkan influenced groove in 13/8 measure, with soloing in the symmetric scale, also known as octatonic or the Korsakovian scale. elements we are used to work with back home. Another highlight was the last piece, a lyrical and dreamlike atmosphere, with concurrently use of major and minor thirds. This duo, which started in 2016 under the name LUA), incorporates elements from folcloristic traditions, reportedly from France, Brittany, the Balkan, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the Basque country. Didier Ithursarry is a Basq who moved to Paris. There he worked with Jacques Vidal, Francois Beranger, Julien Clerc, Zaz, Louis Sclavis, Marc Ducret, Jean Luc Fillon and many others, besides playing with his own wonderful jazz quartet featuring saxophonist Jean Charles Richard. To see Jean-Marie Machado at the Luxemburg Jazz Meeting was a surprise. Originally from Tanger in Maroc, Machado is classically trained by Catherine Collard but became famous in jazz as a self-taught improvising musician. Machado released over twenty albums and tours in duo with Dave Liebman and in trio with Martial Solal and François Raulin. He also worked with Naná Vasconcelos, Paul Motian, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Laurant Dehors and Percussions de Strasbourg, to name a few. Together, Machada and Ithursarry form a duo with amazing musical interaction and artistic symbiosis.

Claire Parsons Duo

Last peformance at the Luxembourg Jazz Meeting was by Claire Parsons Duo, formed by Britisch-Luxembourgish singer Claire Parsons, together with guitarist Eran Har Even. The latter, we already got to know backstage and in the Liquid Bar on Friday and we saw him during dinner on Saturday, before he went on stage with Pol Belardi’s Urban 5. Due to the fact he is living in the Netherlands, we can speak Dutch. He is attending the Luxembourg showcase festival with Dutch jazz singer Sietske Roscam Abbing, who Eran apparently knocked up a few months ago. In duo with Parsons, Eran Har Even reveals himself in unexpected ways, using all kinds of different fx pedals, loopstations and a guitar synthesizer. But besides the electronics, he just plays his guitar very well and is a perfect musical associate.

Although we are not the biggest fans of this kind of pop music, which seems very much influenced by Hiatus Kaiyote, we did regret the fact the concert was over so soon. Yes, we enjoyed a killer 30 minutes duo set, and were more and more intrigued every minute by 25 year old youngster Claire Parsons, who also plays a Moog Sub Phatty bass synthesizer. We went over to the artist to meet and greet and -of course- talk about modular envelope generators, oscillators, classic Moog filters, cutoff frequencies, and so on. This encounter was a perfect conclusion of the showcase programme at the Luxembourg Jazz Meeting. It is not that often, we are able to talk about analog synthesis with a woman this attractive. And she is smart and funny too! Claire Parsons is the first we look up on the internet back home. Her website learns, she got her bachelors degree in 2017 in jazz vocals and currently is working on her masters degree at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels under the supervision of the internationally renowned Belgian jazz singer David Linx. According to het website she is also studying with drummer Stephane Galland(!?). With her own band (featuring Jerome Klein, Pol Belardi and Niels Engel, we saw them at the showcase festival with different other groups), she performs ' Start a War ' on YouTube. Past years, she gigged festivals in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands (Maastricht), also Ukraine. Hopefuly, she will play in The Netherlands soon.