Songs from Polesia on the border with Ukraine as well as the Japanese of Aki Takase and Daniel Erdmann in the transition of jazz to the riding hall.
. As part of Jazzpassage 2022, two bands were invited to the Reithalle on Thursday: the Polish duo Maniucha and Ksawery and the Japanese quintet around pianist Aki Takase with Daniel Erdmann (saxophone), Johannes Fink (bass), Dag Magnus Narvesen (drums). ) and Vincent von Schlippenbach aka DJ Illvibe on the turntable.
It is well known that Jazzpassage has been bringing together special musicians and their special audiences in Strasbourg and Offenburg for 19 years. It is in the nature of jazz that the musical guests cultivate their style. But the fact that she brought on stage in one evening two formations, which are different worlds, surprised the audience and sometimes challenged them while listening. After all, they were thrown into two completely different emotional states within two hours.
Archaic wisdom and spiritual peace characterize the world into which the duo Maniucha Bikont and Ksawery Wojcinski take the audience. Imagine deep and silent forests that lie in Polesia, a historic landscape on the borders of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. In the small village of Kurchytsya, Maniucha and Ksawery heard three old women singing their traditional melodies, listening to stories and legends about the songs: they are spring songs, harvest songs, love songs, but there is also a macabre wedding song in in which a young woman wishes to wake her father, who has long slept in his grave, to celebrate her marriage.
The content is delivered by Maniucha’s distinctive and deep voice. She performs clear vocal lines powerfully without chichi, but always keeps her distance from the dramas she sings about, allowing neither anger nor sensitivity: she tells traditional stories. Ksawery completes the picture: like a bear emerging from the depths of the woods and times, he embraces his double bass, seems to merge with it, uses powerful bow strokes or delicate strokes, sometimes brings out whole orchestral sounds from the big instrument. Visitors let themselves be drawn under the spell of this magic – it is music designed to reconcile man with life.
So it is good that the organizers have made a longer break between the two parts of the concert. Because what the listener pours into Aki Takase’s Japanese is very close to musical madness. So that in the first composition the impression is created that Aki Takase literally jumps on her piano, at the end of the concert she is literally lying on the keyboard, only to tickle the filigrees she runs out of keys again with dizzying speed. Daniel Erdmann has the keys whistling on the saxophones and has a furious dialogue with Aki Takese – you want to jump into trance. Johannes Fink gets everything out of his instrument with the help of playing technology and electronics – and the visitor is surprised: ah, this is how the cello can sound! Drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen expertly thunders over skins and frames, creating unimaginable rhythms and sounds by deliberately throwing sticks or cymbals. The spectacle is crowned on the gramophone: not only in the composition that Aki Takese dedicated to the painter Frida Kahlo, the DJ presents cosmic things, mixes genres, crosses stylistic boundaries and sets funny accents. Bottom line: Japanese gives the impression that obsessed virtuosos are belatedly taking revenge on their first music teachers, who are probably bound by tradition: strange listening pleasure!