Last weekend I went to hear two amazing concerts. One by saxophonist Joshua Redman together with our own violinist, Ola Kvernberg. The other by Herbie Hancock, and his group featuring James Genus, Trevor Lawrence, and Terrace Martin.
On Friday evening Joshua Redman and Ola Kvernberg played at Victoria National Jazz Scene. I had been looking forward to this concert for a long time. I first heard this duo perform at Molde Jazz Festival in 2016. Their concert has been a well-kept memory ever since. A little over a year later, Redman and Kvernberg decided to do a tour in Norway. A big treat for the Norwegian jazz milieu. Among many other wonderful songs, we got to hear them perform their version of “Vocalise” by Rachmaninoff, a composition by Kvernberg called “Boog”, “Motherless Child”, “Giant Steps” and a beautiful version of “Chega De Saudade”.
Like in 2016 they managed to create a warm and generous atmosphere at Victoria. They invited the audience to be a part of their musical journey. Redman and Kvernberg give each other space to thrive and explore individually without losing their connection to each other. Contagious joy and excitement brought the audience to their feet. Once again, they delivered an amazing concert, and I hope we’ll see them together on stage again sometime soon.
On Saturday there was a change of venue. The next concert was at a scene I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting before. Bærum Kulturhus is a beautiful venue, and as I was there I learned that they have managed to put together an intriguing program at their jazz scene for the first part of 2018, so I expect I’ll be more of a regular visitor in the future.
This evening I was there to hear no other than the great Herbie Hancock and his outstanding group featuring bassist James Genus, drummer Trevor Lawrence and Terrace Martin on keyboards, alto-saxophone and vocoder. Once the audience was installed, the lights dimmed, and mumbling turned into whispering before the room fell into an anticipatory hush. Suddenly, a funky groove intervened, yet there were no musicians to see on the stage. The song finished, and after a few moments the musicians entered the stage. They played a couple of songs before Hancock took his time to introduce his spectacular band.
Whenever I get a chance to hear the innovative Hancock play, I prepare for new and different experiences. Funk was on the menu this evening, and we got to hear among others “Actual Proof”, “Chameleon” and “Cantaloupe Island” as well as some new songs from his upcoming album. My favorite performance was “Come Running to Me”, with Martin and Hancock both on vocoders.
It was a true honor to get to hear this concert filled with this much experimentation and joy from such a dream team