TALLINN - The New Year doesn't offer much in the way of relief from the freezing weather, so the annually held Jazzkaar festival is at least one good reason to get up and get out. Jazzkaar is a series of performances in various Tallinn clubs by the best of the best from the global jazz scene; and yes, if you like jazz, this is a very good reason to forget all about your latest exotic strain of flu.
On Jan. 27, the Rock Cafe will be welcoming the great Eddie Henderson and quite possibly the hottest thing on the U.K. jazz scene today, Simon T. Bramley and pals, a.k.a. Mr. Gone. I say quite possibly because I'm only a young man and, with all due respect to America's greatest art form, I'm not one of those hardcore jazz aficionados who can reel off the entire jazz family tree in its entirety.
However, you don't need to be an ardent jazz fan to appreciate the likes of Eddie Henderson. Henderson is one of those classy old-school trumpet players who was influenced by the early fusion period of Miles Davis. He earned his reputation playing in Herbie Hancock's band in the early '70s, before releasing his own material, which was embraced by fans of funk, fusion and hip-hop. His tracks have also, like his more famous ex-colleagues, had their fair share of being sampled and spliced by contemporary artists.
Henderson also worked together with Art Blakey and Charles Earland on his famous "Leaving This Planet" session in the '80s, and he's played with the legendary Pharoah Sanders.
In truth, I don't know much about the curiously named Mr. Gone, other than it's the brain child of one Simon T. Bramley, a bass player and DJ who is selling a lot of records in the U.K. right now.
Anne Erm, the Jazzkaar festival organizer, said that the visit of Henderson and Mr. Gone is a major musical event. "We were looking for an artist to play in Tallinn during the U.S.-celebrated African-American history month. When Mr.Gone's band said it was available I did not hesitate to invite them," said Erm.
Mr. Gone's nu-jazz involves electronic tools, but the show lined up for Jan. 27 also includes a live brass band. But if you're a real fan, you probably saw Mr. Gone perform in Tallinn in the spring of 2002. I guess the folks here liked them, because they didn't stay gone for good.
Henderson first teamed up with Mr. Gone some four years ago, when his label
was putting together a compilation and needed a live band for the tour. Strangely, the fruitful collaboration between these two highly talented artists has only taken place in Tallinn and Lon- don.
So you're well advised to get down to
the Rock Cafe and
catch what should be a truly memorable show. Jazz is definitely one of those things best experiences live, and it especially goes down a treat on a freezing cold night.
Eddie Henderson and Mr. Gone
Jan. 27, doors 8 p.m.
The Rock Cafe, Tallinn
Tickets are 175 kroons
(12 euros) and there's a
discount for college students
and senior citizens.
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