Grand Old Master Toots Thielemans at play on the 25th Anniversary Concert... a magnificent shot taken by Jos Knaepen.
On the concert to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival, we had some very famous Belgian Jazz artists playing in Bozar… and it was certainly a concert not to be missed. Your servant was there on November 30, and enjoyed every minute of it… We let you enjoy the magnificent photos taken by Jos Knaepen, put at our disposal by Inghe Berckmoes of producer Jazztronaut…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Lady Linn started off and captured the audience right away with her smooth voice and masterful “métier”. (See photo above taken by Jos Knaepen). The Ghent singer, with her real name being Lien De Greef, had always dreamt of a début with Belgian Jazz giants like Toots Thielemans and Philip Catherine, and so this was her night indeed… In 2008 she made her definite breakthrough as a Jazz singer with her album ‘Here we go again’ and remarkable singles like “That’s Alright”, “Cool Down”, and “Love Affair.”
The lady has a bright future ahead, she has indeed the talent and maturity of a great singer. We personally would like still somewhat more smoothness and ‘roundedness’ in her English accent and diction, but this is our strictly personal taste of course
Who is not transported by the guitar play of Philip Catherine?
Philip Catherine in concert... making his Brussels debut with pianist Jacky Terrasson...
This evening was no exception. He was accompanied at the piano by Jacky Terrasson, and the two now play together ever since their magic concert at Dubrovnik last year. This concert was their Brussels premiere and they start next year on a European tour.
Jacky Terrasson accompanies Philip Catherine since their magic concert together at Dubrovnik last year.(Photo by Jos Knaepen)
… and grand old Toots…
The man is a living legend, and indeed, as Quincy Jones put it, one of the greatest musicians of our time. And he has been around. After the liberation in 1945, he became rapidly one of the new hopes of Belgian jazz along with Bobby JASPAR, René THOMAS,... Nicknamed "Toots" after musicians Toots Mondello and Toots Camarata, he joined Benny Goodman on his European concert tour in 1950. He soon reached sublime heights with his harmonica. We can only quote Quincy Jones again, who wrote in 1955: “On his instrument he ranks with the best that jazz has ever produced. He goes for the heart and makes you cry. We have worked together more times than I can count and he always keeps me coming back for more”
And the public at the Anniversary concert kept coming back for more; It ended in a magnificent trio session with Philip Catherine, Toots and Jacky Terrasson at the piano. (See photo above by Jos Knaepen).
Last but not least there was the Belgium Jazz Big Band. (Photo above by Jos Knaepen). The 17 headed band is created by Italian drummer Mimi Verderame, (who also plays excellent guitar, by the way) and despite its short existence, the band has quite a few old “rookies” amongst its ranks, like Gino Lattuca, Pascal Mohy, Daniel Stokart, Vincent Mardens...
The band brought standards of Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald...and accompanied Lady Linn, Philip Catherine and Toots in a magnificent finale.
It certainly was a Jazz Music Night to remember… together with the Skoda Jazz Festival Final concert by Stacey Kent. Our report follows soon!
Hans Knol ten Bensel