Monday, June 01, 2009

Jazz sous les Pommiers

Jazz sous les Pommiers is a lovely way to spend a few days in May. A small town of just 10,000, they manage to sell out a hall of over 1,000 three times a day, as well as a theatre of 400 and a spiegeltent and many bars full of blues bands and whatever. Can you think of any festival here which might have a jazz fun run? Or have a chemist full of jazz posters?
Also some great gigs. Especially Dave Holland. Making the complex seem simple, he stands there with the most enormous grin from ear to ear for 90 minutes. And Branford Marsalis, using Justin Faulkner, just 18. In its way, Partisans is the UK equivalent of Branford's band. Even if it uses a guitar instead of piano. And of course both have Calderazzos in their band - Joey with Branford and elder brother Gene on drums with Partisans.
Django was there with StoRMChaser. And of course a sprinkling of French bands. (I enjoyed Emile Parisien. Very intense, very French.) BTW, if you look inside the CD of Django with StoRMChaser you discover that the title includes Rhythmic Music Conservatory's initials. It also includes the alternative suggestions by Eddie Parker, which were not used. Such as SpeRMCount! (Eddie always has been able to play with words. I recall that he discovered that an anagram of Bill Evans was Ball Veins. How appropriate.)
I also managed to see the Bayeux tapestry en route. One is a bit rushed through the tapestry itself, though it's an incredible artefact, in its history and descriptive powers. A shame that I was unable to spend time seeing the D Day beaches. I really enjoyed the tableaux of the battle and also the ships arriving in Hastings. Check out the decapitated body at the bottom of the frieze.

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