A Love Supreme at JazzTM on Sunday, July 4, 2021

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JazzTM, Liberty Square, Timișoara, Romania, Sunday, July 4, 2021

The final Sunday evening at JazzTM in Freedom Square in Timișoara, Romania, once again attracted more than 2000 spectators to a varied jazz showcase with the promised climax of JLCO.

As in the previous two concerts at JazzTM, a local Romanian band, this time 7th Sense, took care of tuning the audience in:

Sergiu Bivol – trumpet, Lucas Contreras – guitar, Albert Tajti – keyboards, Laura Benedek – bass, Gabi Matei – drums.

Inspired by the British jazz scene, Seventh Sense was formed two years ago in Bucharest, creating a formula in which styles fuse, with each member of the band wanting to leave their mark on the music they create together. Their repertoire consists entirely of their own compositions and offers a modern and fresh sound. 7th Sense wants to bring a ray of light and hope in the chaotic world around us.

A pleasant introduction to the final evening.

Michal Kratochvíl: 7th Sense presents modern jazz directly influenced by the contemporary jazz scene in Britain, especially that in London. The band professed their love for artists such as Nubya Garcia and Alfa Mist and it was clear in their delivery that they were fascinated by this sound. It didn’t hurt at all and I thoroughly enjoyed their performance. Further proof that jazz, in whatever form, is a completely viable genre and has the potential, and even in this case the tendency, to appeal to a younger audience. So let’s do well!

The second, highly anticipated band was Bokanté, in which Michael League, the leader of Snarky Puppy, combines groove with world music. The word bokanté means “exchange” in Creole, the language in which the spirited singer Malika Tirolien grew up on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe in her youth.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning guitarists Michael League, Chris McQueen, and Bob Lanzetti (all of Snarky Puppy), percussion legend Jamey Haddad, pedal steel and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier, and the unmissable percussionists André Ferrari and Keita Ogawa come together to create a diverse ensemble rich in groove, melody, and soul. The music is meant to represent this idea of cultural exchange between the musicians involved.

Judge for yourself in the video below how they succeeded at JazzTM.

I wasn’t too impressed with their “exchange”.

Michal Kratochvíl: Bokanté brought their load of world music and unfortunately, I have to say that they didn’t really hit my taste live. It was definitely the most audience-friendly band for the general public, but their mix of afro beat and various other influences mixed together left me cold. The singer was waving, twisting and jumping like a gazelle, she danced even part of the audience, but I was not ready for an hour of aerobics. Three, sometimes actually four guitars seemed a bit redundant, so did three percussionists. It all seemed more like a circus show to me, but the audience seemed to be entertained and satisfied.

The expected highlight of the three-day festival was a very successful performance by arguably the best contemporary jazz orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Compared to their last performance at the Bobycenter in Brno, we were not treated to an “educational concert”, but an extremely successful program, crowned by a great, perhaps 45-minute orchestral performance of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, the first third of which you can see in the video below.

An unforgettable experience!

Michal Kratochvíl: This was awesome. I didn’t know what kind of program to expect in Timișoara, but when Wynton announced that they would play Rhapsody in blue, then Freedom Suite by Sonny Rollins, and close the concert with Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, I was already ecstatic when the program was announced. A wonderful presentation of one of the best big bands in its prime. The performance had everything imaginable. Top-notch solo performances, great interplay and a proper pull at the goal. It was just a great show and a brilliant end to a successful festival. It was definitely worth the long journey from the Czech Republic!

Finally, a few photos from the night walk in Temesvár from JazzTM 2021 around the Cathedral of the Three Hierarchs.

The JazzTM 2021 festival in Timișoara brought us a diverse showcase of both local Romanian and European jazz with a clear American highlight! Excellent dramaturgy, precise organization, great sound practically on the whole square, spectacular pro-lights and considerable interest of the audience made us very pleased. In short, it was beyond expectations a successful tune-up for the unique Gărâna Jazz Festival at the unique Poiana Lupului (Wolf’s Meadow) near the mountain village of Gărâna in Parcul National Semenic Cheile-Carasului, about which we are preparing detailed reports.