It's already April, but I've only been to two really special jazz/world music gigs this year-I saw Tomatito in February as part of the London Flamenco festival, which I have written about in this blog, and last Tuesday I got to Ronnie Scott's to see Kurt Rosenwinkel and his quartet. Last time I saw Kurt he played within a trio setting, the improvisations were longer and 'wilder, I suppose because of the extra freedom that a trio setting provides, and things have changed since July 2009 and one of the most amazing things about players like Kurt is that they continuously improve and manage to play music with a sense of personality helped, no doubt, by a powerful message sent from the stage to the listener.
I have already thought about continuous improvement when I kept going to Mike Stern's gigs, 29 in total (!), and seeing Kurt only reinforced my belief that these players are special because they dedicate themselves to the music they play and the play they play it, mostly originally and generously.
Eric Reeves on bass provided the anchor for all improvisations on the night, Justin Faulkner's grooves were subtle, yet efficient guidelines and Kurt went through his signature harmonies like a painter carefully choosing colours.
Ronnie Scott's has been like a jazz temple for me over the last 10 years or so and performances like these remind me of what's really important, in jazz and beyond.
On the night, 'Brooklyn Sometimes' was the composition that left a strong impression, but overall the concert itself made an ordinary Tuesday night into a special one-thanks Kurt!