Being a lover of Jazz -both the traditional and the more swinging, funky kind- I look forward to the Swingin’ Groningen festival every year. The festival has been put on hold a few times as it’s a free festival and money is tight, but if they’re on and I have a chance I wil absolutely check out some of the band and so it was I was in Groningen last night.
The Swingin’ Groningen festival is spread over three days and although there are a few interesting acts for me this evening, I can’t do it all and last night had for me the best line-up. Stages were spread out over the center of Groningen. Unfortunately no hoge stage on the main square of Groningen this year, but there was still plenty to enjoy.
When I arrived, the festival was already in full swing. I went to the Broerplein square where Bombay Connection was about to start. It’s a big swinging band with a nod to the Bollywood music scene. A fun way to start the event. Musically really nice and also funny to see a percussionist in the background I see with the New Cool Collective all the time.
Then to Zuiderdiep where Amsterdam based The Jig was just about to start. This was fun. More than fun, this was fantastic. Funked up jazz. A terrific brass section at the center, terrific guitarist and the bass player, oh man… He dropped bass-lines that could have come from the old Red Hot Chilly Peppers. Fat, funky, rigid and so inviting to dance. Just like the rest of the band. Simply amazing!
I then went to the Ellebogen stage where they had some blues. Blues? Well it sounded like swinging blues. As I arrived most of the audience was wildly dancing to Lefthand Freddy and Nick Bult. Lefthand Freddy is the lefthanded (duh) guitar player and singer and he took one of Holland’s finest Hammond organists Nik Bult with him. It was blues, but positively oozing with swing. People were playing air guitar in the audience and supreme.
I ended the evening at the Waagplein stage where The Houdini’s were playing and they had Anton Goudsmit with them on guitar. And Anton is the main reason I absolutely HAD to visit the Swingin’ Groningen festival this year. Anton is an amazingly, freakishly good guitarist. Played with New Cool Collective for a long long time, plays in The Ploctones and does so, so many other things in other bands, sessions and what not and is one of the most original Dutch guitarists around.
Together with The Houdini’s it makes a terrific true Jazz-set on stage and that is a beautiful way to end the evening. Great solo’s by the brass section, of course by Anton and the rhythm section sounds solid. Loved, loved, loved it!