New Cool Collective in Assen!

Several weeks ago I read that New Cool Collective was coming to Assen, my home town! How cool is that? Very cool! And it’s a good thing, because the name of the festival opening the cultural season of Assen would not have grabbed my attention at all. Preuvenement is about the worst name of an event I’ve heard in a long time. But that didn’t matter: New Cool is here to make us forget that awful name.

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Swingin’ Groningen

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.

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New Cool Collective and John Buijsman in De Oosterpoort

New Cool Collective came back to Groningen and I was rather shocked to see I had not seem them live since 2013. And that’s just too long without seeing the band so I was very happy to go to the Oosterpoort venue and see the band again last Wednesday.

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Benjamin Herman at La Pedrera – Barcelona

My wonderful girlfriend M. had a big musical surprise for me. After attending the Dani Nel.lo concert a day earlier she totally kept me in the dark of the evenings plans and even arriving at La Pedrera I had no idea of where we were going and once on the roof I still was in the dark (well, there was a drumkit and a double-bass, so Jazz was obvious, but not until m. nudged me when the musicians entered the roof of La Pedrera did I know who’d we be watching/listening to.

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North European Jazz Talent and 20th Anniversary of Swingin’ Groningen

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Swingin’ Groningen this year and that has to be celebrated! The festival was rebooted 3 years ago after having been on hiatus for a couple of years and -after a modest start- is starting to really grow again. Mixing wel known names with new talent is showing to be a good success. June 13th was the opening evening of the festival.

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Kyteman Orchestra and New Cool Collective on Eurosonic Air

As luck would have it I was not about to get to see a lot of Eurosonic this year. Busy plans at work and on top of that I fell ill on Friday afternoon and that kept me away from the full Saturday planning as well. I did however finally get to see Kyteman Orchestra on the open Air stage (probably further aiding to my getting the flu) and the ever fabulous New Cool Collective.

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Top 10 albums of 2012

It’s always nice to look back over the past year and see what albums stood out. Even though there’s still a few albums underway, they won’t be in time to get a good enough impression of for a final list and then again… ask me again next week and the list might look different from what it looks like now. And in the end..  what’s the value of a list anyway. But they are fun, so here we go!

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The Ploctones in De Oosterpoort

The Ploctones is a band that I really wanted to see for a long time, but for one reason or another I seem to constantly miss them No chance of that last Friday though! Planned well in advance and heading out in time not to miss any of this gig.

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New Cool Collective in De Oosterpoort

New Cool Collective has recently released a new CD called Pachinko in the full Big Band outfit. And last night they ended their tour in the De Oosterpoort venue, small hall as Randy Newman had claimed the larger one, but I can not imagine that concert having been more fun than New Cool Collective and audience had in the smaller hall. The concert was taped for a DVD release (and they let me photograph, these guys rule!) so the light in the hall was absolutely fabulous. The band was swinging and so was the audience. Lots of new material, lots of older material, just about every member of the brass section got their moment in the spotlight and although there were many solo moments the whole concert felt like the band really played as one union.

The songs were great, the band just seems to be getting better every time I see them and their latest CD is incredible so if you ever get the change: go see New Cool Collective big band

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Benjamin Herman Kwartet in Simplon

On February 11 Benjamin Herman, well known for his part in the New Cool Collective jazz band came to Groningen. Not as a New Cool Collective gig, but with a quartet and under his own name: The Benjamin Herman Kwartet. Still very jazz, amazingly cool and it’s still absolutely brilliant, just fewer people on stage. But the names on stage are impressive: Carlo de Wijs on a modified Hammond organ, Jesse van Ruller on guitar and Martijn Vink on drums. Herman himself of course on saxophone and occasionally on tambourine. The gig was steaming (the fact that the venue was packed helped a lot too). Had a terrific night, only the lights could have been a bit better (what is it with these endless red lights on stage, are they cheaper?).

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