The emancipation of European jazz from American jazz in recent decades originated to a substantial extent in Scandinavia. You need only shift your attention to names like Terje Rypdal and Eiving Aarset to see that this also applies for jazz guitar. Reason enough for curator Siggi Loch to present current developments at a Nordic Guitar Night at the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic concert series.
Firstly, with the Dane Jakob Bro, who has established a position as one of the leading guitarists of his generation over the past years. An intricate mesh of melodies and spherical areas that develops into and opens up soundscapes unfolds in his music, preferably when collaborating with the bassist Thomas Morgan and the percussionist Joey Baron. The latter are both prominent representatives of the creative New York scene, so that an interplay between the two jazz worlds can be experienced here.
As it can with Kalle Kalima, a guitarist who is noticeably far away from Bro’s “Nordic sound”. He is originally from Finland, but has been living in Berlin for more than 20 years and is thus an integral part of the capital’s avantgarde jazz scene. He has retained a part of what one could call typically Finnish musical flamboyance – the country is crazy, for instance, about tango – Kalima loves country and western music and has already transposed this American folk music into futuristic jazz on many projects of his own and others. Even the names of some of his bands (like Johnny La Marama and Long Winding Road)hint at thisinfluence. That the new project he is presenting here also works up a popular American West Coast sound is suggested not just by the name Flying like Eagles, but also the line-up. Besides the British bassist Phil Donkin, who now travels between Berlin and New York, and the American avantgarde percussionist Jim Black, a second guitarist will take part in the concert: the Norwegian Knut Reiersrud, who is linked above all with the blues.