25 April 2008

French quartet steals first night of J_B_S festival

The Lars Duppler Trio intends to rework the music of German composer Kurt Weill Saturday evening at Jazz_Bishkek_Spring festival.

The French improvisational quartet Zarbituric, fueled by some inspiring interplay between saxophonist Guillaume Gross and drummer Joao-Francisco Preto, ignited the opening night of the third annual Jazz_Bishkek_Spring festival Friday evening.

Zarbituric describes itself as “a fictional world at the junction of three-dimensional grooves, where at any moment reckless improvisation may burst into intimate, sensual and occasional somber atmosphere.” Yeow!

Djabe, a Hungarian quintet that borrows its name from the African Ashanti word for freedom, incorporated traditional music from Hungary and Indonesia into its extended set, which featured some blistering solos, most notably from keyboardist Kovács Zoltán and Kovács Ferencs on violin and trumpet.

Opening the first night, after no less the eight introductions (but who was counting?), was a trio schooled in Kyrgyzstan and fronted by pianist Vikram Ruzakhanov.

The international festival, which runs through Sunday at the Philharmonic Hall in Kyrgyz capital, bills itself a “music without borders,” a sentiment difficult to challenge. Tonight’s performances, which start at 6 p.m., feature the Kyrgyz band Aura, which evolved out an experiment at the Bishkek Drama Theater a decade ago; Artzakh, the latest incarnation of the Uzbekistan band founded in 1954; and the Lars Duppler Trio, in which Duppler is scheduled to lead his compatriots in reinterpretations of the works of the renowned German composer Kurt Weill. Stay tuned…

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