25.10.2014. Although there were press conferences and a short show on wednesday, the official start of Jazz Belgrade 2014 for the audience was yesterday in Belgrade’s Dom Omladine the Youth Center organizing and hosting the festival so many years. Last night brought of course speeches and a look back but it also had the opening concert.

The opening speeches of the director of Dom Omladine and some former festival directors  were greatly supported by a slideshow of great moments throughout the 30 years of Jazz Belgrade. Like unique photos and videos of Miles Davis in Belgrade.

Ok. Enough history. This years edition started with a show of the Max Kochetov Quartet, a Serbian Ukraine Quartet lead by  Max Kochetov an excellent saxophone player.

Modern jazz, good vibes and an excellent young bass player. Lots of improvisations. Good start.



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Was the first concert seated with a full hall, the next concert was without seats and even more people entered the Danilo Perez concert. Nobody could get in or out. In some moments it looked like a popconcert. For me it was distracting since the quiet intermezzos in the music need a quiet place to listen and feel the music coming to you instead of trying to get a normal place to listen. But considering the concert of the Danilo Perez trio it is possible to say a few things. There was the incredible vibe of Brian Blade behind the drums, always pushing the band to a higher level. But as a whole the group sometimes seemed to be playing hasty and Perez was hitting the pianokeys hard and less subtile as he can do. It seemed as if how more people were in the room, the more the musicians turned into themselves, making less contact. I heard them playing better.


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But the following artist finally made this evening a succes. In the different room upstairs there was the concert of Nils Petter Molvaer and Laurens von Oswald. In this seated room the quality of listening was back and the music was interesting. Molvaer is always trying to get new sounds, to create atmospheres by mixing normal instruments like his trumpet with computer created sounds. But always with a rhythm that shows a direction though never being dull. The combination with “soundmachine” Von Oswald is a good one, since Molvaer has more time to give attention to his interesting trumpet sounds.


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More to come about Jazz Belgrade..

images and text: Maurits van Hout