Chico Freeman & Reto Weber Quartet - Buddha Jazz
Earlier this month I suddenly noticed something different on my Instagram feed...
I follow several jazz & blues cafes there, just to see what’s happening on the local scene, but this post from Buddha & Palls was different! That name – Chico Freeman – rang a bell despite me being unfamiliar with his music…
A quick check on YouTube (*) and AllMusic (**) gave me plenty of information, he is an American saxophonist who is one of the pioneers of free jazz / avant-garde jazz and became known for his expressive saxophone playing and innovative compositions. He has released over 40 albums as a band leader and has collaborated with numerous international musicians, including Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Four Tops, Jackie Wilson, The Dells, The Isley Brothers, Sting, The Eurythmics, among others, holy crap!
I messaged one of my music buddies, Mike, about this and he too was very surprised, hadn’t heard about this event either, but eager to join me on October 30th!
On other social media sites and apps, I couldn’t find anything about Chico’s performance, amazing… Blame algorithms?
The event was sponsored by the Swiss Embassy, probably because of other musicians, all Swiss and unknown to me, but that doesn’t mean anything of course. (***)
Anyway yesterday evening I arrived early but the place was already getting full, apparently I wasn’t the only one interested in a different jazz experience!
As we hadn’t reserved anything, we ended up with a tiny table in the back…
A little bit disappointing but Buddha & Palls is a small joint and for taking photos it isn’t too difficult to move temporarily to a better place.
Chico was already ‘on stage’, looking very comfortable and happily chatting with some of the audience.
A little later they started with an introduction by Reto, the percussionist and also inventor of his instrument, the Hang, a kind of UFO-shaped ‘steel drum’, which he played several times to great effect.
Straight from the beginning, it was clear that Chico & Co had been playing together for quite some time, they sounded very professional with great interaction.
After a few minutes of enjoying the music upfront (as far as possible) and taking photos, I retreated to the back where Mike was still standing.
As this was in fact another room, it had more people talking (despite Chico’s request for silence), irritating to say the least.
Therefore I couldn’t believe our luck that one of the waitresses suddenly offered us 2 seats right up front!
So after maybe half an hour we had VIP seats with Chico playing less than 2 meters in front of us, unreal!
Between songs, Chico told a bit bout his life and the band members in an entertaining way, the story about his baby daughter requesting to hear John Coltrane again on his car stereo was quite something!
Chico was blowing up a storm at times, showing his circular breathing technique, but equally impressive during the slower pieces with plenty of room for the other guys to do their thing.
His banter about not knowing what the fuck they were doing was met by plenty of laughter.
I hope my photos and short video clips give some impression about this fantastic evening.
Afterwards we thanked Chico in person for this fantastic performance.
Mike fully agreed with me and called it one of the best concerts this year!
𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐨 𝗪𝐞𝐛𝐞𝐫 is a Swiss percussionist who has made a name for himself in various genres such as jazz, world music, and rock. He has collaborated with numerous renowned musicians, including Dave Holland, Albert Mangelsdorff, Lee Konitz, Charlie Marianound und Eberhard Weber.
More about him: https://retoweber.ch
𝐇𝐞𝐢𝐫𝐢 𝐊ä𝐧𝐳𝐢𝐠 is a Swiss double bass player who is one of the leading European jazz musicians. He has worked with numerous international jazz greats, including John Scofield, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Cobham, Charlie Mariano, Andreas Vollenweider und Betty Carter.
More about him: https://www.heirikaenzig.com/
𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐲 𝐃𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐧 is an Irish-Swiss jazz guitarist who is one of the most innovative musicians in the genre. He has collaborated with numerous international musicians, including Ray Anderson, Marty Ehrlich, Fritz Hauser, Robert Dick und Yang Jing.
More about him: https://www.christydoran.ch/
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