Bobo Stenson was hardly seated in front of the piano, and the bride in a virginal dress and matching bouquet made her triumphant appearance on one of the balconies that overlook the Plaza de la Trinidad, as one enters, above, on the left. Some look at it, some don’t. Some photograph her, others see something strange about her. Stenson touches The pilgrimage, piece that one remembers from as a child, from an album sponsored by Iberia, Spanish airlines, entitled Christmas in Latin America. Anders Jormin, double bass player in Stenson’s trio, raises his blue eyes to the pearl-colored sky of San Sebastián and meets the effigy of the bride. “Is it true?”
White and radiant, the aforementioned observes the crowd at her feet, while they contemplate her hairy longshore arms, her two meters approx. from shoulder to shoulder, his model black beard Capitán Haddock. Nobody remembers poor Stenson at this point, neither do the cameramen displaced to the event, turned with their cameras towards the interfect. Stenson becomes the the same (the Swede) and continues to his own.
And the rest arrives, and the consequent change of instruments, and Diana Krall. “Under no circumstances is the use of any photographic or similar device allowed.” Great whistle. At the foot of the stage, the artist’s guardian points her finger at the lady in the yellow hat in the third row who has taken her mobile phone out of her bag with the intention of committing a crime. No cameras, no cell phones, no bearded girlfriends.
The star of the night starts and, it seems, of the entire festival. The “Trini” succumbs to the discreet charm of the ruddy pianist and singer. All or nothing at all, Let’s fall in love, You call this madness, I was doing alright… actually, it doesn’t matter what I sing: everything sounds exactly the same. Perhaps that is his secret. DK has made dullness a virtue; monochrome, style. Give the public what they want: an image. That of a jazz singer who looks a lot like Diana Krall. There is nothing less jazzy than that.
DK’s greatest contribution to jazz consists in sitting like that in front of the piano; a drooping of the eyelids, a crossing of the legs, that thing she does shaking off her hair like something out of an advertisement for egg shampoo. As a pianist, she is no more than a diligent student (of Jimmy Rowles, in case you are interested in the data). As a singer, her territory is the insinuating, or asthmatic, half-voice. Do not ask him for more because he is not going to give it to you. And since he has nothing more to give, he sings the same Just like a butterfly what Cheek to cheek. One would have gladly invited any of those present to listen to these same songs performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan or Carmen McRae.
For that reason, and because it does not give for more, a trio is brought that puts what has to be put when it has to be put, especially the guitarist, Anthony Wilson, who ended up getting the biggest applause, bearded girlfriend aside. With which the final, all happy, the public, always grateful, and the photographers, professionals or amateurs, who finally managed to get the camera without caring what the camera said. road manager of the artist.
With this, the best of the day came with the evening session at the Victoria Eugenia by La Marmite Infernale, a massive outgrowth of the famous jazz laboratory founded in the city of Lyon, concluding the sixties from which came out, among others, the saxophonist Louis Sclavis. The ensemble, orchestra, or whatever, proposes a show at the same time musical and theatrical, a performance, to define it in current terms. Everyone touches everything, laughs at everything, starting with themselves … their interpretations or performances have an argument: “the sound of a terrestrial anthill”, or “distant underwater exaltation”. Ironic, caustic, provocative, irreverent, his has a lot to do with what jazz was 30, 40 years ago, and it is no longer.