Paolo Fresu @ Jazz Baltica 2007

P_FresuHere are two unreleased live recordings from trumpet player Paolo Fresu. D’Estate was recorded on July 1, 2007 during the Jazz Baltica Festival at Salzau, Germany, with Fresu in trumpet and Don Friedman in piano.

La Sicilia is a composition by pianist Steffano Bollani who appeared along with Fresu and Paolo Russo in bandoneon at Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden, on December 12, 2007.

I was blown away by this trio when I saw them on the previous day at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm. Both recordings come from the Swedish radio. The image (taken with the EF 70-200 L II lens on the EOS 7D) comes from Fresu’s concert along Ralp Towner at the ECM 40 Years Festival anniversary in Mannheim 2010.

Birds from Jurong Park, Singapore

SING09_1298Jurong Bird Park, on the west side of Singapore, harbors a huge variety of birds in a lush tropical backdrop. It is an ideal site for trying out telephoto lenses. It is possible to get really close to the birds and obtain nice portraits.

Here testing the 70-200 2.8 L IS from Canon on the EOS 40D. It was an overcast day, a perfect lighting condition to mitigate the tough midday sun of the equator. The light rain was not a problem.

A good close-up on an intriguing variety of peacock is shown here with its characteristic phlegmatic look.

A selection of images from that afternoon showing flamingos, pelicans, parrots, ostriches, birds of prey, ibises, crowned pigeons and more can be seen in the photo gallery HERE.

Geri Allen Band live @ Iridium, NYC

IMG_3568Geri Allen played with her quartet at the Iridium club on Time Square, New York City on the 20th of June 2009. In addition to Geri Allen on piano, her band included Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass and the amazing Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums.

Majestic playing from Allen, who once again demonstrated her command over harmony, melody and rhythm. Incredible energy form Watts, a veteran drummer that keeps going unabated with top players all around. Introspective playing from Sanders, not one note in excess. Ravi Coltrane raved on the sax, swinging as needed and with soaring solos that filled the club from the first note.

Virgin voyage for my brand new EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS which I bought a few days earlier.The lens rocked at a venue like this. Iridium’s policy (at least as of June 2009) allowed non-flash photography, a blessing for me who was eager to test the white beast. More photographs taken during this concert cna be seen in the Photo Gallery.

Bobo Stenson with Oriental Wind & Karnataka College of Percussion

Bobo_StensonIn December 2008, the Swedish Radio showed up at the home of Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson to record an interview and a series of solo piano improvisations at Stenson’s private studio. In the absence of available solo recordings of the acclaimed pianist, this was a very special event. The interview covered several aspects of Stenson’s musical life. Inevitably, he was asked about Keith Jarrett, and the Swedish pianist took distance -without being overt critical- from his colleague’s use (or abuse?) of ostinato techniques. Featured here, from the over 70 minutes piano recording, is the beautiful “Alfonsina y El Mar” from Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez -now a standard piece of the Stensonian repertoire.

On April 16, 2009, Bobo Stenson played at Jazzclub Fasching, Stockholm, alongside Christian Spering in bass, Lennart Öberg in tenor saxophone and Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz (a group otherwise known as Oriental Wind) in a tandem concert with the Karnataka College of Percussion (KCP) from Bangalore, India. The KCP has a long tradition of interaction with musicians from the European jazz scene and Oriental Wind in particular. For this concert, founders Ramamani (voice) and husband Mr. Mani in mridangam were seconded by their common son -Krthik- in ghattam. The concert included several of Temiz compositions for Oriental Wind alongside KCP as well as traditional KCP’s percussion and solo voice sections. In the theme featured here, Stenon’s intro leads to the group theme with Ramamani’s leading voice, followed by piano and percussion solos in an interesting Orient/Occident mix.

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Featured photographs from the 2009 Fasching concert (Canon EOS 40D with 100mm 2.8 macro and 24-205mm L zoom). Additional photographs from this concert can be accessed from the link under the photo gallery on the right side bar.

Adam Nussbaum & BANN

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Adam Nussbaum & Bann performed at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm on March 5, 2009, with Seamus Blake on saxophone, Oz Noy on guitar, Jay Anderson on bass and Nussbaum at the drum kit. Amazing concert, specially Seamus. He is a formidable player. With Noy imparting some rock-inspired guitar influences. Picture was taken with the Canon EOS 40D and the 24-105L zoom lens wide open at 24mm. More photographs from this concert can be seen at the Photo Gallery on the left side bar or else HERE.

Birds of Costa Rica

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Costa Rica contains some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Over 890 bird species have been recorded in Costa Rica as of January 2011.

Pictured here is the Blue-crowned Motmomt with its gorgeous tail, spotted in the area of Monteverde in the early hours of November 29th, 2008. Thanks to my skillfull guide, we saw plenty of birds on that great morning, including the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal. It was hard to find, but some knowledge about the locatoin of its favorite fruit, and a big dose of patience, helped us to spot several exemplars in the Monteverde reserve.

In addition to Monteverde, our trip during November-December, 2008, took us to Arenal and Baiha Drake, where we could see many other magnificent birds. All in all, over 30 different bird species could be photographed on that trip. These can be viewed in the Photo Gallery or from the link HERE. A very good website ”Tropical Feathers” helped naming many (but not all!) of the birds we saw.

Science, Jazz, Photography