Ok prošlo je već previše vremena, ali transkribiranje intervjua, makar bio ovako kratak i sladak predstavlja mi mučan zadatak. Dosta usrane rime i idemo na ono bitno: Liburnia Jazz je rasturio ove godine, programski, ugođajno i organizacijski. Prve večeri su nastupali Souljazz Orchestra, i stvarno su stavili kičmu u to što rade, i položili taj afro groove na srebrni jebeni pladanj pred poluprazno gledačišće i 20 ljudi koji su frenetično stupali bosim nogama u rupi ispred ljetne dok su se djevojkama dizale haljine od ljetnog afro povjetarca ispuhanog iz tročlane puhačke sax sekcije. Neizostavno su ubacili Felu u show (Water no got enemy), podebljali to svojim Freedom no go die i Negus Negastom (the king of kings baby). To otvoreno nebo, i to boso okultno trzanje na afro backbeatove, uz miris morskog hammonda u nosnicama već mi je ovo učinilo događajem godine. Ona mađarska predgrupa nije vrijedna predspomena na terasi Haludova.
Idući dan Hiromi. Priznajem, nikad čuo. Nisam znao. Poslušao dva zadnja albuma pred koncert kao pripremu za promo emisiju, ali nisam osjetio ni jednu notu. Rekao ajde, idem vidjet, ipak su Anthony Jackson i Steve Smith (ne osjećam ga) s njom. To što je Hiromi priuštila prepunom gledalištu te večeri nazvao bih popavangardnim nadrkano neopterećenim iskrenim vrhunskim jazzom. Kvragu uzimali su te ljigave pop elemente i parali ih svima pred očima dok je iz dubine piana izviralo hentai čudovište s 2000 mentalnih dildo pipaka, po jedan za svaki neopušten, nespreman čeoni režanj u publici. Sjećam se dam sam pljeskao i promašivao sebi dlanove od iskrenog oduševljenja i grozne oduzimajuće količine virtuoznosti. Bravo Hiromi, jedva čekam da mi opet sjebeš um uživo. Predgrupa navodno vrijedna spomena, ne sjećam se kako su se zvali, nisam ih slušao jer sam ‘opuštao’ čeoni režanj.
Treći dan i zadnji dan festivala, divan tribute događaj, big band HRT-a svira skladbe Boška Petrovića. Prije toga otišao sam se provozati tzv. jazz boatom, na kojem je svirao slatki trijić Mystic Rose ensamble obradice bossa standardića, slatko ukusno i pitko, pogotovo kad gledaš malenu Opatijicu i Voloskić s mora, a stalno ti netko dodaje likere, piva, gemište i ono ostalo. Sjeo sam pred pozornicu ispred prvog reda sjedala tako da u vidokrugu imam samo big band i ne vidim nikog drugog. Upali su mi direktno u glavu. Big Band u glavu na 4 metra udaljenosti…divota. Prvi put sam slušao Nevena Frangeša i tip je u formi nema šta, kao i Primož Grašić. U soliranje su uletili još i Davor Križić i organizator festivala Elvis Stanić. Prekaljeni momci su iskreno zadovoljno muzicirali i pošteno tribjutirali svog jazz suborca BP-a. San zelenog jastoga u živo…BP R.I.P.
Sve u svemu odlično posložen festival uključujući i aftere u Monokini baru (gdje sam slušao bend Punk Data i momci i djevojke su mnogo dobri).
A sad još jedna griota za posjetitelje ovog lijenog bloga. Intervju sa Souljazz Orchestrom koji sam obavio tik pred njihov nastup. Čitamo se u komentarima…
I’m here tonight with the SJO, and on behalf of the Brown Sugar Radio Show I’d like to welcome you all to Opatija & Croatia.With taking your last album into consideration it’s evident that SJO evolved into a band that’s pushing the boundaries of the Afrobeat revival sound, a band that’s experimenting and trying to create new standards. So what was the stepping stone for your development?
- Pierre:,Wow, that’s cool, we like that (happy/proud laugh breaks out). Well we’re all musicians and pretty creative people, and we’re not just trying to recreate the music of the past or re-do, that guy or re-do that guy, but to do our own thing and help music evolve and not just stagnate. So it’s our way of mixing things up and just being innovative.
The SJO is at the top now of the Afrobeat revival sound, or we could say Afro soul sound, together with the Budos band, Kokolo Afrobeat orchestra, Fanga…Do you dig their approach?
- Philippe: We love’em! We actually toured with them (Kokolo Afrobeat orchestra), and we’re the definitely inspired by our contemporaries. It’s a great honour to tour with these great musicians and sharing a stage with them.
The Whitefield Brothers got a lot into Afro sound on their last album.
- Pierre: That’s Max right? Crazy band, I loved that album, and the Poets of Rhythm are the first revival band that did it rough and tough (the whole revival thing…), and that was way back in the 90′s, and they were the first cats that did it so the they deserve props for that.
You’re one of the few bands today issuing music regularly on vinyl. Do you think all the vinyl comeback talk is got any weight behind it? Do you prefer the sound of the SJO coming from vinyl?
- Pierre: Well vinyl’s great and it’s my preference, but I don’t think you need to be some kind of vinyl fetishist the enjoy music…
We’ll I’m not talking about fetishism, but about the big picture behind it, the sound and the involvement in music…
- Philippe: Well I think for the style of music that we play it is important to have vinyl because it’s obviously back, and it will appeal to vinyl people first, but we’re to reach all the people young and old, through other media. But yeah I have my music collection on vinyl, and I think just by looking at it you hunt a little bit more.
Africa was a big inspiration for all the Afrobeat, hip hop, soul & funk, and somehow a portion of that inspiration has lost a bit, do you think it’s time to dig deeper, or maybe it’s all been dug?
- Pierre: No, no…You hear people talking about Africa, and Fela Kuti this, Fela Kuti that, and we all love Fela, BUT there’s a whole continent worth of music, and there’s so much in this one person. Recently labels like Analog Africa and Stridon, different labels are doing a great job, and doing just that, reaching out and going through Congo, Senegal, Benin, Togo, and there’s so much stuff out there…
- Philippe: And considering the SJO and what we do, we don’t just do Afrobeat, a lot of our stuff is inspired by Brazil. South America is a place to go hunting for all kinds of vinyl, especially as it has a strong African influence. And you don’t have to travel far to find interesting stuff, like in Canada where old school vinyls are popping out, of people doing this type music in the 60′s and 70′s.
- Pierre: Yeah soul was the most popular genre in Canada in the 60′s, and there were more soul bands than rock bands, but the music industry was not supporting it, and a lot of these bands never made it, they were forgotten, but now it’s time to dig this stuff out, and reissue it. Basically we’re lovin’ all these different genres of music and we like to mix stuff up. I mean some people would say ‘this is not Afrocentric enough’ or this or that, but we see it that way. That’s how are friends and musicians in Canada are doing it, they’re getting a lot of influences of off us, and we of them. If we hear a traditional one drop Jamaican reggae band, we’re going to put something new in there switch it up a little bit, and make you think.
- Philippe: Actually some of the great people we are talking about (Fela Kuti) were doing just that, mixing traditional African sounds, James Brown, and even classical music. So when we put it that way we are traditionalists…just following these footsteps.
Well being a traditionalist in jazz means you’re doing just that, exploring new frontiers of music.
- Steve: In a way yeah, it is the jazz tradition to push the boundaries, all the great jazz musicians were criticized and ridiculed for doing something new and different, until everybody realized that’s the jazz modus operandi.
- Philippe: In fact I think that’s the most important part of the name we chose for the SJO, because our approach to music is more jazz than hip hop. I mean we’re not playing straight up be-bop but we’re always trying to push the boundaries and explore. And we got a new record that’s coming out next year, which is going in a completely another direction, funk…
- Pierre: Yeah we were always a lot into acoustic sound, but on this new record we’re using a lot of electric guitar, electric bass, electric piano & organ.
Interview held on the 1st of July in Opatija, HR.