The real Christmas present from the post office, when I came back to my home in Jacmel, was the complete package with Balladeering, Jakob Bro's music performed by some of the present jazz history's finest artists. A shellak record, a cd and a dvd with a film about the recording session in the legendary Avatar Studio.
I'm simply so moved after having seen the dvd. It is almost too overwhelming to witness tenderness mixed with experience and curiosity between the musicians. One feels so much the ignition all over, all the inexpressible, indefinable things which Bill Frisell speaks about.
Where I cannot hold back my tears is when Lee Konitz comes in and plays his heart out, that is simply too strong - like a testament, that's what you can think in a moment of frivolity - but also in everything the others are saying on their respective iinstruments, Jakob Bro's happy face, the obvious feeling of fullfilment, Paul Motian's wonderfully understated - and spectacular - presence, Frisell's and Ben Street's desire to explore every possibility. First of all, the fragility that's connected with Konitz' lyrical style and transparent sound. Bro is giving the lead with his simple, "naive" tunes which move ultra slowly, one foot in front of the other.
First I think I cannot bear to experience such things, I'm too soft for that, and next I tell myself, this is the kind of moments you live for. It goes without saying that I am proud of having been part of this, as well with my covernotes as with my personal presence in the studio.
Andreas Koefoed deserves praise for his sensitive camerawork and the director Sune Blicher for simple, yet elegant storytelling.
BALLADEERING: Lee Konitz (alto sax), Paul Motian (drums), Bill Frisell (guitar), Jakob Bro (guitar), Ben Street (bass). Recorded in September 2008 at Avatar Studios, Manhattan.