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'Copenhagen Jazz Festival, 9 - 14 July 2018'   

-  Genre: 'Blues'

Our Rating:
This year's Copenhagen Jazz Festival festival ran from the 6th to the 15th. However, as we weren't actually in town to see the Jazz festival and were only accidental listeners, and in the case of this reviewer not really in reviewer mode, so this review is very much one of selected highlghts.

I took no notes and we only went to free events we walked into by accident review so this is just a reflection on how it helped make our 20th anniversary trip a bit more special and a lot more fun - even with a rather Jazz averse girlfriend. Oh and I only learnt the band's names by checking the festivals website.

Our first introduction to the festival was on checking into the Kong Arthur Hotel to the accompaniment of a skronking trumpet solo from Tim Hagan. He was playing with his quartet in the hotel foyer, making checking in far more interesting than usual.

On the Tuesday, while wandering around town we stumbled on Finney's Jazzmen playing in Hojbro Plads, a very nice square with bars and restaurants providing the refreshments. We sat and listened to some good old trad Jazz over lunch and a beer, while they did a cool as good as tear-jerking version of Bye Bye Blackbird, a song that always makes me think of Dad as he insisted we all sing along to it on almost every car journey we went on in the late 60's through to the late 70's. Oh and they got the packed lunch time crowd of pensioners going quite nicely.

When they finished, the Interval trio (who played in a tiny tent to the side) started to play some neo-ragtime jazz with a beautiful old Banjo double bass and I think it was Clarinet. We wandered off having finished lunch.

Back at our hotel I heard the band strike up from our room so went down to listen to Tim Hagan's quartet who were playing again. The set was mainly be-bop/modern jazz in a fairly driving style that was perfect for cocktail hour, some nice solos and the piano playing was pretty cool.They had a strong Mingus and Monk influence going on and we really liked how gone the double bass player seemed. The addition of the pianist helped flesh out the sound and it was worth hearing the set.

During the week we regularly gravitated to Hojbro Plads and caught sets by the Doc Houlind All Stars who did classic trad jazz tunes and the odd more rocking number. The Kansas City Stompers also paid tribute to the Kansas and New Orleans style jazz and were a lot of fun.

But best of all was Maiken Og Fjeldtetten who had so much sass and style with a singer who appeared to be the Danish Karin Krog. She worked the audience and got everyone clapping along and they also had a brilliant woman on the piano who gave it her best Dr John routine. I may have to search them out online. They absolutely smashed it and meant when they were followed by Kong Hans Kongeliege Hof Kapel who were so pedestrian by comparison that people started walking from the first song onwards. We lasted just long enough to finish our beers.

We also caught some stuff in the park by the Rosenbourg Palace but none of the acts made us stay and listen - very background wallpaper sadly. However, walking around town we dipped into and out of several other things including a very cool swing dance class type thing that seemed a lot of fun.

I wish I'd managed to get to a few of the proper gigs but it wasn't to be. Nonetheless, it was a great way to bring the city to musical life and with so much of the festival being free and in the daylight hours as well as evening this is a great event. Thanks to everyone at Copenhagn Jazz Festival for helping to make our time in Copenhagen a lot more fun.
  author: simonovitch

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