Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Ornette Coleman, Offonoff, Wilco etc etc)

So, it's been quiet here, I know. I've been at 15+ konserts last week in a little Norwegian town called Kongsberg. The National Guard was called in to try to limit damage from flooding. It was the biggest flood in 50 years. It did not ruin the festival though. I got what's called a "særings pass" loosly translated a weirdo pass. This gets you in to all the avantgarde shows. First up was Gjerstad & Nilssen-Love 4tet. Frode Gjerstad started Ultralyd, a great Stavanger band. (Some of the people in Ultralyd play in Noxagt)
Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the best drummers I've ever seen.
(Han Bennink beeing my other favorite.)
Anyway, lots of free jazz and a good start to the festival. Saw a Kurt Weil cover band also that day.
Ornette Coleman kept asking people to come join him on stage. Pretty cool stuff; they even played a Vivaldi cover/interpretation. This was followed by Norwegian band Huntsville, part jazz, part country, part techno, part noise. Joining them onstage was couple of guys from Wilco for a one time colaberation...pretty cool. More avantgarde jazz by Big Satan, some great stuff by the drummer from Shining (Lofthus/Eilertsen/Storløkken), Bull of the year, Triacria (metalheads enslaved+Fe-mail) and Erika Stucky Trio who rocked the house tuba and jodeling style. I don't listen to free jazz on cd, but live it is a pretty amazing experience.
Wilco played a fantastic 2 hour+ set with a ton of extra numbers. You can get the show here or on (or so I read).
Here is the Wilco setlist:

01. Side With The seeds 02. You Are My Face 03. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart 04. Kamera 05. Muzzle Of Bees 06. Handshake Drugs 07. A Shot In The Arm 08. Impossible Germany 09. Sky Blue Sky 10. Shake It Off 11. Hummingbird 12. War On War 13. Jesus, Etc. 14. Walken 15. I’m The Man Who Loves You
Encore 1:
16. The Late Greats 17. Via Chicago > 18. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Encore 2:
19. Heavy Metal Drummer 20. Hoodoo Voodoo 21. Outasite (Outta Mind) 22. I’m A Wheel

Not bad eh?
Jeff Tweedy seemed to enjoy himself immensely, wearing a king Olav T-shirt and proclaiming himself the king of Norway...which people seemed to be OK with.

The festival highlight for me was OFFONOFF. Offonoff is Paal-Nilssen Love (The Thing, Atomic), Massimo Pupillo from the Italian band ZU and Terrie Ex from Amsterdam's The Ex. Hard to describe this stuff, but its great. Part jazz, part punk, part noise, all good. Seen them a couple of times before, plus I'm a huge fan of their other projects as well.
According to Paal, the record will be out in November. I didn't ask what label, but my guess is on Smalltown Superjazz. (They released Original Silence with Love, Thursten Moore, Terrie Ex, Massimo Zu, Jim O'Rourke and Mats Gustafsson..check it out.)

If you ever find yourself walking around Norway in July, I highly recommend this festival. A lot of variety of excellent quality.

Here are some photos and videos from Kongsberg:)

Huntsville and Wilco

Paal Nilssen-Love w/ Offonoff

Terrie Ex

Massimo Pupillo





Ornette Coleman and band


Wilco "Heavy Metal Drummer"


Erika Stucky Trio

Erika Stucky Trio.
They also did My Sharona and a Brittney cover.
Sounds horrifying, but it was great.
(I can post more if someone requests it)

So that is just a taste of the great week I had at the Jazz festival.
Good times!