Tbilisi Jazz fest 2014
30 October, 2014
Tbilisi Jazz fest 2014
On October 23-27, Tbilisi jazz lovers were particularly in rapture. They had a reason for that: the Tbilisi jazz festival - already a brand in America with the world bringing greater and greater names to the stage. An inescapable show-off, ladies and gentlemen in their best, a series of photos from sponsors, some cocktails at the bar, buying disks with the signatures of living legends... This is what the festival is all about... And among them, one could see me
too – me, a journalist, but not wishing to identify myself as such, unlike previous years.


The festival was opened by Al Di Meola ‘Beatles and More.’ The Beatles are loved by the middle-aged people, so it was not difficult to guess that people were applauding the songs themselves. Though, they were also well-performed by the musicians. Nia Barabadze, a student of the State Conservatoire, commented shortly after the performance: “It was a really special concert – jazzed out Beatles! The quartet sounded like an orchestra.”
Gia Khaduri, co-author of the TV Program “Unknown Music”, talked about what he did not like rather than about what he liked. “Who am I to criticize Al Di Meola? But still… I personally applauded his own pieces, but it was not that interesting for me to listen to his version of Beatles. It is much more interesting when a musician takes a risk, but this musician is not hazardous at all. He is one who is flawless. I sometimes would tolerate his flaws if it is an interesting musical adventure.”
The second concert was at Event hall – Anat Cohen Quartet – the only female member – I am a woman and very often, I protect their interests, but I might justly have been called a sexist if I said she was the best. Frankly, she was my least favorite. As for the second concert on the same day, it was her mate as the student, Georgian George Mel (Giorgi Melikishvili), drummer, who is already a naturalized American. Too hard a jazz for me – and I went to sip some alcohol.
Saturday – David Fiuczynski, a very famous jazz and rock guitarist. Totally sold-out! And, our compatriot, Giorgi Mikadze, his student, graduate of Berkley, playing on keys together with his band Screaming Headless Torso! Giorgi did offer a surprise – he performed with the Georgian folk ensemble Basiani, the Gurian song “Krimanchuli,” which was met with the most generous applause from the public. Fuiczynski calls Giorgi the “Future of Georgian music” and admits that he is equally talented in both classical music and jazz.
On Sunday, Andy Sheppard did show up, as usual, as an exquisite musician. So sophisticated. So placid, so deep and sensitive. A life story can be placed in his musical tales – a very interesting, smart musician, somebody who is highly-respected and who respects each and every soul. Later on, Roy Ayers, frankly was my guy. Yes, he is funky, yes, he is cool, and yet, unlike what they are saying that jazz is not the music to dance to, I really felt like dancing... Jazz, soul and funk composer, vibraphone player and a singer too. Bravo!
The festival was capped with the jazz legend, winner of four grammy awards, bassist Stanley Clarke, who stepped up to the Georgian audience together with Beka Gochiashvili, the young Georgian pianist. The concert was miraculous – real triumph of the event, just unbelievable. Man! Is it possible for a human being to do what Stanley Clarke did? Even his physical movements are so very different from a normal person – extremely ample with creative vigor! Kind Giant of modern music!

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