Heard Grady Tate for the first time performing Van Morrison's 'Moondance', together with a big band led by Peter Herbolzheimer.

This was my second Documenta visit. Twenty-five years had gone by since Documenta 9. Curated by my compatriot Jan Hoet it created a big buzz in Belgium so I wanted to see for myself.

Why did I wait so long to visit again? Honestly I don't know. I guess it was never top of mind. Documenta 9 was great after all. Despite the fact that this has been a very mediocre 14th edition of the Kassel exhibition I became enthousiast to return in 2022.

 

Fridericianum: as always at the heart of documenta
Fridericianum: as always at the heart of documenta
Marta Minujín, Parthenon of Books
Marta Minujín, Parthenon of Books, 2017, Friedrichsplatz
Nikos Alexiou, The End 2017
Digital animation The End by Nikos Alexiou (EMST Collection), Fridericianum
Alvin Lucier Sound on Paper 1985
Part of Alvin Lucier's, Sound on Paper, 1985, documenta Halle
Stanley Whitney, installation view, documenta Halle
Stanley Whitney, installation view, documenta Halle
Crowded documenta Halle on Saturday afternoon
The crowded documenta Halle on Saturday afternoon
Guillermo Galindo, Fluchtzieleuropahavarieschallkörper 2017
Guillermo Galindo, Fluchtzieleuropahavarieschallkörper, 2017, documenta Halle
Aboubakar Fofana, Fundi (Uprising) 2017
Aboubakar Fofana, Fundi (Uprising), 2017, documenta Halle
Mika K, When We Were Exhaling Images
Mika K, When We Were Exhaling Images, 2016-17, Friedrichsplatz
Amar Kanwar, Letter 5 (Such a Morning), 2017 - Neue Galerie
Amar Kanwar, Letter 5 (Such a Morning), 2017, Neue Galerie
Ibrahim Mahama, Check Point Secondi Loco, 2017 - Torwache
Ibrahim Mahama, Check Point Secondi Loco, 2017, Torwache

I got to know John Abercrombie by means of a French TV show covering part of his 'first Quartet' concert at Antibes 1979. That particulary band was a crossover between jazz and chamberlike melodic music. The rythmic part was heavy, stimulating playing by George Mraz and Peter Donald. Richie Beirach was the virtuoso piano player, jazz but with a clearly strong classical training. The communication between the lead instruments was fluent, sometimes hypnotic. Most material performed came from the then actual "Arcade" album on ECM records.

It was easy to recognize that Abercrombie was a distinctive voice in the temporary music landscape. A long list of recordings can be found in the ECM catalogue. Some recordings to look for are:

  • Timeless (his knock on the door)
  • Gateway (with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette)
  • Duo albums with Ralph Towner
  • Trio albums with Marc Johnson and Peter Erskine
  • Quartet albums: the first above mentioned and following quartets with amongst others Mark Feldman and Joey Baron
John Abercrombie Internationales de la Guitare, Montpellier, 2006
A rather shady view from the highest balcony. Abercrombie with Texier, Romano, Rava and Pansanal in Montpellier, 2006
John Abercrombie Trio 'Straight Flight'
A rather rare album with all jazz standards: Straight Flight,1979
Kamasi Washington - Ghent Jazz 2017
Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington - Ghent Jazz 2017
Kamasi Washington - Ryan Porter
Kamasi Washington - Ghent Jazz 2017
Brandon Coleman
Kamasi Washington - Ghent Jazz 2017
Drumset of Jonathan Pinson
Kamasi Washington - Ghent Jazz 2017
Robert Miller
Stuff. - Ghent Jazz 2017
Stuff. - Ghent Jazz 2017
Stuff.
Robert Glasper Experiment - Ghent Jazz 2017
Robert Glasper - Casey Benjamin - Michael Severson
Robert Glasper Experiment - Ghent Jazz 2017
Burnis Travis II - Justin Tyson

How long has it been since the release of 'Piano Reductions Vol 1'? Exactly 13 years! Those who believed to never complete their Secret Jewel Box can be relieved for now. Modern Primitive will be the 7th installment in the box.

Defined as the missing link between Flex-Able and Passion & Warfare, the album will also be released as twin package with P & W. So get your box from the dust shelf and add another jewel. The originally planned recordings may not see the light of day but this is a good sign that a least the project will get a grand finale.

Image taken from stevevai.com.

Steve Vai Modern Primitive will go into the Secret Jewel Box

Had to dig up my 30 year old Kenwood turntable to make this video. More on the Vinyl Williams recording later. Enjoy the color splatter for now.