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Hiram Bullock GroupDenise Jannah
Grzegorz Karnas's "Dreams" Project "Djabe"  Group
Claire Michael Group "Elixir"Alexander Oseychuk - Janna Ilmer Quintet (Russia)

from June 22

The next, the third in a row Baku International Jazz Festival was held from the 7th of June 2007 to the 14th. As in the past years the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan, Friends of Azerbaijan Culture Foundation and Baku Jazz Center were the organizers of the Festival...>>>


Press-Release from June 9, Year 2007 Weather Report. If anybody thought that there had been a world sensation in Baku then he was wrong: we are not talking about the revival of Joe Zawinul and Shorter’s famous group: the famous Baku wind has also decided to be a guest of the Festival – as a result performance of ZJAZZ quartet, which had to be held in the open air on the stage of Green Theatre was transferred to Philharmonic.
Okay, let us keep the order. The leader of ZJAZZ Zulfugar Baghirov gave his master-class to young musicians and jazz lovers. I hope that these lessons of mastery and art skills of playing jazz will not pass without leaving a trace for our beginner jazzmen – it would be a pity if the efforts of festival organizers will dissolve like water in sand. Unfortunately I was not able to attend that lesson from the beginning till the end, but even what I have seen and what I have heard had an impression on me. Zulfugar’s precise and intelligible interpretations illustrated with examples of development of melodic line and improvisations on the basis of such standards as Love Supreme and Footprints excited many people among the listeners who filled up the building of the Jazz Center.
The Festival guests from Hungary and Poland appeared at the Jazz Center a little after. Considering that the American quartet ZJAZZ arrived yesterday, Volcano group (also from the USA) will be performing on Sunday and Billy Cobham (the famous drummer will have a master-class on Monday) is arriving in the evening, so it seems to be very hot at the Festival at the moment – even though the weather is cool in Baku.
Gregorz Karnas was after lunch and the musicians from his "Dreams" quintet gave a small press-conference for the journalists, accredited at the Festival and then they left for a sound check at Green Theatre. Unfortunately we did not know back then which surprises Baku nord would give to us.
At 16:00 the stage of Baku Jazz Center was passed to the young musicians - last year’s age record, which was set by an eleven-year old pianist Fariz Asadov has been broken this year. An eight-year old Jasmin has become the youngest participant of Baku jazz festivals. Despite she performed with a short program we can say that the girl seemed to be very comfortable in jazz: exactly arranged accents, purely jazz manner of playing and behavior (many things can be learned at such age, but it is impossible to copy external characteristics that give away jazzmen) tell that the jazz is in the girl’s blood. The youth group "Beatle Juice" which participates in the youth program of the Festival for the second year opened the concert. The group performed 4 plays, and I saw a vocalist Nargiz Mikhailova with her expressive performing manner in its cast. I also liked the bass Ilyas Ibrahimov – though I would more note in him good intoning and sound making skills. As to jazz, for today his performance is lack of it. So they have a lot of work ahead. As to Zaur Mirzoyev’s performance in accompaniment with Anar Yusufov’s group Orient Xpress, then there is no need to especially underscore it: Zaur has demonstrated nothing new. I was frustrated with the attitude of some young musicians towards such responsible business as the Festival. Some of the young people did not pass the selection round due to lack of responsibility – in spite of the fact that some of them had already recommended themselves from positive side and their programs had no criticism – on all the aspects.

Grzegorz Karnas’es concert at Green Theatre started with a thirty minutes delay – the reason was the Baku wind: we tried to wait until it moderates its impulses. But not good luck. As a result the performance of our guests from Poland was blurry because of noise in the microphones that was created by the wind gusts. But Grzegorz would not be a jazzman if in his improvisations he did not touch this topic: in one of his compositions he constantly replayed "Crazy day", so kind a expressing his impressions regarding the really crazy Baku wind. By the end of the performance the musicians who had light clothes on were really cold. I hope no one of them caught cold afterwards. Although they could have a treatment by using drastic and traditional folk means during the night jam session at Baku Jazz Center.
It became obvious that there was no sense of conducting the second concert of the day at Green Theatre – it would be inhumane towards to musicians and the spectators as well. The festival organizers decided to move the performance of the ZJAZZ quintet to Philharmonic. Using this opportunity I would like to thank the director of Philharmonic Murad Adigozalzadeh who gave the organizing committee of the Festival a chance to move concerts from Green Theatre in case of such force-major situations. Of course the second concert was delayed – it was necessary to have another sound check, also give the TV guys time to relocate their equipment and solve a whole bunch of other problems within the hour. As a result the concert was delayed for one hour – it would be better to say only for an hour, as the volume of work, which had to be done, was enormous.
The whole Baku musical elite gathered at that concert – and it is not surprising if we consider that Kara Karayev’s grandson Zulfugar Baghirov came out to the stage. Unfortunately due to tiredness I could not sit at the concert till the end – but even that what I have listened proved preliminary assessment of the class of the group: nevertheless Berkley – is the brand.
Rovshan Sananoglu