Lazy Sunday Solo Sessions

July 16


Enjoy a world of contrasts on Stingray DJAZZ the weekend of July 15 and 16. Six cutting-edge big bands feature on July 15 with the following day showcasing an assortment of eclectic jazz acts. On July 16, from 15:20 CEST, smooth guitarists such as James Blood Ulmer and Kurt Rosenwinkel perform their improvisations, followed by the fleet-fingered fury of pianists McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor and Brad Mehldau.

Sunday, July 16 at 15:20 CEST | Legendary Kongressaal Sounds: McCoy Tyner Solo 

Pianist McCoy Tyner’s artistry and innovation embrace a multitude of styles, from African and Latin rhythms to the modal harmonies of the post-bebop era. His amazing versatility has enabled him to excel in a wide variety of settings. As one of the most important pianists of the last thirty years, McCoy Tyner’s richly harmonic and percussive style of playing has influenced countless musicians and contributed to many of jazz’s greatest moments. A pioneering member of John Coltrane’s legendary quartet, McCoy Tyner evokes the spirit of ‘Trane’ in this solo piano concert, a live 1983 recording made during the Münchner Klaviersommer. His lusty piano is richly percussive and hammering, while full of cascading and romantic sounds.

Musician: McCoy Tyner
Producer/Video director: János Darvas
Provider: EuroArts
Location: Münchner Klaviersommer, Munich, Germany
Year: 1983

Sunday, July 16 at 16:15 CEST | Solo Piano Summit at Jazz Open Stuttgart

When renowned jazz pianists of the old and new school meet at a Solo Piano Summit, audiences are treated to many an interesting musical surprise. The Solo Piano Summit brings together a handful of top pianists with different musical backgrounds: Jacky Terrasson, Junior Mance, Geoff Keezer, Bill Charlap and Alex Wilson. Besides solo performances the all-stars used the occasion for spontaneous interplay, improvisation and a fantastic finale - in short for the pleasure of virtuoso jazz piano playing.

Musicians: Junior Mance, Alex Wilson, Geoff Keezer, Jacky Terrasson, Bill Charlap
Video director: Michael Beyer
Producer: EuroArts
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2002

Sunday, July 16 at 17:20 CEST | Solo Session: James Blood Ulmer

What happens if you ask a jazz artist to just sit down and play in front of a camera, without any further ado? Some of the greatest jazz musicians in any style - from blues and boogie-woogie to bebop and beyond - rise to the challenge, in these intimate and exciting jazz solo sessions. Guitarist James Blood Ulmer, who plays the flute and sings too, is a rarity in the world of the free jazz guitarists: he forged a very individual style that, unlike his peers, does not borrow from rock as much as from the traditions of African-American vernacular music, and relates to saxophonist Ornette Coleman's notorious “harmelodic theory”. Much like free jazz artist Charles Lloyd, James Blood Ulmer has never stopped developing his style, resulting in a more structured type of music, of which this solo session offers ample illustration.

Musician: James Blood Ulmer
Producer: Daniel K. Berman & Paul McNulty
Video director: Daniel K. Berman
Location: Toronto, Canada
Year: 2004

Sunday, July 16 at 18:10 CEST | Solo Session: Kurt Rosenwinkel

Jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton is known for his generosity to a younger generation of players most recently, he discovered and featured young guitarist Julian Lage in a world tour. Earlier, the same fate befell the electric guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, one of the most respected jazz guitarists of the American east coast. His fluid style has earned him praise from other veteran guitarists, such as John Scofield and Pat Metheny, and helped him in recording alongside Paul Motian, Mark Turner, and many others, as an ensemble player. Yet today’s challenge, to record a solo session, was not an entirely new experience for Rosenwinkel: he recorded a solo album, Intuit, in the 1990s.

Musician: Kurt Rosenwinkel
Producer: Daniel K. Berman & Paul McNulty
Video director: Daniel K. Berman
Location: Toronto, Canada
Year: 2004

Sunday, July 16 at 19:00 CEST | Solo Session: Brad Mehldau

Brad Mehldau is arguably the most popular jazz pianist of today. There seems to be no end to the versatility of the great pianist, who is equally at ease recording solo, backing classical singer Renée Fleming, playing with his trio, or playing avant-garde chamber music. His personality seems to have two sides: the improviser meets the formalist in in something that has been described as “controlled chaos”, in which the emotional and the intellectual go hand in hand. Ever on the road touring the world, Mehldau stopped in 2004 to record this jazz solo session, including spectacular reworkings of Nick Drake’s River Man and Led Zeppelin’s 29 Palms.

Musician: Brad Mehldau
Producer: Daniel K. Berman & Paul McNulty
Location: Toronto, Canada
Year: 2004

Sunday, July 16 at 19:50 CEST | Jazz sous les Pommiers: Tigran Hamasyan - A Fable

Every year since 1982, the days around Ascension Day have been devoted to the ‘Jazz sous les Pommiers’ festival in French Normandy. This 10-day festival in Coustances showcases a beautiful variety of local musicians, art performances, and renowned jazz names. ‘Jazz sous les Pommiers’ was founded by two local amateur musicians, teacher Thierry Giard and cultural animator Gerard Houssin. In 2010, the Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan played at the festival. His unique profile displays dazzling piano dexterity with an undeniably profound sense of composition. He’s equally at ease in jazz, classical music, Armenian popular repertoire, rock, heavy metal, and avant-garde. Where so much contemporary jazz can be a dreary display of muscle memory, Tigran has found a way to keep improvisation fresh and lyrical. Even on his most overt jazz compositions and renditions of well-known jazz pieces, his improvisations often contain embellishments based on scales from Middle Eastern and South Western Asian traditions.

Musician: Tigran Hamasyan
Producer: Guillaume Dunand, Adeline Chahin
Video director: Laurent Hasse
Location: Jazz sous les Pommiers, Coutances, France
Year: 2011

Sunday, July 16 at 21:05 CEST | Michiel Borstlap: Blue, Reflective & Frames

Recorded at the Amsterdam Arena during the Amsterdam South East Jazz Festival, Michiel Borstlap tickles the ivories of his Steinway in performances of all his favourite songs on his solo albums ‘Blue’, ‘Reflective’, and ‘Frames’. An unprecedented event: a solo piano concert at the home base of football club Ajax Amsterdam! During the concert, the sound of a seagull or an aeroplane might mingle with the gentle touch of the Dutch master pianist. A must-see concert for all fans of piano music, with a wonderful encore: a performance of Thelonious Monk’s famous standard ‘Round Midnight’.

Musician: Michiel Borstlap
Location: Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Year: 2015

Sunday, July 16 at 22:05 CEST | Free Jazz in Kongressaal Munich: Cecil Taylor

In the midst of the blossoming of the free-jazz scene, pianist Cecil Taylor (1929) probably represented the non-jazz aspect of the movement better than anyone else. Many of the innovations of the 1960s were pioneered by his records. His fusion of exuberance and atonality was particularly influential. Like saxophonist Ornette Coleman, who initially overshadowed him, Taylor was one of the first musicians to release jazz improvisation from fixed harmonic structures. Influenced by both classical music and jazz, Taylor became a virtuoso pianist with a unique range of dynamics, attacks, and harmonic resources, including many tone clusters played for percussive, not harmonic, effect. During this 1984 Müncher Klaviersommer concert, he shows his mastery of improvised jazz.

Musician: Cecil Taylor
Producer/Video director: János Darvas
Provider: EuroArts
Location: Müncher Klaviersommer, Munich, Germany
Year: 1984

Sunday, July 16 at 23:00 CEST | Solo Session: Cyro Baptista

If you ask percussionist Cyro Baptista to play a solo session, you will hear music that gives new meaning to the phrase “living drum machine”: the Brazilian musician takes percussion into the extreme. The extravagant creator of the 10-piece percussion ensemble Beat The Donkey brings with him on this solo session an array of delay pedals and instruments bought, made and found, with which Baptista shows why rhythm just might be the ultimate pulse of the universe.

Musician: Cyro Baptista
Producer: Daniel K. Berman & Paul McNulty
Location: Toronto, Canada
Year: 2004