18 July 2014

Ghent Jazz Festival 2014

I happened to notice that Mehliana, a great collaboration between jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and Mark Giuliana, were scheduled to play at the Ghent Jazz Festival in Ghent, Belgium on the first week of my vacation. The last time I saw them play together in Stockholm had been one of the greatest concerts I've seen, so after a quick purchase, my plan was set!

We attended two days of the festival along with a friend of ours who just happened to live in Ghent, and the experience was everything we hoped. The festival venue had great sound and was busy but not too overcrowded, and the music was top notch. Mehliana was the highlight of the trip, but the rest were just as good, especially Dave Holland's Prism,  the Joshua Redman Quartet, and the Chick Corea/Stanley Clark duet.

Kevin Eubanks, one of my favorite guitarists, was a member of Dave Holland's Prism band, and his tone was particularly interesting. He played with his tone knob rolled pretty far back, then with the attack knob on his compressor pedal (which I think is a Boss CS-3, see photo below) very low. Combined with his thumb/fingerstyle playing, this makes for a very unique sound. This sound is present on the recordings, but it really shined in real life, and the dynamics he achieved in the live setting were breathtaking.

If you want to relive our experience, here's a Spotify playlist of the musicians we saw: Kevin at the Ghent Jazz Festival 2014

The three concertgoers catching a beer in Ghent before the festival
Mehliana preparing to go on
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
Kevin Eubanks guitar pedals

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