Friday, August 1, 2008

Barbara Dennerlein in August

Warm welcome

WILLKOMMEN! was written in capital letters on the Billboard in Southington, where Barbara Dennerlein came in for a special concert for the Hammond fans in town. Her hands flew over the white B3's manuals that the resident hammondstore shop had provided her with. With this concert she also said thank you and bye bye until next time to those who had supported her during her first USA tour 2008.

Flashback to Minneapolis

MinnPost journalist Pamela Espeland visited Barbara's concert at the Dakota and shares her impressions with us:

"Dennerlein is in Minneapolis attending the American Guild of Organists convention, which is why we’re hearing this phenomenal artist who makes her home in Germany. She’s at the Dakota for one night only. Lucky us, we’ll have another chance to see her later this year; she’ll be at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.

Most of my live B-3 listening has been with Joey De Francesco and Dr. Lonnie Smith, each exceptional and outrageous in his own way. Dennerlein is a completely different experience. She’s small but strong. She swings hard. She exudes more joy than attitude (not that I’m complaining about attitude from B-3 players, I’m just saying). And she plays the pedals as if her feet were fingers, with that much dexterity and speed. I wished I had a clear view of her feet because it seemed she had more than just two.

Part of the magic of live jazz is seeing how musicians respond to each other. Whitman plays kind of crazy tonight, wilder than I’ve heard him up to now. Pulice is right there, keeping up and keeping time and taking off on his own adventures. I’m guessing these three have never played together before and probably won’t ever again. It’s all in the moment."

Video podcast

Barbara's concert at Trinity Wall Street Church in New York has been video podcasted live at July 10th. She received numerous responses on that event from many fans. A concert visitor wrote in his weblog:

"Munich jazz organist Barbara Dennerlein not only played a spectacular show, she impressed even more with the brilliance of her compositions. It’s always a treat when someone who really knows the blues plays a church organ, and Dennerlein proved that she could definitely do that. But more so, she proved herself an extraordinarily perceptive, imaginative composer, equally adept at jazz and classical. Her axe is the Hammond B3 organ, and it was considerably ironic that the electronic “virtual organ” at Trinity Church can create just about any sound made by an organ or a synthesizer, but not a B3 (whose inventor designed it specifically for use in houses of worship). That didn’t stop Dennerlein. She opened with Ain’t Misbehaving, a long, playfully swinging version which she used to air out a whole slew of different organ settings and show off her signature style, making full use of the bass pedals for melody as well as groove. She followed with an original perhaps titled Spirit of Woman. It started somewhat stiffly, like a Rick Wakeman Olympic theme but got good in a hurry, driven by an endlessly permutating, insistent four-note figure low on the scale, which Dennerlein interestingly played not on the pedals but in the left hand. It wound up on a roaring, seemingly vengeful note with all the stops out: hell hath no fury like the spirit of a woman. Like many of the guests artists who swing through here, she couldn’t resist ending the piece using the organ’s timpani and kettle drum patches (operated by the pedals), which sound as canned as they are but are obviously hard to stay away from.

Her next piece was a long, slow, thoughtful blues, a requiem for an absent friend, she said. Whoever this person might have been, he or she was a fascinatingly complex bon vivant given to bouts of melancholy, if the melody is to be taken at face value. There were echoes of nostalgia, a line or two from Georgia on My Mind here and there. Dennerlein used the slow, methodical pace as a springboard for all kinds of virtuosic, somewhat noisy, Jimmy Smith-inflected fills and swells. After taking off her coat – she’s a fireball of a live performer – she played one long, final suite, an original titled Impressions of New York. It was fascinating, beginning somewhat rapt (one doesn’t expect someone like Dennerlein to be easily impressed), then moving into a comfortably playful blues mode before she brought in the baroque. Coming up on the end, Dennerlein quoted liberally and amusingly from the Toccata in D, notably the fast descending progression that comes right before the final stop leading into the piece’s conclusion. When she reached the final crescendo, she played around with the gorgeous, final series of chords that Bach used, but eventually decided to go with her own. The audience, a surprising mix of nationalities and ages, was as rapt as the chords at the beginning of the piece. Then Dennerlein went off to the airport.

Trinity Church archives their organ concerts: if you missed the show, you can see it here. Dennerlein is hugely popular in Europe but strangely not as well-known here, although many of the cds in her deep and fascinating catalog are available at cdbaby."


You can find the complete concert playable on-demand at Trinity Church's website and on YouTube:


Barbara Dennerlein & Rhoda Scott in South France

Just a couple of days ago Barbara and Rhoda Scott met again on occasion of the Sigean Jazz Festival. Barbara gave a trio concert first and performed the following evening together with Rhoda Scott at the Organ Summit. These concerts were pleasurable, joyful events for both the Hammond ladies and the listeners. "Bravo for the wonderful concert" Rhoda stated afterwards, and the presenter told Barbara about numerous enthusiastic reactions of the audience.

Jazz in the jailhouse

Dennerlein in jail - but don't misunderstand: Barbara played for the first time in a jailhouse's chapel. Die "Neue Westfälische" newspaper wrote (translated):

"There is no more evident place for the blues than the can. On Saturday, the young prisoners and about 50 visitors could listen to Barbara Dennerlein eliciting the anguish of mind expressing sounds from the jailhouse Hammond organ.
Barbara Dennerlein virtually pulled out all the stops. The window glass clanked to the fulminant bass lines that Dennerlein played with her apparently independently acting left foot. It was not Jailhouse-Rock but Bossa Nova, Swing and Bebop behind bars. Dennerlein received frenetic applause also from the young prisoners, who rather belong to the Hip Hop and Rap generation."

Concerts in August

While people are on holiday Barbara Dennerlein doesn't hesitate to continue touring - in this case through Europe. The next flight will take her to Estonia. She will play two concerts in Pernu and Tallinn together with saxophonist Villu Veski who is not only reknowed in Estonia for his empathetic play as well as for organizing the „JuuJääb“ music festival on his home island Muhu.

Barbara will then be expected in Sanary sur mer, which is located between Marseille and Saint-Tropez in France, and next day in Warsaw on occasion of the 14th. international jazz festival. There she will meet saxophonist Chico Freeman with whom Barbara has performed in Austria, Greece and Denmark, and they will continue their collaboration in the Netherlands in October. The Warsaw festival concerts at the old town court are frequently visited by three to four thousand listeners.

Then Barbara will check in on cruise liner MS Europa. Together with other musicians, among them the SWR radio bigband and Randy Brecker, she will start to a journey along the west coast of Norway to entertain the passengers on board of Hapag-Lloyd's five-star-plus ranked flagship. Motto is: "The stars of the jazz skies glitter in fjordland".

You will find the complete tour list below.
Tourdates Barbara Dennerlein 2008/2009

06.08.2008 20.00 Pärnu/EE - 80011, Konzerthaus Pärnu, Int. Orgelfestival (Solo/church organ feat. Villu Veski)
07.08.2008 20.00 Tallinn/EE - 10146, Niguliste-Kirche, Int. Orgelfestival (Solo/church organ feat. Villu Veski)
08.08.2008 21.00 Sanary sur mer/F - 83110, Stage Esplanade (Duo)
09.08.2008 19.00 Warsaw/PL, Warsaw Jazz Festival (Duo & Chico Freeman)
12.08.2008 20.00 Norwegen 12.8. - 24.8.08, MS Europa Kreuzfahrt (Trio & SWR Big Band)
30.08.2008 18.00 Düsseldorf-Oberkassel/D - 40545, Auferstehungskirche (Duo/Hammond & church organ)
31.08.2008 20.00 Wipperfürth/D - 51688, Alte Drahtzieherei (Solo)
05.09.2008 20.00 Fehring/A - 8350, Stadtpfarrkirche (Solo/church organ & guest Edi Köhldorfer)
07.09.2008 20.00 Fehring/A - 8350, Most und Jazz, Am Hauptplatz (Solo & Bigband Gleichenberg)
10.09.2008 20.00 Neumünster/D - 24534, Vicelin-Kirche, Festival Kunstflecken (Duo/church organ)
12.09.2008 23.00 Flawil/CH - 9230, Jazzin Flawil, Lindensaal (Trio)
14.09.2008 18.30 Uster/CH - 8610, Ref. Kirche (Duo/Hammond & church organ)
21.09.2008 19.00 Monterey/USA CA, Night Club/Bill Berry Stage, Monterey Jazz Festival (Trio)
22.09.2008 20.00 Oakland/USA CA, Yoshis at Jack London Square (Trio)
26.09.2008 20.00 Chelyabinsk/RU - 454084, Philharmonie, 3-rd festival "Jazz & Pipe Organ (Solo/church organ)
30.09.2008 18.30 Samara/RU, Philharmonie (Solo/church organ)
02.10.2008 20.00 Feuchtwangen/D - 91555, Spielbank (Solo & with Duo Netzer & Scheytt)
04.10.2008 20.00 Hoorn/NL, Park Theater, Festival Jazz at the Hop (Duo & Chico Freeman)
05.10.2008 16.00 Luzern/CH - 6002, Hotel Schweizerhof (Solo & Wolf Doldinger & Best Friends)
10.10.2008 22.00 St.Pölten/A - 3109, Festspielhaus St.Pölten, MM Jazzfestival (Trio)
12.10.2008 20.00 Vaterstetten/D - 85591, Lichthof des Rathauses (Trio)
16.10.2008 20.00 Schwetzingen/D - 68723, Rokoko Theater Schloss Schwetzingen, Schwetzinger Jazztage (Duo)
19.10.2008 16.00 Pittsfield/MA - 01201 USA, First Baptist Church (Solo/church organ)
23.10.2008 20.30 Steinegg/I - 39050, Kulturhaus, Steinegg-Live-Festival (Duo)
01.11.2008 19.00 Thum/D - 09419, Evang.-luth. Kirche St.Annen (Solo)
07.11.2008 21.00 Pesterwitz/D - 01705, Jakobuskirche, Jazztage Dresden (Duo)
08.11.2008 20.00 Passau/D - 94032, Redoute (Solo)
14.11.2008 20.00 Villigen/CH - 5234, Trotte (Duo)
15.11.2008 20.00 Gross-Gerau/D - 64521, Versöhnungskirche (Solo)
21.11.2008 20.00 Rinteln/D - 31737, Stadtkirche St. Nikolai (Trio/church organ)
22.11.2008 20.30 Bielefeld/D - 33611, Alte Kuxmann-Fabrik (Duo)
02.-05.12.2008 19.30 + 22.00 Bern/CH - 3012, Marians Jazzroom (Duo)
06.12.2008 16.30 + 19.30 + 22.00 Bern/CH - 3012, Marians Jazzroom (Duo)
09.-13.12.2008 21.00 Wien/A - 1010, Jazzland (Duo)
10.01.2009 20.15 Häggenschwil/CH - 9312, Der Bären (Duo)
15.01.2009 20.00 Fürstenfeldbruck/D - 82256, Veranstaltungsforum Fürstenfeld (Solo)

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