The action today here in Poreč moved to the main stage. It’s right by the sea. As you wait for the first band, you can hear the waves lapping, you see flocks of swallows in the sky. It all happens on the small island in Poreč Harbour, Sveti Nicolau. The mood may be relaxed, the town is certainly not heaving by any standards, but this is a festival which is artistically led, sets itself high standards both for programming and technically, and just has a lot going for it. For an outdoor stage, the sound quality tonight was exceptional. And a warm evening brings out an audience in shirtsleeves, t-shirts. This is summer.
First band up tonight were Enrico Rava‘s Tribe. Rava has been working with trombonist Gianluca Petrella for more than a decade now, and their dialogue is civilized, articulate, has real freedom. A video from the end of last year in Bari gives a good flavour of it. Petrella reaches high, Ravi digs low, it works. Their final scheduled number, (which is also what they have just begun as the video clip from Bari runs off) was a close cousin of Mingus’ Boogie Stop Shuffle, and had wonderful defiant energy.
The second band were a trio led by Joey Calderazzo, who had flown over from the US just for this one concert, with two Swedes, bassist Martin Sjostedt and drummer Daniel Frederiksson.
Considering these circumstances, the ease and fluency of their work together were exceptional, particularly when segue-ing directly from My Foolish Heart to I have Never Been in Love Before : Sjöstedt guided this transition. He has held the bass chair in the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra for several years, and is a player of real class, I was bowled over.
And yes, a nice thing happened earlier in the day. Festival Director Tamara Obrovac, it turned out, didn’t actually know that she had a special mention in the Lonely Planet guide to Croatia. She does now…….