Picture perfect

Saturday, 23 October 2010 05:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Jazz at the Mount 2010 gets rave reviews

The crowd attending the second annual Jazz at the Mount was entertained into the morning hours by internationally renowned artistes from India, UK, Cameroon, Australia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

Known to be a calm and easy going artist from Cameroon Blick Bassy the new soul voice of Cameroon is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and percussionist connected to the music of Central and West Africa.

He has mixed it with bossa nova, jazz and soul. Bassy’s guitar playing and intoxicating soft voice was enriched by the kora, calabash and a double bass resulting in a uniquely haunting sound which was velvety with subtle harmonies, yet also raw with groovy rhythms. Bringing a fresh sound and avid following who rarely stopped wanting for more on the night of the event.

Andrew Oh, a much respected saxophonist, a Singapore born Australian, and his septet stood out at each night. An extremely accomplished saxophonist of international standard who lead the jazz septet stated it would be a pleasure to return next year. Armondo Hurley, whose voice on both nights pressed the crowd up to the front of the stage, eager for more and indeed on the last night drove the crowds to a dancing mood and an encore.

Even though Saturday drew the largest crowd, with an additional two bands performing namely; Blick Bassy from Cameroon, followed by Jean Van Heer Quintet or Norma n Jazz – Sri Lanka’s very own jazz musicians, much to the delight of the appreciative audience ended with a conscious note. “The vibes of the people at Jazz at the Mount alone says it all, “stated Anura Dewapura, General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel adding “They were so eager to participate and get into the act. There was nothing but support and togetherness.”

Sunday saw three of the international bands performing for the Jazz Sunday Brunch at the Governor’s Terrace which too gave a happy note to end the Mount Lavinia Jazz Festival 2010 with complete satisfaction.  Dylan Lye’s Septet from Hong Kong kept the festival mood in high spirits. With ever gorgeous Jennifer Palor and Mike Inot’s contemporary and classic instrumental jazz in a serious vein on sax, elated the audiences.

Taking up standards with jazz classics for the festival was Dave O Higgins Quartet who brought back the nostalgia to the air.  As the Jazz Guide states “A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense.” His straight jazz classics made the audience taste the beginnings of jazz. And opening the night of Saturday was the Frank Dubier Jazz Quintet from India.

An avid jazz enthusiast stated, “Jazz at the Mount was an interesting experience and we appreciate Mount Lavinia Hotel taking the initiative to give Sri Lanka a taste of jazz. Also providing much needed entertainment to the island and we hope that next year we could take on an active role to be part of this festival.”  Located in close proximity to the city, on a rocky promontory overlooking the beautiful bay of Galkissa, Mount Lavinia Hotel gracious, elegant and romantic as ever, the Hotel attracts travellers from all over the world, the expatriate community and the locals, remains the most sought after location for weddings and honeymoons….unsurprising, considering its history and location. The unusually extensive beach frontage with a spectacular view of the ocean is an incredible setting for the perfect Jazz Festival, which was nothing short of picture perfect.

The main partner of this 2010’s Jazz at the Mount was SriLankan Airlines as the official travel sponsor.