Discussion » Music » Herbie Hancock in Beijing, did anyone go?

  • Webslave
    Webslave wrote:
    I was lucky to get a last minute ticket through a friend. Just got the news today that he is also performing in Beijing (i was helping a friend in Shanghai to find out more details about their Shanghai gig actually)! Poor promotion by US embassy. Tickets were not for sale and it was not a public event.

    Mr. Hancock was really great, even though he obviously gave the band more space to perform their interplay. I only wish that the sound, light and also the venue could be more suitable for this kind of music. But he said he will come back next year.
  • Webslave
    Webslave wrote:
    Mr. Hancock featured his "Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Ensemble" and the multiple Grammy Awards winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. The jazz band turned out to be very good, doing mostly free jazz (everyone was playing like solo style but somehow still well together as interplay) and also some classics of Hancock who himself only took part only about the half of the set time. Especially up-right bass player was increadible doing a good job making an connection between the all too diversed drum play and the melody complex by piano, trumpet and saxon. Hancock himself was appearantly the best even though he wasnt a leading role for the most playtime of the performance, he knows very well how to exactly collaborate with each other musician when they were in lead whiles remaining in total controll of partly very spontanious interplay. Some times he hammers onto the keys with such a might to show who is the king and some times his fast and seamlessly floating (like the sound of a tiny river) touch up on the scales calmed down the noisy part of the sound into the right balance.

    He only did one solo performance in duet with Dee Dee Bridgwater (something Valentine, forgot the song title) which was very emotional and touching. Unfortunately the audience was to noise for those silent moments (some ppl was almost constantly talking/wispering about what is jazz and who is who) and the sound volumne was too low for this song, but all in all a very great performance.

    In the beginning there was a intro speak by some one from the US embassy, embarrising that the "translater" didnt speak Chinese too well, even though all text was presented on paper, maybe that guy was drunk, he ended up being almost a joke.

    The sound wasnt too good, especially for the upstairs seats, a lot echo reflected by the bare walls. Also the microphones are not well handled by the sound guy. One could barely hear the piano and also vocals volumne wasnt right. The entire stage was lit up all the time, which is kinda boring and unappropriate for such a vivid form of Jazz music.

    a good part of the upstairs seats audience were chinese, many were appearantly not real jazz fans or Hancock fans since almost the half of them went home before the set reached its half.

    Hancock and his Ensemble will head for Shanghai to perform in the US Pavillion on the 13th and 14th May.
  • BeijingDaze
    BeijingDaze wrote:
    I got a last minute invite through a friend but was unable to go :( quite ticked off actually that the Beijing leg was a non-publicized private event.... very ticked off!
  • Peter S 李贝勒
    @ Webslave, the song with deedee bridgewater was "my funny valentine"
    Herbie didn t play to much, but the musicians from the Monk institute were very good...
    Herbie did a master class the monday afternoon, it was cool. he said that we have to respect the others musicians and never judge them... and yes, the sound in the concert hall was not good. It s very hard to find a good sound engineer in china!

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