Jazz à Vienne: 3,000 festival-goers brave the rain on Saturday, but rewarded with a rich evening of women in Jazz

Jazz à Vienne: 3,000 festival-goers brave the rain on Saturday, but rewarded with a rich evening of women in Jazz
Jazz à Vienne: 3,000 festival-goers brave the rain on Saturday, but rewarded with a rich evening of women in Jazz

Until now, Jazz à Vienne had managed to avoid the rain since the beginning of the festival on June 27, but not on Saturday July 6, when Jupiter unexpectedly decided to happily wet k-ways and other cycling capes as well as the stands of the ancient theater. “I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault,” smiled one of the three stars of the evening with her inimitable Korean accent, Youn Sun Nah. She had been preceded by Jeanne Added and followed by the Japanese pianist Hiromi. Three different facets, all dazzling.

The message was clear, not by chance. Dressed in a white T-shirt with the words “No Pasaran” written on it, the French singer and composer Jeanne Added first took to the stage of the ancient theatre in Vienna in front of a relatively small audience: around 3,000 festival-goers.

Occupa is the right word because despite being only with her pianist, Bruno Rider, and two backing singers, Jeanne Added has a strong stage presence. She knows how to hold a stage and captivate the audience with her very jazzy songs, most often in English, sometimes in French.

A rather intimate concert where the artist gives his all, with his compositions that are both luminous and tender, not devoid of groove, as well as a real sense of purity and melodies.


Things began to go downhill with the arrival of Youn Sun Nahin the second part. Not the fault of the Korean singer, but the rain that started to fall. Not in droves like in the afternoon at Cybèle, but enough to really wet the k-ways and the stands.

It was a new You Sun Nah that we could hear on Saturday evening, not hesitating to take up great standards, which could be in comparison, to his disadvantage, but by kneading them, by molding them to his sauce, by giving them back bright colors.

Now Youn Sun Nah dares everything! From the soprano voice to the raspy one in the tradition of Korean songs, including improvised scats with astonishing virtuosity over several octaves.

In short, with her voice she is comfortable in all genres, provoking emotion, without seeming to touch it…

She performed a number of themes from her latest album, “Elles,” which explores a wide range of songs written or performed by women artists, from the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” to the psychedelic rock of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”

It is true that she was also flanked on her right and left by Éric Legnini and Tony Paeleman, two of the best French jazz pianists who, in passing, treated the audience to some very fine improvisations. Lyrical flights which ended up calming Jupiter, the rain finally stopping when the Japanese pianist Hiromi in turn takes to the stage.

It was indeed the supercharged Japanese pianist Hiromi who was the highlight of this evening of women in jazz.

She arrived on stage with her new band, Sonicwonder, made up of one of the most promising trumpet players of his generation, Adam O’Farrill, grandson of the legendary Cuban trumpeter Chico O’Farrill, and electric bass virtuoso Hadrien Féraud, who were on a par with the Japanese pianist, they even seemed transcended.

With her training, she has distilled a jazz that is both virtuoso and energetic, resulting from a clever mix of styles, bebop, post-bop, stride, rock, even funk, while keeping improvisation at the heart of her music, with astonishing passion.

In short, a rich end to the evening, in the form of musical fireworks because that evening, despite the bad weather, there were no damp squibs!

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