Jazz Forum

Darmstadt, 23rd October 1998

The Magic Muse

The sight of two familiar heads as they were bobbing in the jazz crowd signalled the presence of our expressive and eloquent English friends, so devoted to enriching international contacts. This view was granted me at the Darmstadt jazz forum, an event organized by the Jazz Institute whose internationally recognized work, research and documentation of jazz, is very laudably funded by the city, an event, that this year was given to the theme 'Jazz & Language', an event, to which our cosmopolitan pair gladly contributed.

With verve and in high spirits Kate & Mike spread their canvas and with bold and spontaneous strokes of the brush peopled it with portraits from the European Stage, September Song, On the Beach, Pirate Jenny among others. On this ethereally azure, serene, yet scintillating atmosphere, was now superimposed in hues of sparkling electricity the character of an old transatlantic friend, by all means offering Love for Sale employing dramatic persuasiveness and a new translation, unpretentious in syntax and wording. F. Holländer, ambassador and wanderer between the old and new world, completed the picture.

The theme of cross-atlantic relationships was continued as people from the musical, literary and media scenes, plus the occasional common jazz fan, from as far afield as U.S., Canada, Italy & Switzerland turned up for the seminars throughout the days. While discourse was less academic than I had expected and time was too short to go into much detail, it was given to acquaint those present with the work actually done, rather than analysis or offering answers; still the presentations touched off trains of thought and were followed by interesting discussions in small spontaneous groups forming during the breaks.

E la commedia dell' amore! This new work of the DUO revolves around and is reflected in, is multiplied by, a prism, a central caleidoscope, of vocals (re-)percussive in this mirrored chamber like sun-beams, saturated with the emotive colours of the loving & lovable characters, sharply observed and depicted with kindness. - Whether it's LOVE OR INFATUATION: it's an absolute must !!!

Mike Westbrook and Wolfram Knauer

Kate Westbrook

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