Electronic Jazz Masters Wow Audience at Tbilisi Event Hall

On the 9th of March, the Tbilisi audience witnessed two jazz masters – Bugge Wesseltoft and Christian Prommer – offer a totally unbelievable show, part of a unique improvisational project for the world in the mixed form of electronic and classical jazz. The first on piano and keyboard and the second on drums; both on electronics and exceeding all expectations!

On the one hand we had Wesseltoft, a Norwegian musician, laden with melodies and the melancholy of Scandinavia and inspired by greats such as Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, while on the other hand we had the energy and grooves of one of Europe’s best producers of electronic music and drummers, Prommer, who has himself been inspiring the techno and jazz crossover scene for 15 years with his projects Drumlssons, Trüyby Trio, and Fauna Flash.

Kakha Tolordava, presenter of the concert, told GEORGIA TODAY, “Jazz is developing in multiple directions. It is a very flexible form of music that has the ability to penetrate all musical forms. These performers today are a bright example of this, otherwise. It is difficult to play jazz today, as it requires finding something in its depth and adding something new, too. This is an attempt to turn jazz into electronic music, something which requires a lot of caution from musicians.”

“Our music is more modern,” said Bugge Wesseltoft. “It is a mixture of classical jazz with electronic music. I don’t know much about Georgian music, but I had the honor of listening to Nino Katamadze in Moscow, who sings ethno jazz.”

Christian Prommer also commented: “A friend of ours introduced us to each other and we decided to try to play together. I don’t know if people like our music but it was not something we were thinking of when we began. We’re inspired by anything –both jazz and electronic music, as well as everyday life.”

Needless to say, the Georgian audience was in rapture, open to such innovations - rhythms and grooves, both primeval and modern, and reshaped sounds in a jazz remix made live on stage.

Since the early 1990s Bugge Wesseltoft has made an impressive, truly post-modern transition from his ECM Nordic jazz traditions. Playing and recording together with the likes of Jan Garbarek, Sidsel Endresen, Terje Rypdal, Nils Petter Molvaer, Jon Eberson to forming his own innovative New Conception Of Jazz group and exquisite label Jazzland Recordings.

Wesseltoft is multi-decorated with critics’ prizes for creating a unique, fresh blend of modern jazz.

“There is no musician or artist in the world that is not inspired by others,” Wesseltoft said. “However, the important thing is to let inspiration develop, to work towards finding a unique means of personalizing it. I don’t want to be a carbon copy of any great musician, past or present: I don’t see the point of that. There have been so many good things done before, but one must find one’s own sound.”

Christian Prommer is an American producer, DJ, drummer and musician who has been producing and composing genre-defining and award-winning dance and electronic music for more than two decades. As a founding member of Fauna Flash, Trüby Trio and VoomVoom, as producer and co-writer for Kruder and Dorfmeister, Dj Hell (his effort “Teufelswerk” was Echo nominated), Kim Sanders (they won the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), The Dining Rooms, Incognito, and with his own projects Prommer and Barck and most notably Christian Prommer’s Drum Lesson. As a musician and collaborator he has worked with Carl Craig, Patrick Pulsinger, Brian Ferry, Tony Allen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Joe Sample, Til Brönner, Mousse T, Wolfgang Haffner, Incognito, Klaus Doldinger, Hunter/Game, My Favorite Robot, Solomun and many more. With his band, solo shows and DJ sets he travels the world non-stop from big jazz festivals to the darkest after hour clubs.

Our respondent from the audience, a doctor Arsen Gvenetadze, whom we talked to before the performance, said that he’d no idea about the performers and had just come to enjoy a surprise. Following the show, he said he had scarcely witnessed something so fresh and original before. As promised, it proved to be very dynamic and even urged some of the public to its feet to dance.

Maka Lomadze


Photo by Beka Javakhishvili

10 March 2016 19:14