Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Club Guide: Hopper

The Hopper café is soon to celebrate its 12th birthday. Illustrious foreigners such as Horace Parlan, Teddy Edwards, Steve Lacy, Nat Adderley and Lee Konitz, as well as all the finest Belgian jazz musicians, have passed through. Its 2003-2004 season is now in full swing.

There are three regular (and totally free) concert series. Mondays and tuesdays are devoted to monthly residencies, while gentle afternoon concerts are held on sundays. In october, the residents are the Antoine Claeys Quintet on monday (reviewed below) and The Acoustics on tuesday. The Acoustics are Frank Vaganée (as), Kurt Van Herck (ts), Jos Machtel (b) and Martijn Vink (d), all of whom are members of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. If you enjoy acoustic jazz standards, it's worth your while, as these are top-flight players. They're also scheduled for november, with the Bruno Vansina Quartet taking over the monday slot. I have yet to hear Vansina, but drummer Teun Verbruggen tells me he's awesome.

On sunday 12th, there is a Anne Wolf (p) - Theo de Jong (b) duo. I don't know de Jong, but Anne Wolf is a melodic, emotional player, reminiscent of Michel Petrucciani and strongly influenced by Brazilian music. Her debut album with her trio, Amazone netted her a Django d'Or last year and features singer Marcia Maria on a few tracks. On the 26th, singer Yvonne Walter is accompanied by Mary Hehuat (b) and... Jef Neve (p). I've talked too much about Jef already recently (I'm starting to feel like a sycophant), so I'll leave it at that.

Beside these free concerts there are occasional paying concerts. In october, there is the Nathalie Loriers Trio on the 15th and the Harmen Fraanje Quartet. Nathalie Loriers isn't really my thing. I don't know Harmen Fraanje (how many times have I said that?), but the quartet features Nelson Veras, who's quartet I reviewed a few posts ago. Next month, two recommended concerts are those of the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet (on the 5th) and Bert Joris (tp) with Dado Moroni (p) (on the 19th). I've reviewed two of Bert's recent albums, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra's The Music of Bert Joris and Live with his own quartet.

Café Hopper
Leopold de Waelstraat, 2
2000 Antwerpen

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