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Sunday, 13 June 2010

Idstein Jazz Festival

Today we went to Idstein, famous for a number of reasons, not least being the burning of 167 "witches" in the 16th Century, but more recently famous as a centre for Jazz each year in June. It is a wonderfully preserved medieval town, the buildings beautifully preserved, the timers decorated with carvings and bright paint, cobbeled narrow streets, now pedestrianised, and a number of open squares - once market spaces - where large stages can be erected and the various bands perform without clashing.

Ever heard Jazz played on Alipine Horns? No, neither had I until today, and it was a fabulous sound. The range of these massive "Horns" in the hands of a skilled player (Or probably rather, under his lips) is absolutely amazing and so is the fact that they can play a full cromatic scale, though it beats me how they do so without any valves!

One of the best performances we heard was the "Junge Big Band der Musiek Fruende Idstein". The trombone quartet was beautifully balanced by the trumpoets and the full range of saxophones, bass, drums and keyboard. They did a number of "traditional" jazz numbers including Tuxedo Junction and a whole range of other great numbers. The finally had the trombones showing off - a great way to end a session.

We left after the Alpine Horn trio after a very pleasant afternoon and some fine ice cream (Mine was a Walnuss Becher! Diet starts tomorrow...) to get to the evening Mass at our church in Wiesbaden, the Old Catholic Parish of the Freidenskirch. A great way to end a really good day.

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