Sunday, January 31, 2010

take the A-TRANE

There are few things you can do on a Saturday night out with the family that involve getting home at 2:30 am. Apparently, hitting Berlin's best jazz club is one of them.

Last night, the A-trane was filled to the brim with jazz lovers anticipating the performance of Torsten Goods, one of Germany's leading young jazz guitarists. Goods can boast an impressive resumée despite his mere 28 years of age. During his studies, which he completed at the renowned New School University in NYC, Goods played with and learned from the likes of John Scofield, Jack Wilkins, Mike Stern, Peter Bernstein, Howard Alden, Frank Vignola and Les Paul. He was the only European finalist in the "Thelonious Monk Jazz Guitar Competition" in Washington (2005) and has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. As one of his biggest musical influences, Torsten Goods names the Grammy Award-winning American jazz musician George Benson, who also inspired Goods to sing along to his songs.

Instead of simply promoting his newest album "1980", the much-acclaimed jazz musician and his band presented a musical potpourri of jazz classics. Despite the dazzling effect that his silky-smooth vocals and virtuosic guitar playing had on the audience, Torsten Goods did not claim the limelight. He left plenty of opportunities for his band members to impress equally as much. The on-stage communication between Goods, Olaf Polziehn (piano), Christian von Kaphengst (bass) and Martijn Vink (drums) further illustrated how good live performances are the product of mutual respect, passion for music and of course, talent.

Surprise guest of the night: the much celebrated German trumpet player Till Brönner. While tickets to one of Brönner's concerts may internationally be priced at $40 or more, it is not uncommon for him to spontaneously stop by the A-trane for an on-stage jam session. Welcome to Berlin, baby!

top- Torsten Goods and band; bottom- surprise guest Till Brönner