Saturday, 24 November 2012

An Incredible Funk Night in Ghetto İstanbul with Nils Landgren Funk Unit

My expectations were high. I was sure that the man with the red horn and his unit would fill the hall with their energy soon after they took place on stage. However, frankly, it was not on my mind that they caught the tension of the audience this much successfully and could stay on stage this much long although they have another concert for the following day in Tblisi. This is between you and me, I have said to Nils “It is in my dreams to listen the solo performance for Ack Du Warmland Du Skona in the album 1997 Live in Montreux at least once in my lifetime lively from you some time before the concert. The tension in the concert were so high that I thought that he could not manage to insert this silent solo performance into the playlist. Fortunately, I was wrong again. After the encore, as the last performance, he performed it for me and rest of the audience and took a memorable place in my heart.

The personel in the concert was very similar to the last album’s. Nils Landgren (trombone, vocal) Magnum Coltrane Price (bass, vocal), Jonas Wall (woodwinds, back vocal) Sebastian Studnitzky (rhodes, trumpet, back vocal), Robert Mehmet Ikiz (davul, back vocal). Magnus Lindgren and Andy Pfeiler could not join the concert in İstanbul. We have seen Mattias Torell on guitar, whom I met at Ida Sand’s concert. I can say that they generally played from their last album, however I should add that they sometimes went back even to 1997. Especially, the performances of Funk for Life from last album and Ain’t Nobody from 1997 Live in Montreux have caught the audience. Since Esbjörn Svensson was a member of the unit once upon a time ago before his depressing passing away,  his composition Six Beauties on a Rooftop is also performed. The harmony between Mehmet İkiz, Mattias Torell and Magnum Coltrane Price was incredible. The fact that Mehmet is usually playing with Mattias Torell in Ida Sand’s concerts has a certain contribution in this harmony. For trombone, we found the chance to listen to the one of the best living trombone players, Nils Landgren. Jonas Wall was certainly more than what I expected in saxophone. They usually used loop machine with Nils Landgren. The effect used by Magnum Coltrane Price to reach deeper bass and his rap vocal performance through the end was noteworthy. The solo performance of Mehmet İkiz at the end of a piece was memorable. The band is recalled to the stage several times by the audience. It was nice that Mehmet came to stage alone and triggered the audience for ovation by shouting the name Nils. I really wonder the capacity of 56-year-old Nils Landgren’s lungs, considering the last solo performance that I have mentioned in the begining. (In this solo performance that he does sometimes, he starts to play a traditional Swedish tune first, then rises the tension by a funk rhythm which even includes some partitions from Smoke on The Water of Deep Purple. Then he starts to disassembly his trombone at the middle while he is still playing. First the bell is removed and Nils gets closer to the microphone with the rest of the instrument. Then the rest is removed leaving just the mouthpiece in Nils’ mouth. At last, Nils starts to perform with just his mouth. He even puts some rhythm in his performance with a sound he created by detaching the main slide from the tunning slide. Then again from the beginning the trombone is assembled and Nils makes the end by the same traditional tune with a complete trombone.)

The interest of the audience in the musicians were intensive also after the concert. I am not sure but I suppose many CDs are sold last night. Nils Landgren has signed his autograhps for a long time. I have told Nils Landgren that I really would like to help for a concert in Ankara to be organized and I would do my best for this. We have talked about the following Christmas with My Friends concerts in Germany. As a last word before saying bye to the musicians I said “Do not be surprised if you see me among the audience in Germany Nils” and he answered me “It may be, I believe, because you are crazy”.

As a summary, November 23rd night was an incredible night that is full of good musicians. I hope the audience in İstanbul and the band think so and we can listen to them soon again.

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