Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2013 – A jazz festival that still concentrates on jazz
By Mitch Myers

“The Valby Summer Jazz folks were busy as well, showcasing their driving force, Danish saxophonist Benjamin Koppel, and his family, often aided and abetted by pianist Kenny Werner. Valby also presented the Cookers, featuring the veteran lineup of Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, Billy Hart, David Weiss, Cecil McBee and George Cables.

Koppel’s own performance with Joe Lovano was quite special, as it was the international premier of the Joe Lovano & Benjamin Koppel Mezzo Sax Meeting. The Danish-invented mezzo-saxophone is a new instrument; Koppel acquired the first one and then a much-enamored Lovano got the next, hence their new-sax concerto supported by Kenny Werner, drummer Audie Kieve and Swiss master bassist Palle Danielsson.

Fellow Berklee-alum George Garzone was in the audience and after the second set Lovano, Garzone and Kenny Werner invaded the Mikkel Hess Spacelab jam at CafeScenen. First, just Garzone and Werner were onstage and then Lovano sat down at the drums and stayed there—along with Danish bassist Anders “AC” Christensen—for a long, amazing jam session that concluded with Werner doing a solo rendition of “You Must Believe In Spring.””

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Photo: Jannick Knudsen