Leo Genovese Trio and guests perform at the Passau Jazz Festival at Cafe Museum on 25 July 2023. This review provides an insight into their performance and the unique blend of musical styles showcased on stage.
A Summer of Jazz in Passau
Starting right after the Inntöne Festival, the local energy moves along the road to Passau for its own summer jazz festival running through to the end of August. It kicks off with an impressive opener: Leo Genovese, the Grammy winner for Best Solo on Wayne Shorter’s final album, Live in Detroit.
Leo Genovese: Diverse Pianist Extraordinaire
Genovese has played with various musicians such as Christine Tobin, Phil Robson, Leni Stern, and trumpeter Franz Hackl. For the Passau Jazz Festival, he performs with his own trio featuring Italian bassist Francesco Marcocci and Macedonian drummer Aleksandar Petrov. Although the trio hasn’t played much since their album release five years ago, they deliver a powerful setlist ranging far and wide.
A Cosmopolitan Trio
The trio’s cosmopolitan roots shine throughout their performance. Petrov showcases his tapan, a traditional frame bass drum, adding a unique touch to the concert. Genovese leads the audience on a journey of virtuoso runs balanced against bluesy sophistication, allowing the other instrumentalists to display their talents. Their repertoire includes tunes that blend Genovese’s Argentinian heritage with a Balkan twist, like ‘Macedonsko.’
The Anonymous Quintet: Bridging the Gap
For the second set, the trio is joined by Heinrich von Kalnein on tenor and soprano saxophones, and Winfried Hackl on recorders, creating “The Anonymous Quintet.” The combination of these musicians demonstrates how the gap between today’s jazz attitude and Renaissance music is infinitesimal. The Anonymous Quintet performs a mix of Renaissance music and newer compositions by von Kalnein and Genovese, with the recorder adding a unique timbre to the usual jazz formation.
A Musical Journey
The repertoire includes a saltarello and original compositions by von Kalnein, a prominent figure in the Austrian jazz scene who was featured as a leader of one of the “Commissioned Works” headliners at jazzahead! this year. The intimate setting of Cafe Museum allows the audience to experience one of the best pianists out of New York on the venue’s red Steinway.
In Passau, not only do three major European rivers converge, but a diverse array of musical currents come together in a harmonious blend, creating a truly unforgettable experience.