Kneipenbühne, Oberweiling

In two weeks, the 25th season of the Oberweiling stage comes to an end.
Proprieters Hanne and Golly can look back at a quarter century of successful cultural
events, including nearly a thousand concerts offering many incomparable highlights.
One of these, which took place last Saturday, will not easily be topped.
The two world class musicians, Andrea Wolper and Ken Filiano, who started
their European Tour at Oberweiling, were in their best form, despite suffering a bit of
jetlag. The sympathetic singer and her partner, both of whom had appeared at New
York’s Downtown Music Gallery just a few days before, commented that with the
warm reception they received at the sold out Kneipenbühne, their tour was off to a
great start.
Unfortunately, the announced guitarist Ron Affif was prevented from being at
the concert, and on short notice was replaced by the Berlin pianist Sebastian
Schunke, who kept up courageously. Special guest Dieter Weberpals, from
Nürnberg, added spots of flute colours.
The program presented mainstream vocal jazz without fear of crossing
borders into other styles of music. In addition to some of Andrea’s own
compositions, there were covers of pop music classics such as Joni Mitchell’s Be Cool.
In this tune especially, Filiano demonstrated the range of possibilities for the double
bass; one could feel almost physically why he has earned such a fine reputation and
is one of the most sought-after bassists in New York.
Wolper’s voice was simply fantastic, and she bowled over the audience,
whether in perfect stylistic interpretation of a slow, lyrical blues, or in her amusing
arrangement blending Van Morrison’s Moondance with Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice
To Come Home To, from the 1943 film Something To Shout About.

Wolper demonstrated how multi-faceted vocal jazz can be, with her
composition for text from the American poet Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, in
which she improvised freely and with fragile, elf-like beauty. Her ability and
interpretation strongly reminded one (and at moments reached the same level as),
the New York vocal artist David Moss (as a soloist in Heiner Goebbles Surrogate
Cities, a vocal wonder of the world).

With a declaration of love for the Oberweiling organizers and the audience,
Wolper sang, “Wish I knew why I’m so in love with you,” lyrics from Save Your Love
For Me, introduced originally by Nancy Wilson.
To be allowed to experience such a nice thing—Hanne and Golly were
rewarded for their courage in presenting something so extraordinary, and this should
provide them with the impetus to carry on at this level.

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