XRIJF 2017 Picks: Jochen Rueckert Quartet, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Sunday, June 25th, 7:30 & 9:30 pm
NYC-based, German-born drummer Jochen Rueckert is bringing his working quartet with guitarist Lage Lund, bassist Orlando LeFleming and legendary saxophonist Mark Turner to Rochester for the festival. I’m thinking that the placement in the Nordic Jazz Now series is due to Norway-born and raised Lund (he moved to the states after high school), but Lund, Rueckert and the rest of the band are all denizens of the jazz scene in the Big Apple. Jochen is celebrating his 4th album from last year, Charm Offensive (affiliate link). The band has been touring for over seven years and as the bio on his site notes, as a result, have been “reaching greater depths of musical interaction as it continues to do so, proudly devoid of the mounting gimmickry and desperate festival-pandering observed in many of its peers.” While I believe that if you look hard enough, there are quite a few offerings at the XRIJF that don’t show that “desperate festival-pandering,” but that, listening to Charm Offensive, and the fact that I usually enjoy the programming at the Nordic Jazz series (and the great Lutheran Church of the Reformation venue) are the factors that draw me to make this a 2017 pick.