Live at Montreux!

‘Bring yourself, a passport, and hand luggage’ were my instructions. So of course, my first questions is well ‘what do I pack, what’s the weather’? Immediately followed by ‘wait, don’t tell me I’ll pack everything’. My surprise birthday destination was Amsterdam, and on the final eve of my soiree MD seemed particularly anxious about making the flight home and insisting I get a good sleep. Everything went smoothly and when we sat ourselves down on the Heathrow Express, MD confessed to his last birthday surprise- a concert that evening. As excited as I was, I still didn’t understand the rush until we got off at the next terminal and he added the teeny tiny detail of ‘it’s in Montreux’.

My grandfather was a jazz pianist, and I’ve always found a musical affinity with Jazz and Blues, learning that MD was a fan of the same genre was one of the (many) things that attracted me to him. So a trip to the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival was very exciting indeed! We turned up to our hotel, were offered a courtesy room upgrade and could already hear the rhythms and melodies from the main stage outside. It’s quite the insular compound, all of the action is concentrated on a tiny bit of land bordering the emerald coloured lake. Just lying in the hotel room and listening to the live music was fantastic. Unfortunately it rained most of the time and there were no food highlights. The area is dotted with street food stands such as burgers and burritos. The best thing we ate was a confit duck baguette, a bit greasy but very satisfying.

In the evening we saw the Neil Cowley Trio, who were brilliant. A pianist, a bassist and a drummer, they play with volume and intensity as much as chords and notes, flourishing minimalist harmonies with jazzy skits. Listen to ‘Louder…Louder…Stop!’ for an idea of their sound.  The pictures below show off the stunning scenery of Lake Geneva.

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