When they make you feel it…the music that is…my first analogy would be: it’s like walking on air, or what you’d imagine walking on air would feel like. Or experiencing joy of a sudden because of a sound or thought that makes you smile…
As silly as it might sound, sometimes when I sit and listen to the jazz trio, 105 Lenz-Kubach-Johnson, it reminds me of the cartoons of Charles Schutz, and specifically two characters, Snoopy and Woodstock. When the two friends were together in good times, Snoopy dancing in his crazy, wonderful way and the little birdie, Woodstock, flying all around him? They visibly exuded pure joy, love, sharing, togetherness. Honest and true positivity. On Friday, 12 April, Uli Lenz, Gerhard “Kubi” Kubach and Zam Johnson brought that spirit to the WABE.
Located at 101 Danzigerstr. in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, Germany, a former municipal gasworks plant circa 1873, the WABE is a venue that is well laid out, convenient and intimate in a great way, for its auditorium may house up to 400 people, but its circular interior gives a great perspective for any guest.
Bar drinks don’t have inflated prices, and there are plenty of tables in its foyer to relax and visit with friends at during a program’s interim, yet because they have a video feed and screen in said space, you can see and listen to the action on stage even if you are away from your seat. You don’t have to miss a note. And believe me, with this trio? You don’t want to miss one, for each is lovingly rendered and produced.
Like the two older men who are long time followers, who I’ve seen at every event I attended, and who, Zam tells me, were musicians themselves in various orchestras and arrangements in Europe for over half a century, I never get tired of listening to or watching this trio. Their enthusiasm is infectious, their skill is great, and their professionalism is impeccable but unlike some musicians where such creates an aloofness or separation, this trio is warm and friendly.
They greet their guests like old acquaintances, and many are or have come to be. But whether or not, before or after their concert, you might be able to speak to one or all of them personally, the enormous appreciation they exude for your having come to see and listen to them can be felt. That’s an exceptionally special thing about 105 Lenz-Kubach-Johnson jazz trio besides their classic approach to modern jazz. When you want to experience the true meaning of love for the music, musician generated atmosphere and an individualistic yet collective flair of personalities that returns to combine in smooth jazz harmony? Go see 105 Lenz-Kubach-Johnson wherever they are, whenever you can. You’ll never be disappointed.
My personal plus photo? Even the bathrooms have class. This was the men’s. I can’t tell you about the ladies room.
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