Writer: Mathias Ruge
The world famous poet, filmmaker, jazz critic and cycling expert Jørgen Leth made a breathtaking appearance this Friday at Atlas.
Together with a very compelling lineup of talented jazz musicians from Reverse, Leth read poems from his lifelong career, tastefully accompanied by smooth and sensitive jazz tunes.
The project Jørgen Leth & Reverse made their first appearance at Jazzhouse, Copenhagen earlier this spring. This Friday Leth guested his birth town, Aarhus, a place where Leth discovered his own passion for jazz back in his high school days. As a student Leth was editor and founder of his own jazz magazine. More than 60 years has pasted since then, and now Leth himself stand on the stage at Atlas.
Jørgen Leth is known from previous spoken words collaborations with heavyweight talents as Adullah S, Jakob Bro and most notable Mikael Simpson and Fritjorf Toksvig from Vi sidder bare her. And this evening is not in lack of talent either; composer and drummer Terkel Nørgaard teams up with Søren Gemmer on piano and Jesper Thorn on contrabass. Together with Reverse, Leth returns to his own Jazz-universe with clear references to the sixties freejazz and inspirations from Leth’s own idols; Bud Powel, Duke Ellington and Ben Webster.
The interaction between a very enthusiastic Leth and the musicians works out perfectly in front of the listeners at the sold out venue. Leth’s poems are easily relatable and describing everyday situations and read with Leth’s underplayed humor. Throughout the first part of the two-hour long performance Leth takes us through most of his poetic catalogue, revolving around erotic, sports, jazz and everyday banalities, all tied up around Leth’s passionate persona. The second part of the set comes from Leth’s newest collection and revolves around the 2010 Haiti-earthquake, showing a more sensitive side.
The surprisingly young audience was impressive in numbers, and seemed to love all of Leth’s own-life anecdotes. All in all creating a great setting for the jazz’n’poetry event.