Martin Longley opts for power electronic cosmic jazz and Senegalese mbalax

I first visited the Enjoy Jazz Festival in 2017 and have returned every year since, in 2021 and 2022 towards the end of the festival each year. It's not a habit, because the festival spans such a long period (about six weeks, one concert per evening, sometimes more) that choosing a time to visit can be a painful experience. Which time period should one choose? Should the journalist arrive near the beginning or right in the middle? In the end, I settled on a lineup that included The Comet Is Coming, Makaya McCraven, Joel Ross and Youssou N'Dour. The first three have toured frequently, but it's been three or four years now since I've experienced their skills. It's been much longer since I've experienced a show by N'Dour, one of Africa's foremost stars. Focusing on the content of his debut album Garden Path, electronic artist Christof Keller has a sense of the unknown. The performance will feature Keller's own modular synthesizer bank, flanked by bass clarinet, piano, keyboards, guitar and drums. I have chosen - as also an admirer of symmetry - a time span that includes two concerts in each of the festival's hometowns, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg. I am happy with my choice of calendar!

English journalist Martin Longley writes for Downbeat, Jazzwise, Songlines, All About Jazz, The Brooklyn Rail and others.