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bein' green

North Sea Jazz hasn't been an exclusively jazz festival for a long time, expanding ever further into soul, funk, blues, world music and catch-all 'fusion'. By now, in its new and spacious home in Rotterdam, it's nothing surprising to see Paul Simon, Chaka Khan and George Benson headlining on the same evening.

Meanwhile the smaller stages yield such discoveries as Toto Bona Lokua, the global collaboration between Richard Bona (Cameroon), Gerald Toto (France/Martinique) and Lokua Kanza (Congo), with an African-Carribean sound and extended jamming reminding of Orchestra Baobab.

And then - to complete the NSJ spectrum - you stumble upon a solo performance by Dutch singer Leine, tucked away on a side stage and almost too fragile for its surroundings. Her own breezily soulful songs were complemented by an endearing rendition of the oft-covered Kermit the Frog classic 'Bein' Green'.

It's not that easy bein' green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It's not easy bein' green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I am green and it'll do fine
It's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be

(Watch the original Sesame Street version here.)

Update: NRC has a podcast with Leine.

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begone dull care

As a tribute to Oscar Peterson , here's a unique vizualisation of his legendary piano work: an abstract animation called ' Begone Dull Care ' (1949) by experimental filmmaker Norman McLaren . Synchronized to three pieces by the Oscar Pe… Read the full post »

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