Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The secret of Mrs. Hartloper.


I found a very interestic article in the new Jazz Bulletin of the Dutch Jazz Archive called "Het geheim van mevrouw Hartloper" ( The secret of mrs. Hartloper ).

For those people who have never heard of Mrs. Hartloper - she was for three years the landlady of Ben Webster during the second part of the 1960s when Ben lived in Amsterdam at the Waalstraat 77. She became famous for her part in Johan van der Keuken's 1967 film Big Ben: Bew Webster in Europe. The documentary, which is one of my favorites, shows all day life Ben drinking his snifter, playing his licks accompanied by his gramophone and filming the baboons in Artis, the Amsterdam zoo.

Mrs. Hartloper plays her part as a tender housewife, nearly like a mother for Ben, communicating with him in a very special mix of the Dutch and English language. A very famous quote of her, transcribed from the film, is: Voor that you out gaat, you eerst eten? Manger? Five o'clock? Half six? Oh so late !

Jeroen de Valk, who wrote a book about Ben, reveals the secret of Mrs. Hartloper. Why did she behave like that and what was her story?

more later

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