Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rubbish under the Christmas Tree: Hypochristmastreefuzz

Rubbish under the Christmas Tree: Hypochristmastreefuzz (English) Troep onder de kerstboom: Hypochristmastreefuzz (Nederlands)
( To A (selected) Benjamin Herman Discography.)
Rubbish under the Christmas Tree: Hypochristmastreefuzz
Benjamin Herman and the Itch Quartet Live at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008.
Hans Koert

On the cover of the latest Jazzism magazine, one of the leading Dutch glossy jazz magazin
es, you can find a picture of Benjamin Herman who shows his latest Edison award, subtitled with the slogan: Hebbes, which could be translated as Got It! He received it for his album Campert - De tijd Duurt Eén Mens Lang, dedicated to the Dutch writer and poet Remco Campert. It's not
his first Edison award, but the third one. The first one was for the album BIG with the New Cool Collective (2000) and the second one was for his album Heterogenity (2005), made in cooperation with Misha Mengelberg. The Edison award is one of the eldest music awards in the world (the Grammy is only one year older) and the most important one for the Dutch music scene since 1960.The music for the Campert album was in fact used for a documentary around this author, augmented with some extra music to create a complete album.

Benjamin Herman ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen - December 2008) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Benjamin Herman has released a new album, titled Hypochristmastreefuzz which is dedicated to the music of Misha Mengelberg, the Dutch eminent grise on piano, master in improvisation, who started his career in the 1960s in the free jazz circuit. He developed into a unique composer in contemporary jazz. The album was released on the first of December 2008.
Anton Goudsmit ( Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
Last weekend, the 21st of December 2008, Benjamin Herman performed with his quartet in the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen in the south west part of The Netherlands. This concert, the last jazz concert for 2008 scedulded in this popular club, was complete dedicated to the music of Misha Mengelberg and for the musicians the final concert in a lengthy series of promo concerts. Benjamin Herman, who plays the alto saxophone, Anton Goudsmit on guitar, bass player Ernst Glerum and drummer Joost Patocka threw a party on stage before a mixed audience of different ages -
from young ( 5 years) to not so young anymore (70-plus).
Ernst Glerum ( Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
In the first set, which opened with the tune Een Beetje Zenuwachtig (= A Bit Nervous), a typically Misha Mengelberg composition from the 1960s, which started as a sound check and developed to a swinging tune with a steady drive, contained several tunes from the new album like No Idea and De Sprong O Romantiek Der Hazen (=The Romantic Jump Of Hares), but also tunes from his popular album The Itch: Do The Roach, Arachibutyrophobia, about a rare peanut butter allergy and the Doris Day tune, made famous on a Columbia Record by the Harry James Orchestra in 1951, titled Would I Love You Love You Love You.
Joost Patocka ( Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
In the second set Ernst Glerum (he really has a great sound) surprised with a great bass solo in Rollo III and Piet Noordijk was honoured in Misha's composition Blues After Piet. Beiden hebben me persoonlijk verzekerd dat er echt geen ruzie was, ( = Both told me personally that there were no arguments), Benjamin blabs, referring to the controversial split in the Misha Mengelberg / Piet Noordijk Kwartet in early 1967 that set Misha and Piet at odds with each other. In Kwela P Kwana Misha honoured the late South African alto saxophone player Dudu Pukwana; the alto player with the great sound, with this humoristic composition. In Brozziman, a two-tones composition, Misha honoured the German saxophone player Peter Brötzmann, still alive, Joost Patocka googled for the latest information behind his drum set, an icon from the free jazz 1960s period, with his rough tone imitated by Benjamin in a great way.
Anton Goudsmit ( Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
In Arm Wiel (= Poor Wheel), Misha made a bluesy tune about a thuiskomertje, a small spare wheel and, last but not least, the title song, the breath-taking Hypochristmastreefuzz, a composition Misha made for Eric Dolphy and played at the VARA radio program of the 2nd of June 1964, which would become famous as Dolphy's Last Session, as he passed away at the end of June 1964. The titled means, as Misha explained to Michiel De Ruyter, Troep onder de kerstboom, which can be translated as Rubbish under the Christmas tree. Thanks to Herman I think I should discuss this great "last" Eric Dolphy session in one of the coming blogs. The concert was finished with an improvisation to the tune C.C. Rider, made famous by Elvis Presley and played, referring to the title, in the key of C.
Ernst Glerum ( Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen (The Netherlands) - December 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
This concert by the Benjamin Herman Itch Quartet was the final concert of a series of jazz concerts for 2008 in the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen - concerts with great names as Roy Hargrove ( he also will make his appearance next year), Monty Alexander, John Marshall, Pierre Courbois, Rein de Graaff with Pete Christlieb and Jeff Hamilton. You can find my complete list of concerts in the concert log for 2008.


More pictures from the concert

A (SELECTED) BENJAMIN HERMAN DISCOGRAPHY.
Benjamin Herman is to be found on numerous albums with his own groups, but also with bands like the New Cool Collective and as an accompanist for dozens of jazz musicians. I found an (incomplete) list made by the Muziek Centrum Nederland which contains the most important albums made under his own name and with the New Cool Collective

Keep swinging

Hans Koert


keepswinging@live.nl

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