Monday, March 01, 2010

Rein De Graaff meets Conte Candoli and Bob Cooper

Rein de Graaff meets Conte Candoli and Bob Cooper ( English) Rein de Graaff ontmoet Conte Candoli en Bob Cooper ( Nederlands)
The Westcoast Wailers tour (1993)
Hans Koert

Last year a new album by the Rein De Graaff Trio was released: a "new" album, with "dated" recordings from two legendary west coast musicians, Conte Candoli (1927- 2001) and Bob Cooper (1925-1993). Both musicians came to Europe to join the Rein De Graaff Trio in a small tour labeled as the West Coast Wailers.

Timeless CDSJP479

Bob Cooper had been in The Netherlands in the previous year to play with the Metropole Orchestra together with Bud Shank, which was released on an album titled A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing. Conte also visited Holland in 1992 during the same period performing with his brother Pete with the North Sea Big Band. Rein De Graaff, a self-taught piano player with an impressive career, invited, during the late 1980s up to now, US musicians for short tours along Dutch and Belgian venues. Rein De Graaff Trio with Conte Candoli & Bob Cooper ( early 1993): f.l.t.r. Rein De Graaff - Bob Cooper - Conte Candoli - Koos Serierse - Eric Ineke ( photo courtesy: Anko Wieringa)

In January - February 1993 Bob Cooper and Conte Candoli joined the Rein De Graaff Trio, featuring Rein at the piano, Koos Serierse bass and Eric Ineke drums. On the first of February, 1993 a concert for the Dutch KRO radio networks, was recorded by producer Lex Lammen in the top restaurant of the studios in Hilversum (The Netherlands) and has now, more then fifteen years later, been released by Timeless Records. The album Thinking of You contains seven tracks. f.l.t.r.: Koos Serierse - Eric Ineke - Conte Candoli - Rein De Graaff and Bob Cooper. (early 1993) ( photo courtesy: Anko Wierenga)
Both Bob as Conte played together in the
Stan Kenton Orchestra since the late 1940s and they are recorded at several broadcasts during this period. During the 1950s and 60s both men still played together in the Kenton band and in the Howard Rumsey Lighthouse Orchestra - large extensive groups which makes it hard to identify their contributions ..... Thanks to Rein both musicians are recorded now in a small session.
The Bob Cooper-Conte Candoli Quintet ( June 1993) (VSOP #93)

It is great to compare these Hilversum recordings with the Bob Cooper - Conte Candoili Quintet ( feat. Bob and Conte in the front line with Ross Tompkins at the piano, John Leitham at the bass and Paul Kreibich drums) VSOP release showed above. It would become one of Bob Cooper's last recorded concerts at the Hyatt Newporter club in Newport Beach (Ca) six weeks before he passed away. As far as I have found, it is the only known recording, except the Rein De Graaff Trio release of course, where they play together in such a small setting. Maybe the Hyatt Newporter session was a continuation from the Rein De Graaff concept bringing these two giants of Westcoast jazz together. Fact is that several tracks are equal on both albums: We'll Be together Again, Gillespie's Ow!, and the title tune Thinking of You. To be honest ........... I like the Rein De Graaff Trio session more then the ones recorded in Newport Beach ......... but, okay ...... , the cover of the VSOP # 93 is more funny ...... 1 - 1 Koos Serierse. (photo courtesy: Koos Serierse)

What I like from live recordings are the extensive solos and the tunes are never limited to the ordinary 3 to 5 minutes playing times. This gives the band the opportunity to develop the tune in all its aspects. On this Rein De Graaff album most tunes have an average of 10 minutes playing time. It is hard to tell what tunes are favorite: .... Maybe We'll Be Together Again with a great role for Bob Cooper. He has a strong Lesterian sound I like very much. Conte Candoli, who's ancestors are from Italy, is great in a muted trumpet solo in Loverman .........

Rein De Graaff (2007)
I don't know why these recordings have been unissued for such a long time, as it is, in my opinion, one that belongs to the best in Rein's series of Stoomcursus Bebop ( = translated in the liner notes as: Crash Course Bebop) labeled as the Westcoast Wailers; Maybe it tells something about the rich Wim Wigt archive still untouched in his basement. Let's hope it opens the door more often in the near future ..... Try to get your self a copy - it's available at Timeless Records.

Hans Koert

Rein De Graaff, born in Groningen October 1942, is rather unknown outside The Netherlands, and that is undeserved. He led his own groups since the late 1950s. His Rein De Graaff trio, featuring Eric Ineke on drums and Koos Serierse on bass ( for the last decade: Marius Beets) started in the 1980s up to now accompaning American musicians visiting Europe for its Stoomcurssusen Bebop tours .......... If you love to learn more about these concerts by Rein De Graaff and his men, you should visit this Keep Swinging blog. If you don't want to miss any contribution, please register and you'll receive its weekly news letter.

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