If we don't play it - who else will play it?
VINCENT HERRING PLAYS IN PORGY EN BESS
The Vincent Herring Quartet performing at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen ( Southwest part of The Netherlands) last weekend, didn't know when to stop. In two lenghty sets of one and a half hour each, the band liked the place and the audience. Do you know why we do like Holland so much? It’s because it seems that more people talk English here, then in my place - Brooklyn NY, where I’m from. And he continued … Dutch women are beautiful and they seem all gathered here in Porgy en Bess. When a few Flemish women in the audience responded Vincent reacted to te point: Belgian women have their own qualities ...
Vincent Herring ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen March 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The Vincent Herring Quartet, also known as the Earth Jazz Agents, features Vincent Herring on alto- and tenor saxophone; Anthony Wonsey at the piano and Rhodes; Richie Goods on electric and double bass and, last but not least, the Austrian drummer Joris Dudli (born in Frauenfeld Switserland on the 8th of March, 1957 .... at the top of a mountain .... I've never understood where he learned to play on such a high level ... ). (Vincent Herring)
Joris Dudli ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen March 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Vincent Herring is one of today's most important voices of the jazz saxophone - the liner notes of one of his records reads. Born in Kentucky he moved to New York City when he was 18 years old and became a street musicians for a living. He impressed and was asked to play with Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey (1989), Horace Silver, Steve Turre, Cedar Walton and became a member of the Nat Adderley Quintet ( from 1987 up to 1993) as a substitute for Nat's brother Julian "Cannonball".).
His first recordings under his own name were in the mid 1980s entitled American Experience for Music Masters. His Earth Jazz Agents was founded five years ago and this band reflects a collage of musical influences thanks to the legends and peers he worked with (as his website reads). I was surprised to learn how much Vincent’s sound on the alto, was similar to that of the late Cannonball Adderley. And when I saw him on stage playing his saxophone for moments he looked like the icons of bebop: Charlie Parker (on alto) or John Coltrane (on tenor)
Anthony Wonsey ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen March 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Anthony Wonsey learned to play the piano at six from his mother who was a classical piano player. He graduated from Berklee and performed with numerous jazz musicians like Roy Hargrove, Carl Allen, Kenny Garrett and Nicolas Payton. When I asked him if he recognized the place, he didn’t: Have I been here before? Wow ... with whom did I play here? Anthony joined the Nicholas Payton Quintet ( featuring: Nicholas Payton - Tim Warfield - Anthony Wonsey - Reuben Rogers and Adonis Rose ) at the January 2001 concert in Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen. Well it must have been before nine eleven!! He suggested in that typically American way, which cuts history in two periods: before and after nine eleven …..
Richie Goods is responsible for the funky sounds in the band - He played both the electric bass as the "Porgy & Bass", initiated by Reginald Veal half a year ago. He played with great names like Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Mulgrew Miller and Alicia Keys, but also in the band Steps Ahead and the Manhattan Transfer. Together with Joris Dudli they form a solid base for the band. Joris Dudli, the Swiss born drummer, was a member of the well known Vienna Art Orchestra and the Art Farmer Quintet and he too played with dozens of great jazz names, like Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin and Joe Henderson ( to list some). Richie Goods ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen March 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
In the first set, which opened with the standard Sweet and Lovely, dedicated to all Dutch women, Vincent reminded that it was a special day today, because tomorrow, the next day, the 8th of March, Joris would celebrate his 53rd birthday ( We will have a coffee and a “Wurscht’ at a gas station, I guess ….” - so a good reason to perform Joris composition Tom Tom ( dedicated, quoting Vincent, to the portable GPS navigation system: Yesterday we had to play in Poland ..... Can you imagine how happy we are with it .....)
Vincent turned out to be a born narrator introducing the tunes: Never Forget, like most of the tunes played on their last album Morning Star, was inspired by a New York service Joris visited.( It kept him awake) and Never Forget, on which Richie Goods impressed with a groovy electric bass solo, was inspired by a forgotten shopping list. The first set ended with a tune by Joris Didli, entitled All That Pain, inspired by the relational problems musicians can have, when they come back home after a long tour ..... This tune is to be found on the 2007 album Plan A.
During the second set Vincent brought his tenor saxophone as well, but he only used in two tunes as he seemed to have problems with his reeds. It started with the Anthony Wonsey composition Yoko's Delight, which opened with a great piano solo by Anthony and Joris learned that he is a very powerfull drummer. The tune Pamela, another Anthony Wonsey tune, was dedicated to their tour manager Ben, who had to bring the members of the band that night to Bremen by car and the next day to Århus in northern Denmark for a one-nighter at the Jazzselskabet.
For the audience, from both sides of the border, The Vincent Herring Earth Jazz Agents concert was a great success and both Vincent Herring as Hans Zuiderbaan, the chairman of the club, promised to have the band scheduled next season ......... I'll be there. Share the music- don't copy it of course.... and maybe next year this venue will be jam-packed
The Blues is always about women and money: The three major subjects in blues lyrics are: 1. Your out of money. 2. Your wife left you or 3. You still have both, but your wife took it all ............ ( Vincent Herring). Enjoy the Keep Swinging blog and its weekly news letter: register.
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