Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chris Joris Experience new album: Marie's Momentum

Chris Joris presenteert nieuwe plaat: Marie's Momentum (Nederlands) Chris Joris Experience new album: Marie's Momentum ( English)

Like Art Blakey Chris creates the ideal circumstances for his bandmates to develop. CHRIS JORIS EXPERIENCE new album: MARIE'S MOMENTUM
Hans Koert

In Augustus 2010 Chris Joris and his Experience presented its latest album, entitled Marie's Momentum. The record contains a dozen tracks ( + two bonus tracks) recorded in June 2010 in Jazz Club De Werf in Bruges.

Chris Joris ( source: Chris Joris My Space)

The personnel on this record is, except the leader Chris Joris on percussion and piano ( two tracks), Frank Vaganée on alto and soprano saxophone, Nico Schepers on trumpet and flugelhorn, Free Desmyter at the piano and Axel Gilain on bass. Guest player is flutist and alto saxophone player Eric Person. The young Flemish vocalist Kimberly Dhondt is to be heard in one song.

Chris Joris, born in November 1953, was raised with classical music all around and studied piano and clarinet. His father was Jan Joris, a well known opera singer. During the mid 1970s he became interested in jazz and became fascinated by African music. He played with the late Johnny Mbizo Dyani, a South African bass player. One of his first records, Song For Mbizo, recorded in Bruges, July 1976, was with Johnny Mbizo Dyani on bass. In the early 1990s this album was reissued on cd with some extra tracks dedicated to the young bass player who passed away to early with Chris Joris on piano and percussion, Frank Vaganée, John Ruocco and Steve Houben on reeds, Bob Stewart, an American tuba player, Frans Van Der Hoeven on bass and Dré Pallemaerts on drums. Joris experimented with numerous African percussion-instruments during these early days and was fascinated by world music before others had discovered this kind of music. Chris was not the first one to experiment with these foreign rhythms and instruments: In Holland we had Han Bennink and in the US Don Ellis and Lloyd Miller. but Chris became the expert for Belgium - no doubt about that. He developed into the most important percussionist of Belgium and could play dozens of exotic percussion instruments from Africa and South America. He is a sought after session musician and accompanied great names like Richard Galiano and Ivan Paduart ( Illusions Sensorielles and Folies Douces), Bert Joris ( no relatives), John Ruocco and Philp Catherine. In 1997 the group Chris Joris Experience was founded, a quintet with often guest percussionists added and since that time he played on festivals like Middelheim with foreign guests like Eric Person and tuba player Bob Stewart. The former, Eric Person plays the flute and soprano sax on two bonus tracks on Chris' latest album. The Chris Joris Experience ( cd cover (Marie De Neve-Roland Legein))
Vocalist Kimberly Dhondt from Sint Niklaas ( a Flemish city between Antwerp and Ghent) sings a sensitive tune entitled Alfonsina Y El Mar. The tune is dedicated to the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni, whose remarkable death ( it is said that she commited suicide by walking into the sea, being disappointed in the death of her love) inspired Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna to compose a song. This famous song, Alfonisna and the Sea ( title in translation) has been sung by icons like Mercedes Sosa and Nana Mouskouri. Listen to the version of Kimberley Dhondt as sung on the album Marie's Momentum.

Chris Joris (photo courtesy: Wil. source: Chris Joris My Space)
For Marie's Momentum, Marie refers to his partner, Chris invited Belgian musicians to join him, like trumpet player Nico Schepers and saxophone player Frank Vaganée, who are regular members of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Free Desmyter, who has his own quartet and is part of the Ahoar Ensemble, a group that plays contemporary world music, plays the piano. Axel Gilain on bass and Chris Joris, of course, on drums and percussion. This album, Marie's Momentum, is more jazzy then his previous ones, which had more African musical influences. Most of the tunes are Chris Joris own compositions and Chris used several foreign percussion instruments like conga's, batas, a strong sounding hand drum, likembé, a thumb piano and the balaphone, a kind of wooden xylophone. The tune Mulatina opens with a great example of Chris craftsmanship, like in Green Thumb - part 2 where Chris opens with a complicated rhythm on drums. The latter seems to be a continuation of part 1 which ends abrupt, as if the needle jumps out of the groove!
A great recording with for me a first introduction to the music of Chris Joris, who is a skilled improvisator and, like one of his predecessors in bygone days. Art Blakey, the great band leader who offered a solid base for his band members to develop.
I hope to join one of Chris Joris' concerts soon. Next weekend the Jazz Brugge festival ( = Jazz Bruges) has been scheduled from Thursday the 30th of September up to Sunday the 3rd of October 2010, but Chris Joris is not part of the line ups. Don't worry - the festival offers a lot of great bands, like the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, the Enrico Rava Quintet and the Courtney Pine Quintet, I heard in Middelburg one and a half year ago with the program Transition in Tradition, a tribute to the music of clarinet player Sidney Bechet.
This Marie's Momentum cd can be ordered at the
Jazz Brugge website.

Hans Koert

Chris Joris is with his Experience one of the leading groups of Belgium for years. Years ago he became fascinated by the rhythms of Africa and South America and used it in his band in an era in which the name world music wasn't invented. His latest album, Marie's Momentum, recorded with Belgium jazz men only, is a pure jazz album and Joris creates with his rhythmical drive the ideal circumstances for his bandmates to develop. Keep Swinging listened to this album and reviewed it. If you don't want to miss any contribution, ask for its free newsletter.

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