Monday, September 20, 2010

Hein Van de Geyn: Farewell Concert in Porgy en Bess

Hein Van de Geyn neemt afscheid van Porgy en Bess ( Nederlands) - Hein Van de Geyn: Farewell concert in Porgy en Bess ( English)

An impressive and emotional performance
Hans Koert

On Friday the 17th of September, 2010 Jack van Poll and his Three-Oh ( = trio), with Jack Van Poll at the piano, Hein Van de Geyn on bass and Hans Van Oosterhout on drums performed at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen in the southwest part of The Netherlands. According to the announcements, this would become a very special concert: Afscheidsconcert Hein Van de Geyn ( = Farewell Concert Hein Van de Geyn) the posters read .........
Hein Van de Geyn ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
A half year ago Hein Van de Geyn surprised the Dutch jazz scene announcing his move to South Africa. Hein Van de Geyn, leading bass player in Western Europe and beyond, stops as an active jazz musician to start a Bed & Breakfast near Capetown (South Africa). Hein told in an interview, entitled De knop moest om ( by Donata van de Ven), published in Draai Om Je Oren, that he had reached the stage for a new challenge ........

Hein Van de Geyn ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Born in July 1956 he can look back upon a 30 years career in jazz. He studied guitar at the Dutch Tilburg School of Music and at the Rotterdam Conservatory. In the mid 1970s, in his twenties, he changed to (bass) guitar and started to play in the South College Big Band and the Tilburg Big Band, before he started his own band, Jasses. In 1977 he won the 3rd price with this band at the Laren Jazz Festival competition ( and the award for the best soloist). When he had finished the Rotterdam Conservatory ( he became later its artistic manager) he moved to Belgium, England and the States and from that period his first records with Fred Raulston Quartet and the Bert Williams Rebirth, date - the earliest albums in a list of recordings with great names like Chet Baker ( with the Steve Houben Quartet (1984) - the Amstel Octet (1985) and the famous Tokyo Hitomi-Kinen-Kodo concert with "Johnny Inguls"(= John Engels) ( 1987). To make a complete list of names of known and less known jazz musicians he accompanied, would become too extensive and incomplete. My favourites, part of my record collection, are the duets with Pauline Van Schaik (Tenderly) (1999), the recordings with Toots Thielemans, John Abercrombie, Lee Konitz, Bert Van Den Brink and the recollection of the Chet Baker recordings by Fay Claassen, vocalist, in the roles of the "singing" and "trumpet playing" Chet. I still remember the great concert in Porgy en Bess January 2006.
Hans Van Oosterhout ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Hans Van Oosterhout, volgens mij is hij de jongste (= I think he must be the youngest one) Jack Van Poll suggested - Dat mag ik hopen (= I really hope so ...) Hans replied, is one of those sought after drummers to accompany artists like Toots Thielemans, Philip Catherine; performed in Hein Van de Geyn’s Baseline, Enrico Pieranunzi Trio, Bert van den Brink Trio, Vaya Con Dios and Mona Lisa Overdrive. He also accompanied Gino Vannelli and Dee Dee Bridgewater. He is, except a skilled percussionist, also a drum teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory.
Hein Van de Geyn ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
One of the records in my collection is the Jack Van Poll Tree-Oh in One, a 1986 recording with Jack Van Poll piano, Hein Van de Geyn on bass and Dre Palemaerts on drums. This trio was invited for this concert at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club, featuring Hein in his one-but-last concert in Holland on bass and Hans van Oosterhout on drums, instead of Dré Pallemaerts. During the intermezzo between the two sets I discussed with Katrien, a young Flemish bass player, who studied with Hein at a bass course last summer, that it is almost impossible to share feelings, the harmonies, the rhythm changes, the moments that make your flesh creep and the interactions between the musicians in a blog like this. Even with a hundred words you can't summarize it! It's too personal, too emotional, especially such a farewell concert like this. Although I had been very anxious to hear Jack Van Poll in concert, one of my first album was Hi-Jackin' from 1972 with Jack on bass (!) and Mary Hehuat on guitar, this concert was fully dedicated to Hein Van de Geyn, of course.
Jack van Poll ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Both men, Jack and Hein, know each other for years and it was a good idea to invite this trio for this final farewell concert. Jack Van Poll, born in November 1934, is active in jazz since the early 1950s when he played in Germany with musicians like Klaus Doldinger and Ingrid Hoffmann. He played in bygone days with great names like Dizzy Gillespie, Philip Catherine, Jimmy Witherspoon and Don Byas to name some. During the two sets they played standards like I Remember April, but also less known tunes like Suicide Is Painless, Jack recorded with Hein in 1986. During the second set Jan Verwey, who was in the audience, surprised on harmonica by joining the trio in one tune. In the mid 1950s Jack Van Poll moved to South Africa and had his own radio programs. Het schijnt dat ik Hein heb aangestoken ( = It seems that I have infected Hein). He described the local cultural level of the Dutch community in South Africa and illustrated it by playing Tulpen Uit Amsterdam (= Tulips from Amsterdam), maybe as a last, desperate attempt to make Hein change his mind .........
Hein Van de Geyn ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
But Hein didn’t made a hasty decision, the audience could learn - Hein played better than ever and, after their final tune, he played in parting a very impressive and emotional bass solo, which elected tears in numerous eyes and his Flemish colleague beside me only could say: Schoon Hans, zo schoon ..... ( = Beautiful, Hans, how beautiful!)
Hein Van de Geyn (Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
On the 22nd of September 2010 Hein's last album with Toots Thielemans and his European Quartet, entitled Live, will be released and presented at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and this presentation will be his last concert. ! ( But who knows? Maybe Hein can't do without his music for the world).
Hein Van de Geyn ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Parts of the day and the Porgy en Bess concert were recorded by Dutch television and will be broadcast tonight. Back stage Hein showed us his great, five months old daughter Lulu and his young wife Cyrille. The little baby slept on the couch, with her hands on the blanket - large hands, comparatively speaking, or is this mere fancy? Hein - all the best for you and your young family ...... and thanks for the music!!

Hein Van de Geyn stops playing ............ Forever! This announcement, a half year ago, came as a real bombshell. Last Friday Hein said farewell to the audience of the Porgy en Bess club in Terneuzen ( south west part of The Netherlands) where he has performed so many times. It seemed as if he played better than ever ... At this farewell concert in the small intimate Porgy en Bess club he impressed with an emotional solo at the end of the concert. Later this week he will take formal leave to the Dutch jazzscene with a concert at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. Thanks Hein for the music! Keep Swinging loves to share great moments in jazz - if you don't want to miss it, ask for its newsletter.

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