Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rein De Graaff Trio with Gary Foster and Marco Kegel revive Tristano

Rein de Graaff Trio met Gary Foster en Marco Kegel in Porgy en Bess (Nederlands) - Rein De Graaff Trio with Gary Foster and Marco Kegel revive Tristano ( English)

Lennies Pennies Concert at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen.
REIN DE GRAAFF TRIO with GARY FOSTER and MARCO KEGEL revive TRISTANO
Hans Koert

Sunday afternoon the 7th of November, 2010 the Rein De Graaff Trio performed at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen ( in the southwest part of the Netherlands) with a program dedicated to the music of Lennie Tristano entitled Lennies Pennies. The Rein De Graaff Trio features Rein De Graaff at the piano, Marius Beets on double bass and Eric Ineke on drums. Guests this time the US alto saxophone player Gary Foster and his Dutch colleague Marco Kegel.
Rein De Graaff (Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Rein is fascinated by the music of Lennie Tristano since his very beginning as a jazz pianist. Ik heb me vroeger eens suf gestudeerd, toen ik wilde proberen met dezelfde lange lijnen als Tristano te spelen, zonder pauzes, zo snel mogelijk. ( = Long ago I studied on something silly, trying to play the same long lines as Tristano did, without intermezzos, as fast as possible.). One of the tunes, he loved to play like Tristano was All of Me, which Tristano played with Charlie Parker at an informal performance at home in 1951 and recorded on a private disc. Rein recorded this tune later as For Lennie and Lee on a 1976 Timeless record with Henk Haverhoek on double bass and Leroy Williams on drums.
Gary Foster ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Both Gary Foster as Marco Kegel are experts in performing the Lennie Tristano musical heritage and they played together more then 15 years ago in a similar program, dedicated to the music of Tristano. It's my fourth time in Holland, Gary told me before the actual concert, while observing the Porgy en Bess club. I'm glad to be here. I've never played here before, but I heard a lot about it. It's a famous place. I asked Gary: When did you visit Holland for the very first time? The first time I was in Holland was early 1990s when Rein asked me to play in a series of concerts with Lee Konitz. These series of concerts were part of one of Rein's famous Stoomcursussen in Bebop ( = a Bebop crash course) which he organized since the late 1980s with themes like Bird and Diz ( with Jarmo Hoogendijk and Charles McPherson) up to West Coast Jazz ( with Bud Shank and Bill Perkins) to list two on both ends of the alphabet. This series of concerts was dedicated to the music of Lennie Tristano too and labelled Out of the Cool. Marco Kegel ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen ( The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Rein invited for that series of concerts a young, talented alto saxophone player, 21 years old and still a student at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, an admirer of the music
of Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, to play next to the two nestors in Cool Jazz. You can imagine how this young saxophone player must have felt, beside those two giants on the alto saxophone. Hij wierp zich vol overgave op de Tristano composties die ik hem aanreikte ( = He set to work to learn the Tristano compositions I had selected) Rein writes in his book Belevenissen in Bebop. Tijdens het eerste concert ( At the first concert), Rein remembers, speelde Marco even goed als de jonge Konitz ( = Marco played as good as the young Konitz) - Complicated arrangements, where the old Konitz said about: You won't catch me doing that again! The second time, Gary continued, I was in Belgium in September 1994, when Rein contacted me. We recorded some Tristano tunes with the same group as today ( except Koos Serierse who was later replaced by Marius Beets and Eric Ineke on drums). Most of the tunes, we will play tonight too, like Subconscious-Lee, Dreamstepper and Lennie's Pennies. The last time I was in Holland was in 2003, I remember. I performed with the same band at the Bim-huis in Amsterdam I guess.
Gary Foster (Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
What about Tristano's music style, told by the experts? Tristano chose to work against rhythmical backgrounds which were foursquare, even bland, the better to emphasize his melodic and harmonic procedures. Actually, there is often as great a rhythmic variety in his playing as there is in that of the boppers, but it asks for the listener's very best attention. More obvious are his seemingly endless melodies, articulated via sequences of eighth-notes that go on and on; his block-chording and polytonality; and an almost surgical precision, which in some ways cools off the impact of his more shocking playing, while ensuring that it continues to sound fresh and undated.
(source: Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia)
Gary Foster ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Gary Foster is born in Leavenworth, Ks, May 1936 and learned to play the clarinet. He was a teacher before he actually began to play in the Clare Fischer band. He would stay with him almost his entire career. Gary is also a regular player in the To
shiko Akiyoshi orchestra. I told him that I met her in December 2001 in this club when she gave a solo concert dedicated to the music of Bud Powell. Oh yeah - Bud Powell, he smiles: She likes to play that. She sent me all albums I recorded with her - all 18 I guess. I'll see her next month - I'll say hello from from you - she's such a nice woman! I'd love to tell Gary that she probably won't remember me, but he's lost in thoughts: Lee is playing in Utrecht Do you know that? I have to find out. ( Lee Konitz gave a concert that evening with his New Quartet at the SJU Jazzpodium).
Marco Kegel ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Rein opened the first set with the Lee Konitz tune Subconcious-Lee, a great theme, which was recorded by Konitz and Tristano in 1950, followed by 317 East 32nd, with a great duet by the two saxophone players. During the concert both saxophone players expressed their talents in creating those very complicated melody lines; those weird accents and technical tour de force ( like circular breathing ) to play these complicated phrases; and the Tristano-gadget, playing two different melodies by two unaccompanied saxophones, like in Ablution.
Marius Beets and Eric Ineke ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Another typically element in Tristano's tunes, like in most bebop music, is the unison played theme of a tune played similary by two saxophones, like in Dreamstepper. It was great to learn that this hard to play music, seldom heard on this level, still has its followers, like our own Marco Kegel, who showed what a great alto saxophone player he is. Marco, who is a music teacher and who can be heard in bands like Simon Rigter's Saxology and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, surprised with his solos and craftsmanship on the alto. Why haven't I heard from him before? I hope to hear more of him. Gary surprised with a great ballad, entitled What's New and the concert was ended with Lennie's Pennies.
Marius Beets ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtrsy: Hans Koert)

The music of Lennie Tristano has its own group of admirers. Rein De Graaff and his Trio and guests learned in their tenth and last concert in Holland, that this music is still alive. Although the five men didn't copy Tristano note-for-note, it is great to hear this music played by men who know the ropes. Thanks Rein, King of Bebop, as Eddy labelled him in his word of thanks, for introducing us to those neglected and almost forgotten treasures in bebop.
Rein De Graaff, the King of Bebop ( Porgy en Bess - Terneuzen (The Netherlands)) ( November 2010) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The Rein De Graaff Nostalgia album has four tracks played by (almost) the same group with Gary Foster and Marco Kegel, but the recordings are from September 1994 ( Timeless CD SJP 429)

Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl



Years ago Rein De Graaff organized a small tour with US alto saxophone players Gary Foster, Lee Konitz and their young Dutch colleague Marco Kegel dedicated to the music of Lennie Tristano - Fifteen years later (almost) the same musicians gave a concert at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen, in the southwest part of The Netherlands with Gary Foster and Marco Kegel. The Keep Swinging blog enjoyed the concert and loves to share some impressions with you. If you won't miss any contribution, follow the Keep Swinging blog directly at Twitter: @KeepSwinging or ask its free newsletter.



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