Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rony Verbiest plays the Suite Colometa in Porgy en Bess

A tribute to the book La Plaça del Diamant ( translated as: The Times of the Doves) and the Spanish music.
Hans Koert

Rony Verbiest speelt de Colometa Suite in Porgy en Bess (Nederlands) Rony Verbiest plays the Suite Colometa in Porgy en Bess (English)

Rony Verbiest - is there a better way to spend a stormy Sunday afternoon ............? On the 6th of February, 2011 Rony Verbiest was scheduled with his new trio at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen, in the southwest part of The Netherlands. Niet zo bijzonder ( = Not so spectacular .) host of the club Hans Zuiderbaan put Rony's presence into perspective, Hij is hier kind aan huis (= He's one of the family). Rony was raised in Zelzate just across the Belgian border, only 20 kilometres south from Terneuzen, where he learned to play the accordion in the bar of his father, De Accordeonist. As a young adult he gave up the accordion temporary, and studied the saxophone and drums at the Ghent and Brussels Conservatories. He performed dozen times at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club and loves to drink a bolleke, a Belgian beer at Maja's bar.
Rony Verbiest ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Rony likes to surprise. He plays the baritone saxophone as easily as the accordion. A year ago he surpised
in Porgy en Bess with the Hopper Trio as the new Toots playing the chromatic harmonica; this times he brought his "new" trio, in which he plays the bandoneon featuring Hans Van Oost on guitar and Mario Vermandel on double bass.
Rony Verbiest ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The label "new" in the bandname, refers to a 1998 trio ( guitar - bass - accordion), featuring Hendrik Braeckman on guitar and Mario Vermandel on bass, which released the great album Ah Bah Joât. The latter, Mario Vermandel, can be heard in this "new" trio too.
Hans Van Oost ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The "new trio" performed the Suite Colometa, which was born out of an Antje De Boeck's performance at a Catalan night Passaporte, organized July 2008. The s
ource of this performance, a monologue, was the 1962 novel La Plaça del Diamant, translated in English as The Time of the Doves, written by Mercè Redoreda i Gurgui, who was born 100 years ago in 2008. Antje named her monologue Colometa, in fact Rodoreta's most favourite name for the novel and the Dutch name in translations. Rony Verbiest, Antje's partner, played the music during the intermezzo's and those fragments were the start for the Suite Colometa, which was presented in Porgy en Bess.
Rony Verbiest (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The trio performed the suite in a one-set concert - The lyrical sound of the bandoneon, mixed with the guitar and bass, was a suprise and the audience enjoyed it breathless. Het verhaal gaat over een meisje, Natàlia, die verliefd wordt op Quimet tijdens een feest op de Plaça Diamant in Barcelona ( = The story is about a girl, Natàlia, who fells in love with a young man Quimet during festivities at La Plaça del Diamant, the Diamant Square, in Barcelona.), Rony explains with a stony face, Liefde op het eerste gezicht (= Love at first sight). De jongeman stelt voor haar voortaan Colometa te noemen (= The young man suggest to call her Colometa), Rony begins to smile ..... Wat 'n onzin! Antje zou me nu eens moeten bezig zien; Ze zou niet meer bijkomen van het lachen. ( = What utter nonsence! Antje should see me now; She'd beyond of it with laughter). Laten we't verhaal maar laten horen! ( = Let's play the music!). Suite Colometa has various Spanish rhythms like the paso doble, that Spanish dance popular during the 1920s and 30s and the bolero, a 3/4th dance. The tune Signoria Nathalia is a waltz, which Rony dedicated to his colleague and friend Toots Thielemans. Ik heb het gewoon Toots hernoemd. (= I just renamed it as Toots).
Hans Van Oost ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Also the tango is part of the suite. The bandoneon, the tango and Argentina fit well together. Ik speel vaak met een hele goeie vriend, een gitarist, een Argentijn, maar hij zegt dat mijn tango's net die Argentijnse touch missen. (= I often play with a friend, a guitar player from Argentina, and he says that my tango's miss that Argentine flavor ...... ). He seems to be a bit enraged by it. Wel, ik was een beetje in mijn gat gebeten ( = Well, I didn't like that, of course) Rony continued in the local Antwerp dialect, so I composed myself a European tango, de Antwerpen Tango, the Antwerp Tango in proper English.
Mario Vermandel ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The audience got what it wanted -
great lyrical Jazz, or shall I say World Music or ....... never mind. Why should we have to label this music? Rony plays his own music - Rony is music. Did you know that he is named in one and the same breath with the great French accordionist
Richard Galliano? Both Mario Vermandel as Hans Van Oost showed that they knew how to handle this music and it was great to learn how the three musicians enjoyed playing it - the audience caught on and shared the enthusiasm of the men on stage. Isn't that great? - that's how each concert should be !!

The Rony Verbiest New Trio
will record this Suite Colometa early March and I hope to review its new record in this blog later.

Hans Koert
Rony Verbiest and his new trio are hard to label. He plays the paso doble, the tango ( The Antwerp tango - sorry 'bout that), the bolero or a waltz dedicated to Toots Thielemans with ease. Is it Jazz or world music .......? No, it's Rony - Rony Verbiest is music out-and-out, an artist pur sang. The New Trio played the Suite Colometa at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club with Rony on bandoneon - a tribute to the book La Plaça del Diamant ( translated as: The Times of the Doves) and the Spanish music. It surprised and Keep Swinging reviewed it. If you won't miss any contribution, follow the blog at Twitter or ask for its free newsletter.

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