In Memoriam Hans Koert - by Georg Lankester
|Hans Koert (1951-2014)|
Holland has lost a great jazz specialist and a warm person
On September 4, 2014 the sad news arrived that Hans Koert, at the age of 63 years, passed away in his residence Heinkenszand (Holland) after a serious disease.His decease is a sore loss for all those who are really interested in jazz and related music, because Hans – apart from his profession as a teacher – was a dynamic publicist/collector and always well-informed about both the historical and contemporary jazz.
First of all Hans’ great passion for guitarist Oscar Alemán should be mentioned. Not only did he possess the complete collection of Alemáns’ recordings, but he knew every detail about the artist and even maintained contact with his relatives in Argentina..
As an homage Hans released an extensive discography on Oscars’ records in 2002..
Next there was his “Hit of the Week” project (creation of a digital file of the old flexible ‘Durium’ records from the years 1930/32). Hans completed this huge project in 2011 whereby all recordings were issued on four double CDs.- the first complete discography ever.
However, Hans’ activities became widely known when he started to release regulalrly weblogs from 2006 under the name “Keep (it) Swinging”. These detailed blogs both in Dutch and English included info on Oscar Alemán, ‘Choro’ (Music from Brazil) and ‘Hits of the Week’.
Later these blogs were followed by interesting publications on jazz artists and bands, of both traditonal or contemparary origin and also reports on special concerts were released.
The blogs included many photos (Hans was also an excellent photographer and always had an eye for well chosen pictures to accompany the texts) and often rare audio fragments of historical value were inserted to complete the texts. By releasing English translations as well, “Keep (it) Swinging” received international attention and feed-back. In total more than 2000 blogs were published and one can imagine how much work this must have represented. The last few years also digital Newsletters have been published.
I worked together with Hans for my publications on the pre-WW2 French jazz and our contact was always pleasant and full of humour. During a visit to his home it was impressive to find so many reference books and records. I also remember that we both attended that unique concert which was given to celebrate the 100 years’ anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth.
Through my frequent exchange with Hans, I came into contact with Jorgen Larsen from Denmark.with whom I alo cooperate in jazz projects. Over the years Jorgen and Hans made and issued blogs together. That’s why Hans, prior to his passing away, asked Jorgen to continue his project, so fortunately “Keep (it) Swinging” will live on.
I shall miss Hans, not only beause of his great knowledge of jazz, but as a friend.and I wish his wife, Corrie, much strength in these difficult times. But with me, many others will always remember Hans with great respect.