Friday, November 19, 2010

Chris Beckers latest album: Seven Frames of Mind

Chris Beckers nieuwste album: Seven Frames of Mind (Nederlands) - Chris Beckers latest album: Seven Frames of Mind ( English)

Fusion Jazz

Hans Koert

Chris Beckers' latest album, Seven Frames of Mind, has been released more then a year ago. For this album Chris invited several guest musicians, like Eric Vloeimans, Jasper van't Hof, Tony Lakatos, Hermine Deurloo, Mike del Ferro, Deff Cramer and Marcel Serierse.

Chris Beckers - Seven Frames of Mind ( CrusCrazz CCR 050) (cover design: Juergen Wanger)

The rhythm section is one of the best of the American Westcoast music scene, CrisCrazz says and contains the US bass player Jimmy Haslip, who was one of the founders of the group The Yellowjackets and the drummer, Simon Philips, former percussionist of Toto. Both men are well known musicians in the US pop scene.

Seven Frames of Mind is a real fusion album. Fusion became popular in the 1970s thanks to trail-blazing albums like Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew and by musicians like Chick Corea with his Return For Ever band; Herbie Hancock, who made some great fusion albums like Headhunters and Thrust; Other bands who became known for its fusion-sounds were Weather Report and guitarist John McLaughlin with his Mahavishnu Orchestra. This kind of music is still very popular and I’m sure a lot of young jazz fans will love this record, because of its danceable rhythms. The rhythm section is a very solid one and was recorded separately in the US at the Simon Phillips' Phantom Studio in Los Angeles. The rest of the music was recorded in the Beau Garage Studio in Amsterdam. Finaly the album was mixed by Chris Beckers and entitled Seven Frames of Mind. Chris Beckers ( photo: )

Chris Beckers was born in Laren, a village in the centre of The Netherlands, but moved in the 1960s with his family to the Ruhrgebiet in Germany. As a teenager he became fascinated by the so-called progressive music of legends like Jimi Hendrix. After he had left school, he married and moved with his family to the northern part of Germany where he became a member of the Backwater Blues band. During the 1980s he started to play jazz and performed in The States with musicians like Ernie Watts, Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine and Jimmy Haslip. In 1980 his first album, Blue Motions, was released ad since that ones he made a dozen albums under his own name up to this latest: Seven Frames Of Mind (2009).
The album Seven Frames of Mind contains eight tracks, all Chris Beckers compositions or arrangements. In fact all tunes were originally born as improvisations, themes and rhythms created by Chris on his guitar and arranged with his guests. As written before Chris invited leading jazz musicians, like Hermine Deurloo, who plays the chromatic harmonica, member of the Willem Breuker Kollektief, ( since a few months without Breuker), in a bluesy theme entitled Tosca. Jasper Van't Hof, active in the Dutch jazz scene since the 1970s, plays the keys in the title tune Seven Frames of Mind and in Wallsend ( aka Paul’s Blues), a ballad if you like, he plays a great piano solo. For me Golfjes, subtitled Dance of the River, is the one I like most. Eric Vloeimans, together with Rik Mol, one of the leading Dutch trumpet players, gives this tune a funky sound.

Eric Vloeimans ( at the the International Jazz Festival in Middelburg, May 2009) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Love to share with you the small tune Portal, an introduction, part of the album, as played by Chris Beckers.

On Portal Chris plays the guitar and Jasper van't Hof is to be heard on synthesizer and e-piano.

This record of Chris Beckers, Seven Frames of Mind, will please a lot of jazz fans, who love fusion and funky (dance) music. It is available at the Chris Beckers site.

Hans Koert

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The tunes on the latest album by Chris Beckers were, in fact, all improvisations he made on his guitar and later worked out together with leading (Dutch) jazz musicians like Eric Vloeimans, Jasper van't Hof, Marcel Serierse and Mike del Ferro. The American rhythm section with Jimmy Haslip and Simon Phillips formed a solid base; enough elements for a many-sided album, attractive for a large audience. Keep Swinging played the album. If you don't want to miss it, follow it at Twitter or ask for its free newsletter.

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