Thursday, March 31, 2011

Peter Beets: Chopin Meets The Blues


I purposely avoided the word "jazz" itself, because that word tends to turn many people off Hans Koert

Peter Beets verrast met muziek van Chopin (Nederlands) - Peter Beets: Chopin Meets The Blues ( English)

Some times ago the 5th Criss Cross Jazz album by Peter Beets has been released. Peter makes records for Criss Cross since 2001 when his album New York Trio was released with Rodney Whitaker on double bass and Willie Jones III on drums. Both New York Trio - Page 2 and Page 3 were trio recordings and when he recorded the New Groove album, in 2007, he skipped the drums and replaced it for a guitar player. In the latest album by Peter Beets the drummer returned and the guitar player was allowed to stay - the trio became a quartet. Although his first albums had, mostly, standards and own compositions, this time Peter improvises on the music of Chopin. Classical music improvised by a jazz piano player. ....................

Peter Beets - Chopin Meets The Blues ( Criss Cross Jazz 1329) ( cover design: Gerry Teekens / Bloemendaal in vorm)

How did it all started? At the conservatory Peter learned to play the music of the classical composers and as a jazz piano player he made a program around the music of Bach ( From Bach to Blues). Although Peter already transformed a Chopin compostion at his New York Trio page 3 album, the idea for this album was born at a festival dedicated to the music of Chopin scheduled at the Anton Philips Hall in The Hague, where Peter was asked to play in the foyer as a kind of back ground bar pianist. Peter refused that and suggested that he would improvise on Chopin's composition in one of the halls. No, I really don't do that sort of thing. Instead, why don't you book me for a Chopin program onstage? Peter remembers in the liner notes, I promise you a remarkable evening. And it worked ........... Peter's concert entitled Chopin Meets the Blues at the Anton Philips Hall was a great success.

Greg Hutchinson ( foto: Hans Koert)

It is remarkable to learn that Peter didn't wanted to use the word "jazz" in the announcement. I purposely avoided the word "jazz" itself, because that word tends to turn many people off. My first reaction was: Isn't that a shame? What happended with Jazz? But ..... I guess, I'm afraid, Peter is right ..... For a lot of people jazz seems to be hard to understand, old-fashioned (?) or too experimental ..... I'm getting very nervous when I hear that music, people told me once - You can't hear the melody ...... I don't understand the meaning of the music!. Peter says: Maybe it's because jazz is hardly heard on radio and television. Or maybe, Peter continuous, people associate jazz only with avant-gardistic sounds, characterized, to my ear, by a lack of discernable rhythmic pulse - and absolutely no blues feeling at all ...... This album, Chopin Meets The Blues contains eight tracks - five were played during at the Chopin-concert and three more were specially arranged for this album. The Peter Beets Quartet features Joe Cohn on guitar, Reuben Rogers on double bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums. Joe Cohn, the son of tenor sax player Al Cohn, is a regularly guest on Peter's albums and so is Rueben Rogers. Peter Beets ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Jazz and classical music. In the past, bands like Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five made a kind of "chamber music", and during the 1960s, pop and jazz musicians discovered classical music and albums like I Like Johann Sebastian or Haendel With Care by musicians as Raymond Guiot became hits - This album dedicated to the music of Chopin by the Dutch piano player Peter Beets is quit different - it's a 100 percent jazz album, with jazz improvisation based on Chopin's themes and I'm sure you've never heard Chopin's Nocturnes, Mazurkas or Preludes performed in such a swinging way ......... Greg Hutchinson ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Peter Beets lately received, together with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw the prestegious Dutch Edison Nationaal Award for their Blues For The Date live album ........ but, as Peter said at the presentation of the awards at the Frits Philips Music Theatre in Eindhoven, Ik ben ontzettend blij, maar vergeet niet ook Chopin Meets The Blues te kopen. (= I'm very happy with this award, but don't forget to buy my other album, Chopin Meets The Blues) Die plaat is ook net uit en lijkt nu een beetje onder te sneeuwen. (= This album has been released recently and seems to be in danger of being overlooked.) Dat zou natuurlijk zonde zijn. (= and that would be a pity). We do have a good business instinct, haven't we?

This Chopin Meets The Blues album can be ordered at the Maxanter website

Hans Koert

The idea is not new ! - a lot of jazz and pop musicians made eyes at the classical music composers to get increase in sales, but Peter Beets made an album only he can do - His album Chopin Meets The Blues offers you an hour of swinging jazz in a way Chopin would have liked ..... I'm sure you never heard the Nocturnes, Preludes and Mazurka's of Chopin played the way Peter did with his quartet. Keep Swinging was surprised, because it isn't classical music in a swinging way, but hard bop inspired jazz music at a very high level ....., although Peter refuses to label it as Jazz .... That's why it is called: Chopin Meets The Blues instead of ....Chopin Meets The Jazz! Als je niets wilt missen, volg haar dan via Twitter of vraag de gratis nieuwsbrief.

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