Saturday, April 09, 2011

Tom Harrell in concert with the Dutch Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw


Tom Harrell: a genius on trumpet, who lives for his music performed at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club.

Hans Koert

Tom Harrell en het Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in Porgy en Bess (Nederlands) - Tom Harrell in concert with the Dutch Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (English)

In a jam-packed house the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw went crazy in a two-set concert at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen, in the south west part of The Netherlands. Heb je't opgenomen, Kees? (= Did you recorded it, Kees?), leader Henk Meutgeert asked the sound technician, after the opening tune Two Brothers, We hebben het nog nooit zo goed gespeeld. (= We never played it as good as this time) - Let's make a new album tonight: The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw: Live at Porgy en Bess.

Henk Meutgeert ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

We zijn hier al zo'n drie keer eerder geweest (= This is our fourth time to play here in Terneuzen), Henk remembered. Toen moesten we nog met de boot hierheen komen, dat gaat nu een stuk makkelijker met de tunnel. ( = We had to take the ferry boat then, now we can take the tunnel, what makes it more comfortable to reach this place). In January 2000 and November 2001 the Jazz Orchestra performed in the club with great names like Benjamin Herman, Jesse Van Ruller and, in January 2000 with Jan Menu, the baritone saxophone player, raised in this part of Zeeland, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, and in 2007 the band accompanied Greetje Kauffeld at the festivities due to the clubs 50th birthday.

Tom Harrell ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The line up of The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw reads like a who-is-who of the Dutch Jazz scene of the XXIst century: Jorg Kaaij, Marco Kegel, Simon Rigter, Sjoerd Dijkhuizen and Juan Martinez in the reed section; Ruud Breuls, Jan Van Duikeren, Rodolfo Neves, Jelle Schouten and Rini Swinkels on trumpet; Bert Boeren, Andy Bruce, Martien De Kam and Jan Oosting on trombones, Martijn Van Iterson at the guitar, Peter Beets at the piano and Frans Van Geest and Marcel Serierse in the rhythm section. Simon Rigter ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Right in the opening tune, a Simon Rigter composition, Two Brothers, the audience learned that the band felt like fancy to play in this famous club in the southwest part of The Netherlands, with solos by piano player Peter Beets, who even liked to insert phrases of the stride piano, and the sax section, with both Simon Rigter and Sjoerd Dijkhuizen as the "Two Brothers". Het lijkt wel paaldansen (= It looks like pole dancing), Henk suggested, pointing to the lack of space, as Sjoerd Dijkhuizen had to make room to pass each time a fellow reed player wanted to take a solo. Sjoerd Dijkhuizen ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Bert Boeren excelled in the Irving Berlin ballad, How Deep Is The Ocean. an appropriate tune, as Terneuzen is located along the river Scheldt, Henk Meutgeert suggested. Tom Harrell: (photo: Hans Koert)

Special guest at the concert was trumpet player Tom Harrell - one of the best trumpet players of the world. Due to a handicap, Tom suffers a serious form of schizophrenia, which makes that he has to use heavy medication, was born in Urbana Illinois. He started to play the trumpet at eight and he finished the Stanford University with a grade in composing. He could start his career after he finished Standford in the Stan Kenton orchestra and during the 1970s he toured with the band of Woody Herman and the group of piano player Horace Silver.

Martijn Van Iterson ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

When he plays his trumpet his problems seem to disappear. His style of playing is very melodic and he was influenced by the great Clifford Brown. In the 1980s he played in the New Phil Woods Quintet, which played at the Porgy en Bess club, Jacq Scheelde, one of the senior volunteers in the club, remembered. The reed section: f.l.t.r.: ( Sjoerd Dijkhuizen)(outside the scope of the photo), Simon Rigter - Marco Kegel - Jorg Kaaij and Juan Martinez ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

I love Clifford’s style of playing, his sound, the way he articulates, his ideas and his warmth, Tom told Toon Kessels in an interview in 1994. ( source: Muziek als houvast aan de werkelijkheid - Toon Kessels ( Jazz Nu) (september 1994)). During the concert the Jazz Orchestra played several compositions by Tom Harrell, like Times Mirror and Shapes, but also standards like Harold Arlen's Come Rain Or Come Shine with solos by trumpet players Ruud Breuls and Tom Harrell and double bass player Frans Van Geest. Jorg Kaaij ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

After the break the band played some more great composition and arrangements by Tom Harrell, like A Portrait of Jenny, Moon Alley ( with a great solo by Martijn Van Iterson) and Latifa ( with Simon Rigter on tenor saxophone). Tom impressed with the Charlie Parker composition Chasin' The Bird, which he arranged for big band and his composition Humility. Henk Meutgeert finished the concert with a reprise of Blues For A Date, the title tune of the Edison Award winning album with Rodolfo Neves, Jan Van Duikeren and Ruud Breuls as soloists together with Tom Harrell. The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in the "Bimhuis along the river Scheldt" (as suggested by Henk Meutgeert ) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw was founded as the New Concert Big Band which plays each month at The Bimhuis in Amsterdam and its latest album featuring Peter Beets, Blues For The Date, belongs to the five best Large Ensemble Albums of 2010 ( source: All About Jazz). We willen van Porgy en Bess een soort Bimhuis in de regio maken, Henk suggested, dus volgend jaar komen we terug ..... ( = so you will hear us again next year). De eerste zondag van april? .... (= What about the first Sunday in April? ....) Hans Zuiderbaan, host of Porgy en Bess suggested in advance, maar dan moeten we nog flink sparen ..... ( = but then we have to save our money ... ). And pointing to the framed photos of previous visitors in the rich tradition of the club, Henk suggested: .. en volgende keer hangen wij er ook bij ( = and next we time we will be one of them ...)! Playing in a big band can be boring now and then .... Jorg Kaaij. (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The audience enjoyed the massive sound and the enthusiasm of the members of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and I hope to be in the audience next year: same time, same place ..... ......

Hans Koert

Tom Harrell belongs to the top of the jazz trumpet players in the world and the audience in the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen could state that last weekend. When Tom starts to play his trumpet, he becomes a new person. The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, directed by Henk Meutgeert, accompanied the star on the trumpet, who played with icons like Stan Kenton, Horace Silver, Phil Woods and Woody Herman at an artistic and professional high level. Henk Meutgeert suggested to rename the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club "The Bimhuis along the Scheldt", refering to the Amsterdam Bimhuis where the orchestra has its monthly concerts. He suggested to return next year - same date - same place: Well I'll be in the audience ......

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