Driest with Vatcher

Being on stage with a trio like De Jongens Driest is an upper. In order to walk the slackwire you have to tread. And tread. Since there are only three ‘voices’, three single-tone instruments that make the harmony, you need to work in order to make even the simplest chord sound. You need to work, you will sweat and after a while it will hurt. This is balancing on a chord. You either make it work or you will go down together.

Next to the harmony there is the rhythm. Nothing can beat a drummer to easily create a rhythm. Normally every instrument needs OK timing, but never so much as in a small drumless trio like this. For the adventurous this is called fun. With a lot of hard work, the pay off is the feeling that runners have after a long run – tired but happy. The adrenalin has whizzed around for a few hours and you feel GOOD.

De Jongens Driest play the way early American immigrants must have done. You take
the melodies you know and love and try to make them work with other musicians. You might want a double bass to ensure a rhythmic and melodic pattern, but a tuba will do. The highest tuned instrument will state the melody. There they have a soprano sax hanging about. Now you’ve got yourself a nice duo of hippopotamus and blackbird, but somehow the link is missing. So you add in a piano to fill all the gaps. Luckily for De Jongens the pianist was a better trombone player! So they end up, through natural selection, with a power trio with the rudiments of a full brass orchestra.

The difference from those early crossover years is the fact that you don’t necessarily have to move your backside over to the melting pot. Thanks to modern media, the melting pot comes to you. Numerous musicians nowadays are influenced by music from all over the world as are De Jongens Driest. They use all their findings to achieve their goals; making exciting and interesting music.

So why play with a drummer? The band’s second device is to enjoy the difference it makes from walking the slackwire to performing your treads and tricks on a high wire. Because of the solid basis in rhythm, every single one in the trio can play around with their timing. You can even quit playing without the whole structure collapsing immediately. This makes the grooves more flexible, easier to change without falling off line! Number one is that a drummer like Michael Vatcher is a gift. Skills, wit, weird stories and hakkebord make him an experience. He adds spirit and ingenuity to the band. So you end up with a completely new attitude within the band, in fact it is a totally new band, a totally new concept.

You can hear this on these recordings. Marcel Roelofs, promoter of the ZomerJazzFietsTour (a jazz festival set in the Groningen countryside where the audience is expected to cycle from one event to the other even when it rains!), offered us a one-off concert with Michael Vatcher. As Marcel is ace at organising superb projects and intelligent festivals, his programming worked very well . . .

The following year a concert Im Kulturspeicher in Leer (West Germany) was recorded by Radio Bremen, and was broadcasted via FM and satellite. This CD contains a selection of these recordings.

Enjoy their eclectic, hectic and lunatic mix of world music and jazz!
Liner notes by Lorrie Bonzo, king of blop.

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