Driest, Paci, Vatcher

Demo CD liner notes:

De Jongens Driest (Joop van der Linden – trombone, Janfie van Strien – saxophones and Arno Bakker – sousaphone) have been around for quite some years now. Playing concerts and gigs, on various occasions.

This particular occasion started when De Jongens Driest were asked to do a special project, bring some guests, and tour it all through Holland. It took us four days to do the tour (Holland is amazingly small!), and we travelled to Groningen (the Grand Theatre), Rotterdam (Nighttown), Utrecht (SJU jazzpodium) and of course Amsterdam (Bim-huis ).

Putting the band together was not an exhausting task either. Having worked with Michael Vatcher before, he seemed an obvious choice for percussion. This extraordinary drummer was born in the USA, but has lived in Amsterdam for quite some years now, working with various companies, like Michael Moores Available Jelly. An experienced musician, he not only brought his craft, but also his wit, weird stories and good looks!

Initiated by Marcel Roelofs, also promotor 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!), this tour was set up to promote another festival Marcel produced: ‘Les Trois Jours du Grande Musique’. For four nights we shared the bill with Nils Wogran Root 70, a quartet with quite a different approach to jazz. But as Marcel is ace at setting up superb projects and intelligent festivals, his programming worked very well. His ‘Les Trois Jours . . .’ has been an annual event for many years, and it normally links Dutch and French contemporary jazz music, having musicians from both countries perform with their own bands as well as doing mixed projects. However, with the start of the Giro d’Italia in the same week as the festival, in came an Italian touch.

Marcel advised us to engage Roy Paci, a trumpet player from Sicily, who had been out on the road with several bands, like the Ex-orkest, his ska band Aretuska and his jazz band Zero Tolerance. A keen musician, who, like us, has worked on various musical projects at the same time and is also interested in brass music (he also takes part in Banda Ionica, a must-see for brass band lovers with a craving for Nino Rota catholicism!), ska and food.

Roy agreed to the job, as did Michael, and there we were, one hot spring Thursday afternoon in Groningen. We put together a set based on standard De Jongens Driest tunes, and fitted in our drummer and new trumpet player. Being excellent musicians, both Roy and Michael picked up their parts with ease and only a few hours later we were on stage enjoying a very exciting concert. The local newspapers announced what amazing musicians Groningen had bred, but the audience knew how to appreciate our new friends just as loudly.

So we did the tour. Four days was too short, as good things never last. There were some marvellous moments, really good laughs, a lot of good jazz, and also Roy gave us a song from the heart, ‘Guarda que Lune’. This had been one of our favourite standard repertoire pieces, and so with an Italian guest in the band it was suggested that we play it. Kicking around some ideas someone suggested it ought to be sung. And before we knew it Roy grabbed a paper napkin, and right after soup, just before the main course, somewhere between the red light district and the Dam, he rewrote the old lyrics into a poetic masterpiece. Though I’m still not sure why the two Italian girls on the 2nd row had to giggle so loud. Anyway, you can listen to it for yourself.

We (Joop to be precise) recorded most of the tour with a straightforward stereo mic set, and with over four hours of material we chose these seven tunes to be on this CD. Thus you will be able to hear different acoustics from different stages, different moods from different audiences on different nights. But overall you will hear enthusiasm, both from the audiences and the band. We hope you will enjoy listening to this CD as much as we enjoyed playing the gigs!


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