Liner notes by the composer and arranger Jerry van Rooyen:
"Special thanks to all the musicians.
My compliment for making my music sound so nice. Also thanks to Wielan Reissmann for leading the band the way I would have done it. With my composition "As We Walk Hand In Hand" we remember Rob Madna, a truly great musician.
Last but not least special thanks to Rien Berkel. He has become a real friend during the last past years and without him this CD would never have been born.
I hope that you enjoy listening to our production as much as we enjoyed creating it."
Jerry van Rooyen
Dear music connoisseur,
As the producer of this CD I like to thank you and congratulate you for buying the CD. This is not an ordinary CD, but a document with great emotions which are shown by the compositions and arrangements of Jerry van Rooijen and by the spontaneity and warmth of the orchestra's performance.
After being postponed for variaous reasons, the recordings finally took place 15 and 16 November 2003 at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum.
Unfortunately, one of the soloist, Rob Madna, died some weeks before the recordings.
Jerry and Rob grew up together in the same street in The Hague. They remained lifelong friends with a lot of mutual respect for each other's musicianship. Rob used to call Jerry »my mentor«. His death came as a big shock for Jerry. When I asked him to compose a song for him, he wrote »As we walk hand in hand«, masterly interpreted by Ferdinand Povel and Rick Kiefer. Nancy van Heck, a cousin of Jerry, wrote the lyrics and they were sung by Humphrey Campbell. You can hear this special version as bonus track.
For many years Jerry had been the conductor, composer and arranger for the WDR Big Band in Cologne. I was thrilled by the thought to invite for the recording some of the musicians of this orchestra. The reactions on my request were overwhelming. »We certainly come to play for Jerry«. These musicians were Heiner Wiberny, Olivier Peters (alto and tenor saxes), Andy Haderer, Rick Kiefer (trumpets) and Dave Horler (trombone). Furthermore Jean Warland, long-time bass-player of the WDR Big Band and the drummer Denis Mackrel (New York), both old friends spontaneously agreed to play. More musicians from Germany agreed to co-operate: Stefan Pfeifer (alto sax), Susanne Heitmann (baritone sax) and Uli Launhardt (bass trombone) and leader of the Cologne Concert Big Band. The other musicians are my »Dutch« favourites: Jan Oosthof, Jan Wessels (trumpets), Bert Boeren, Jeroen Rol, Martijn Sohier (trombones), Jan Menu (tenor sax), Rob van Bavel and Hans Vroomans (piano), and of course the soloists Ack van Rooijen (flugelhorn) and Ferdinand Povel (tenor sax).
The string section that was needed for the recording was lead by the well known Ernö Ohla. At the harp was .... . Unfortunately, shortly before the recording was scheduled, Jerry was taken to the hospital. He then asked his friend and one of his best former students, Wieland Reissman from Germany, now himself a well known arranger and composer, to help him out. The preparations were made by both at the hospital in Enschede, and the result from this can be heard on this CD.
The difficulties, that I experienced during the preparations for the recording, lead to the fact that I started the recording with a lot of emotions and stress. During these two days of the recording I was moved deeply by the music, so much that I sometimes became overwhelmed by my emotions. The wonderful music, the fact that the composer was away in a hospital, Rob's death in connection with the music of »As we walk hand in hand«, being played beautifully and tenderly and the trombone playing on the title »The Charm of You«, masterly performed by Dave Horler, all this lead to the fact that I was deeply moved after the recording. You will understand, that this CD means a lot for me and I sincerely hope, that you as listener also feel the same.
At this point I would like to express my thanks to the following persons:
1. Dini and Jerry van Rooijen for their hospitality during our meetings for the preparation of the recording, and during the visits together with my wife Gerry and our daughter Heidi at the van Rooijen's house, which were made special by the cheefulness of their son Ari van Rooijen.
2. My wife Gerry for her patience and support.
3. Jan Wessels for copying the music and for his thoughtfulness, as well as for his wife's hospitality.
4. Joop de Roo and his wife Greetje Kauffeld for their support.
5. Rick Kiefer. He travelled twice for the sessions from Cologne. Meeting Rick Kiefer was a big moment for me. Since 1971 Rick is one of my biggest trumpet heroes. Luckily I meet him regularly in Cologne.
6. Uli Launhardt, without him the organisation would have been much more difficult and the CD would not be the way as it is now.
7. Tijmen Zinkhaan, recording technician of an extra-class, combined with a fantastic energy. We developed a good relationship during the mixing of the music.
8. Heidi, our daughter, who, without knowing, was the inspiration for this recording. Dear Heidi, you and your partner Martijn were present during the recordings and you know the people who have played the music. My hope, is that you will enjoy the CD for a very long time. For me this is the most beautiful legacy that I can give to you. Very special to me is the title »A Portrait of Heidi«, that Jerry wrote for you.
9. Gijs Offerman for his help in preparing the booklet.
As the day for the mix arrived, Jerry and myself stayed at the Hotel Lapershoek. The studio was not far away from the hotel and we both enjoyed the »birth« of this CD. That Jerry could participate in this way makes me happy.
I wish you a lot of »listening pleasure«, please do not copy the CD, I need the money.