I don’t know about you, but my life is nothing like a box of chocolates. Forrest Gump is a great movie, the books aren’t bad either, but that image doesn’t ring true to me.
To me, life is more like a role of sticky tape. You need to find the beginning before you can get to work. Writing these tunes has, in a musical sense, been a beginning for me.
Having played in cover-bands, symphony orchestra’s and easy listening jazz combo’s for many years, my goal has always been to make my own music. Self-doubt and insecurity kept me from doing this for a long time. In December 2003 I decided to just pick a date and go for it. When I picked the date (a Sunday at the end of march) I didn’t have any repertoire, apart from three compositions written a couple of years before. So I started writing.
Over a period of three month I wrote 14 songs and arrangements.
Once I knew what the repertoire was going to be, I started to put a band together. I wanted the band to be able to play in many different styles, pop, jazz & classical music. The ideal formation turned out to be a seven-man band (6 men and 1 girl).
I ‘ve been extremely lucky with the musicians in my band, not only because they are great players, but each of them ads much to the music and sound of the band. For instance; the Hammond organ, which I had not written for originally, blends so well with the horns that they sometimes sound like one instrument, making the most beautiful noise I have ever heard. On several occasions the rhythm-section came up with grooves much better than what I had in mind. All in all, I owe these guys a lot of gratitude.
At the 21st of march ’04 we gave our first concert, it was great. Several other concerts followed all quite successful. Each time I kept on adding new tunes to the repertoire. Putting some of the songs on a CD seemed like the logical next step.
Recording these tunes has been an adventure on its own. We recorded 21 pieces in 2 ½ days
(3, 4 & 5 december 04) at the LAK theatre in Leiden. The whole band in one room all at once. After this marathon recording session we started the mixing process. We recorded on hard-disc and had to copy everything to another computer to be able to mix the tunes. We worked on five tunes and things started to sound real good. But then something happened, I still don’t understand what it was, but all the recordings except the five we had been working on where gone. We tried everything but could not get the information back. Finally it was necessary to plan new recording dates (two days at the beginning of february 05) on which we recorded the 16 remaining songs.
Mixing the recordings was quite difficult and took a while. Not all the recordings were usable, but we ended up with seventeen super tunes.
I sincerely hope you will enjoy our music, if not all of it, then at least some of it.
N.B. About the songs. Lets be clear on this; I am not a singer, I love singing, I can sing, but
I am not a singer. I thought about asking a professional singer for the three vocal pieces on this CD but in the end I decided to do it myself. Thinking back to the days of the early big-bands, when on a night full of instrumental music a couple of tunes would be sung by a guy in the band, for instance a trumpet player, who could also carry a tune, I hope you will cut me some slack on these tracks.
“Zo mooi” has Dutch lyrics and is about a boy who is in love with a girl that doesn’t love him. He is aware of this, but captivated by here beauty, is unable to cut loose. To non Dutch speaking listeners it must sound like the Muppet show’s Swedish chef having a bad day.
Willem Kiewiet de Jonge – trombone, whistle & vocals (composer, arranger)
Ellister van der Molen – trompet & bugel
Jeroen Manders – tenor & soprano sax
Frans Heemskerk – piano & hammond organ
Frans Bouwmeester – acoustic bass
Jens Larsen – guitar
Rene Winter – drums
David Barker – drums on 1, 7 & 14
Tim Eymaal – guitar on 1, 7 & 14
Recorded by Anton van Hooidonk
Recording assistant Thomas Guijt
Mixed by Frans Heemskerk & Willem Kiewiet de Jonge
Engineered & edited by Frans Heemskerk
Mastered by Robin Koerts
Graphics by Frans Koenn
Band photo’s by Peter van Evert
Piano (Yamaha vleugel) courtesy of Piano Workshop
• this CD is dedicated to the memory of Bram Balfoort. A great teacher and a source of inspiration to me.
Many, many thanks to: Rene, Frans H., Jeroen, Ellister, Frans B., Jens, Tim & David.
Also thanks to other Invisible men, great musicians, who helped me keep the band going:
Paul Verkijk, Victor Borkent, Carlo Banning, Robbert Scherpenisse, Marcel Reys, Leo Bouwmeester & Thijs van Otterloo.
Many thanks to the Invisble soundmen; Anton, Jan, grote Eric & Thomas.
Also many thanks for their enthusiasm, help, energy & advise;
My brother Jan & Pasadena Productions (for the gigs & everything), Charles Schouten, Janna Hopman, Jan Kuipers, Elisabeth Grimm, Pieter van Baal, Han Velthuis, Brigitte Holthuizen, Loes Visser, Landmark Education, Lucas Blom (piano workshop), Rolf Delfos, Jazzcafe the Duke, Astrid Kessels, Els (LAK theatre), Aad van Pijlen, Marcel Schot (atalier Pfeiffer), my sister Christien & kids, grote Toon, my mother Didi, het Friese bakkertje Us Bertus voor het licht meergranen brood and Venetia voor het lekkerste IJs van de hele wereld.