Sick. SICK! When listening to this album for the first time, at one point I burst into spontaneous laughter because the joy I was experiencing reached peak levels and demanded a physical response in excess of head bobbing and toe tapping.
Favorite track: Sonlite.
“Fascinating big band”, “orchestral fireworks”: The critics were unanimous in their praise of the music on this legendary “Dutch only” Philips Jazz-LP from 1971, recorded at Vara Studios Hilversum, conducted by Jerry Van Rooyen and produced by Joop De Roo, preceding the performance of the same compositions at Jazz Festival Loosdrecht. Excellent all star band with “unreal” line-up: 17 top musicians from different countries featuring Benny Bailey, Herb Geller, Ack van Rooyen, Jiggs Whigham, Frans Elsen, Rob Madna, Cees Smal, Rob Franken, Tony Coe, Rick Kiefer and Tony Inzalaco - first reissue, remastered 2009, comes with extensive new liner notes and additional session photos.
New Liner Notes for this reissue by Simon Korteweg (June 2009):
‘Sensational concert’, ‘fascinating big band’, ‘orchestral fireworks’, ‘one of the best orchestras ever heard in this country’: the critics were unanimous in their praise of this music when it was performed at the Jazz Festival Loosdrecht in the summer of 1971 by seventeen top musicians from different countries under the leadership of Jerry van Rooyen. Fortunately, during the four days of rehearsals preceding the concert the same compositions were also recorded for later use. The complete results were aired on Radio One. Six months later all the recordings except one were released on an LP called “Explosive”. The missing track is included on this CD.
Looking back after so many years producer Joop de Roo still remembers clearly that he got the idea for this event at the recording sessions in Hilversum for the album “Rita Reys meets Oliver Nelson” in l965: “The way this American bandleader and arranger managed to get the most out of an occasional group of musicians from different countries really impressed me very much. It must be possible to do something similar with a big band, I said to myself, with ideally a concert to top it off.”
Three years later De Roo was able to realize this intention for the first time by assembling an international big band in a studio in Blaricum: “During an intense three day workshop ten pieces were recorded under the direction of Rob Pronk. Most of them were also written and arranged by him. They later came out on a CD entitled `It happened yesterday´. It really was a very stimulating experiment. When in l971 the Loosdrecht festival offered a new opportunity, I thought it would be a good idea to have Jerry as the leader this time. He had the necessary talent and experience, of course. But in front of a band he is also a very stimulating personality, really capable of generating a tremendous flow of energy. We know each other very well because we were schoolmates in the forties and have always kept in touch since then”.
In those early days Van Rooyen and his brother Ack started out as trumpet players, but later on Jerry turned to composing, arranging and conducting, mostly for radio orchestras. He went to Germany in the sixties, where he was asked to lead the big band of “Sender Freies Berlin” (SFB) for a few years. In an interview during the sessions for these festival band recordings he called this project ‘the chance of a lifetime’. He added: “The dedication and cooperation of the musicians is terrific. They just love each other”. (At the festival concert of the band – which I attended as a journalist – it became quite clear that he was not exaggerating. What impressed me most of all was the power and the perfect teamwork of the trumpet section).
Five of the band members came from the U.S.A., two from Sweden, one from England and the others from Holland. Most of them were top jazz musicians who found employment in the studios of broadcasting organizations in Europe. But they met and played together quite often in different combinations at festivals or other jazz orientated events. Six weeks before the Loosdrecht festival, for instance, eight of them participated in a recording date of tenor player Stan Getz and The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band for Verve in Cologne.
When asked about the reasons for the remarkable results of the festival band sessions Ferdinand Povel recently said: “The setting was right. And you had two very experienced lead trumpets like Benny Bailey and Rick Kiefer who have a clear insight in the essence of their role. And you had a drummer like Tony Inzalaco who knows exactly how to provide the right rhythmic pulse. This means that seventy percent of the conditions for success were already fulfilled at the start of the rehearsals.”
Since 1965 Kiefer shared the lead of different trumpet sections with Bailey on many occasions, mainly in Germany. “It was always great to work with Benny,” he told me when I visited him in his present home in Haarlem. “We got on very well. And nowadays I still like to listen to his admirable work as a soloist” (Kiefer was so kind to help me to identify who plays lead where on these recordings).
1. The Runners 1 + 2
composed and arranged by Jerry van Rooyen
This composition in two parts starts with Frans Elsen on electric piano. After the exposition of the theme – with Benny Bailey clearly on top - the solos are played by Rob Franken on organ and Tony Coe on tenor.
From the beginning of the second part Ack van Rooyen on fluegelhorn builds up to a climax against challenging backgrounds. The tension is maintained to the end by altoist Piet Noordijk and drummer Tony Inzalaco.
2. Here’s that rainy day
composed by Jimmy van Heusen, arranged by Jerry van Rooyen
This favorite of Frank Sinatra gets a beautiful ballad rendition by Benny Bailey with Kiefer leading the trumpets and Frans Elsen on piano (This track is issued here for the first time).
composed by Tony Inzalaco, arranged by Bora Raković
After the easy flowing latin rhythm is laid down with Rob Franken on electric piano, Kiefer and tenorist Ferdinand Povel take solos. First trumpet is Bailey, but Kiefer plays over the final chords. This composition was dedicated to James Brown Woode, son of bass player Jimmy Woode.
4. Because I love you
composed and arranged by Jerry van Rooyen
This became one of Jerry’s better known pieces, which was recorded also under his leadership by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra. Solos by Tony Coe on clarinet, Piet Noordijk on alto and Frans Elsen on electric piano.
composed and arranged by Rob Pronk
Here Rick Kiefer proves that he can be a very expressive ballad performer. His colleague Bailey takes charge of the front work, while it is Frans Elsen on piano.
6. Some blues
composed and arranged by Rob Madna
Easy bright tempo on familiar ground with the composer at the electric piano and Kiefer in the lead trumpet chair. Solos by Madna himself, Ferdinand Povel on tenor sax and Ǻke Persson on trombone.
composed and arranged by Frans Elsen
The performance of this playful piece offers interesting examples of the excellent overall teamwork of bass player Rob Langereis and drummer Tony Inzalaco. Solos by Ack van Rooyen on flugelhorn, Ferdinand Povel on tenor and Rob Franken on piano.
composed and arranged by Jerry van Rooyen
From the start Langereis and Inzalaco build firm but responsive support for the seven soloists. Rob Franken on electric piano, Rolf Ericson on trumpet, Jiggs Whigham and Herman Schoonderwalt on soprano sax are followed by Benny Bailey and Ack Van Rooyen who enter into a subtle duet on fluegelhorn. Trombonist Ǻke Persson leads the way to the final chords. Bailey and Kiefer split the lead work.
composed and arranged by Jerry van Rooyen
With Kiefer in command the five trumpets get a lot space in this dainty romp, which was dedicated to the daughter of singer Greetje Kauffeld and Joop de Roo. Following the slow, but graceful intro Cees Smal, Rolf Ericson, Ack van Rooyen (fluegelhorn), Benny Bailey and Rick Kiefer show their best against stimulating backgrounds. After a short orchestral passage alto players Piet Noordijk and Herb Geller go into a chase after each other until the band takes over, making room for a short coda by Frans Elsen. That last high note is Bailey`s.
Original Liner Notes from 1971 by Mike De Ruyter:
The village of Loosdrecht (in fact two: old and new Loosdrecht), a lake-resort in the western part of Holland, half an hour by car from Amsterdam, is a centre for waterskiing and sailing during the summer months . Since 1958 recordshop owner Max Van Praag has been running amateur contests there. As for the jazz part during the last couple of years, big names in professional jazz have been making more and more guest appearances at Loosdrecht for radio recording purposes. In 1970 Joop De Roo (head of the department of light music – NOS Radio) decided that Loosdrecht should become the centre for a five-day radio and tv jazz festival, a stage for the finest musicians from Holland, Europe and the U.S.A. So between August 3 and 7, 1971, people could listen to Clark Terry, New Dalta, Willem Breuker and the instant composers pool, The Eero Koivistoinen Quintet, the Theo Loevendie Consort, Stan Getz, Leon Thomas, Henny Vonk, Carl Schulze with Karel Reys and a host of others.The proceedings were kicked off by the festival big band, formed by Joop De Roo and the brilliant arranger/ composer Jerry Van Rooyen. This band had been together for four days in a studio in Hilversum, the home of the Dutch radio and tv, situated close to Loosdrecht. A selection from the tapes made during the last three of these days is presented on this album. Right from the start all the musicians really felt good in this band and worked hard to get the best results. For four days they had a ball playing the music that you can now enjoy.
Jerry Van Rooyen (Holland 1928) started on trumpet at the age of eight, has been a professional musician since c1944, and in 1946 he started writing arrangements. He has toured Indonesia and all of Europe, and in 1949 he toured the Unites Stateswith Rob Pronk`s orchestra. In 1953 he played with the Ramblers Radio Dance Orchestra in Holland for one year, followed by a two-year stay with drummer Wessel Ilcken`s group at the Sheherazade club in Amsterdam. In 1956 he left Holand, spending three years with Aimee Barelli in Monte Carlo, and a further three years as staff arranger with Philips in Paris. In 1962 he moved to the studios of Sender Freies Berlin where he became the leader of its big band in 1965. These days he is freelancing, no loonger playing trumpet but concentrating entirely on composing and arranging for many orchestras in Europe and for films. He still lives in Berlin.
Benny Bailey (U.S.A. 1925) started out on flute, but soon changed to trumpet. He entered the profession in 1941 with Bull Moose Jackson, moved to Jay McShann in 1947, and one year later joined Dizzy Gillespie`s big band, with which he toured Europe. For the next four years he was with Lionel Hampton and when the band visited Sweden he decided to stay. Bailey was a member of the Quincy Jones band which stayed together after the flop of “Free and Easy”, fefore going to the States for a while in 1959-60. He later returned to Europe to play with all of the major big bands.
Rick Kiefer (U.S.A. 1939) became a professional trumpet player in 1955, playing with the big bands of Buddy Morrow, Benny Goodman, Urbie Green and Maynard Ferguson. Since 1964 he has been based mainly in Europe.
Rolf Ericson (Sweden 1922) played himself to the top of the Swedish trumpet scene. In 1947 he left for the U.S.A. where he has been working with the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. For the last few years he has divided his time between the U.S.A. And Europe.
Ack Van Rooyen (Holland 1930) is, of course, the brother of Jerry but stuck to the trumpet. With Jerry he was with Rob Pronk, the Ramblers, Aimee Barelli and the big band of Sender Freies Berlin. At the moment he is with Erwin Lehn.
Cees Smal (Holland 1927) used to be known as a multi-instrumentalist on piano, alto saxophone, trombone and trumpet – and was the main-stay of the Diamond Five at the Sheherazade, Amsterdam. During the sixties he committed himself more and more to studio work in Hilversum, concentrating on trumpet and arranging.
Ake Persson (Sweden 1932) has been aprofessional trombone player since 1951 mainly in Sweden, but has also played with the Quincy Jones band of 1959-60 and the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland big band since its formation was organized by Gigi Campi.
Jiggs Whigham (U.S.A. 1943) played trombone with the Glenn Miller band under Ray McKinley and Stan Kenton in 1963 and 1965. He has visited Europe with the Kurt Edelhagen band aswell as touring Africa with this orchestra.
Rudy Bosch (Holland 1928) played trombone with local groups from 1950 and settled in Hilversum with the Skymasters radio orchestra, in which he plays lead and is the trombone soloist.
Hans De Ruyter (Holland 1942) has played jazz on his trombone with local groups in Holland and Germany, classical music with the Residentie Orkest in the Hague, and has been with the Radio Dance Orchestra of Vara , Hilversum since 1969.
Eric Van Lier (Holland 1945) has been a professional studio musician since he was 17. His bass trombone can be heard in the Skymasters and the Kenny Clarke-Franc Boland big band.
Piet Noordijk (Holland 1932) started out as a clarinettist and added the alto saxophone in 1955. After playing for many years with local groups including the Misha Mengelberg quartet and Boy Edgar`s big band. He became mainly a studio musician after joining the Skymasters in Hilversum.
Herb Geller (U.S.A. 1928) has been playing alto saxophone since 1946 with such bands as Joe Venuti and Lucky Millinder, Claude Thornhill and Billy May. He was a West Coast man from 1952, and after 1958 worked with Benny Goodman and Louis Bellson. Since 1964 he has been in Europe, playing with the SFB band just like the Van Rooyen brothers. For a while he ran a jazz club in Berlin.
Tony Coe (England 1934) played alto saxophone and clarinet with Humphrey Lyttelton, changing to tenor in 1960. He has been with Lenny Felix and Kenny Baker, but now most of his time is devoted to studio work.
Ferdinand Povel (Holland 1947) has been playing clarinet since 1962, adding alto one year later, and in 1966 tenor saxophone and flute. He has played with Dusko Goykovich, Maynard Ferguson, and in 1970 with the Clarke-Boland big band. He is a freelance studio musician in Hilversum.
Herman Schoonderwalt (Holland 1931) was first a clarinettist, later adding the alto saxophone, which is now his main voice, although he also plays soprano, tenor and baritone. He is also respected as an arranger. He still plays quite a lot, but writing for radio and tv now takes most of his time.
RobFranken (Holland 1941) has been a professional musician since he was 17. He studied piano, starting at the age of seven, and has been heard with Art Farmer, Don Menza and Dusko Goykovich in many European countries.
Frans Elsen (Holland 1934) was Holland`s jazz boy-wonder around 1950. He has been freelancing most of his life, now dedicating his time to studio work (both playing piano and writing), but can still outdo any jazzman when he gets a chance and feels so inclined.
Rob Madna (Indonesia 1931) was a professional jazz pianist in the fifties, studying mathematics at the same time. He is a teacher, but still plays and writes – just for fun.
Rob Langereis (Holland 1939) has been playing bass since 1957. After a lot of commercial jobs, his first jazz gig was with Misha Mengelberg in 1965. Now he is a prominent freelancing musician in Hilversum.
Tony Inzalaco (U.S.A. 1938) replaced Rufus Jones on the drums in Maynard Ferguson`s band in 1964. Two years later he settled in Europe and was with Kurt Edelhagen for a while, leaving him to freelance. He now lives in Cologne but travels all over Europe. He played in Holland with Carmen McRae in 1970.
released September 25, 2009
Festival Big Band (of the International Jazz Festival Loosdrecht 1971)
Recorded July 31, August 1 + 2, 1971, at Vara Broadcasting Studio II, Hilversum/ Netherlands
* Track 2 available on the CD version only
Trumpet & Fluegelhorn: Benny Bailey, Rick Kiefer, Ack van Rooyen,
Rolf Ericson, Cees Smal
Trombone: Ǻke Persson, Jiggs Whigham, Rudy Bosch, Eric van Lier, Hans de Ruiter
Reeds (Sax, Flute, Clarinet) : Piet Noordijk, Herb Geller, Ferdinand Povel, Tony Coe, Herman Schoonderwalt
Fender-Rhodes Piano, Piano, Hammond Organ: Frans Elsen, Rob Madna, Rob Franken
Bass; Rob Langereis
Drums: Tony Inzalaco
Conducted by Jerry van Rooyen
Produced by Joop de Roo for NOS Radio Hilversum
Engineered by Cees van der Gragt and Gert Jan van den Dolder
Producer for re-issue: Ekkehart Fleischhammer, original recordings mastered by Jury Lutz, original album design and 1971 layout by Eric Wondergem g.v.n., reproduction of original cover 2009 by Patrick Haase (rab.bit). Cover photos by Remmelt Van Heerde and courtesy of Joop De Roo. Deep respect and big thanks to our friends Joop De Roo and Mark De Roo for their help in realizing this reissue.
Sonorama Records is an independent and worldwide distributed label for rare jazz, funk, soul, library and world music,
established 2004 in Germany. It is all about music archaeology, an infinite search for soulful sounds, about tracing unrestricted musical diversity and the love for good music in general...more
Such a beautifully crafted album. Such intense rich weaving of sounds and feelings. It’s one of those albums you are happy to share at the same time want to keep as a personal secret.
Amazing stuff by Mr Halsall. I suggest anyone reading this to spend some time in his early stuff too. Song to Charlie is monumental. il-berts
A stunning album that melds indian classical, spiritual jazz, and beat music. Every track is a banger and culminates in a true musical journey that covers a lot of moods and emotions. The playing is unreal. The Sonic Cloth Podcast