‘5x Typical’ is a series of music based interviews with musicians. What do musicians listen to? While cleaning, during sexy time or when working out? Do they have specific songs for specific moments? Or do they listen to music to influence their emotions? Every week, a new interview, a new musician, new inspiration.
"Hi there! I'm Karen, a portrait photographer in the music business with an advertising background. I am trained to communicate in creative (visual) concepts. Concepts that enables brands - yes you are a brand too - to grow and get noticed. I focus on jazz and it's musicians because I want to help connect a younger generation with it's inspirational-, modern-, creative- and innovative power."
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"Even the versions of the songs could change anytime. He had signs to communicate how he wanted to play something. In a regular version or a new age version or..." - Corrie van Binsbergen (Guitarist, composer and director of foundation Brokken)
When I was eleven or twelve maybe, my brother had a record of Joni Mitchell. At that time she mainly played country and folk but she instantly grabbed my attention with her sound on piano and guitar. And I was into that music (Crosby Stills & Nash, James Taylor) anyway.
During my life, she kept surprising me with every record she released. You could say we where in sync. For example; in the early seventies time I really liked Steely Dan and guitarplayer Larry Carlton, he played on her records too! During my obsession with the solo album of Jaco Pastorius some years later, she released Hejira, featuring him. Then I got more into jazz, she released the album Mingus with Herbie Hancock.
Mitchell is so much more to me then a singer-songwriter. She is a wonderful composer, an artist really. She creates records in a way only a few musicians do. The kind that inlude songs that strengthen each other, the kind that listens like you’re looking at a photoalbum. She creates stories.
‘Both Sides Now’ was a birthday gift from Angelo Verploegen. The album didn’t fit in that moment of the party exactly but I discovered it later on. Absolutely beautiful arranged! ‘A Case of You’ and Both Sides now especially.
I listen to many different kind of music styles by the way. The start of the song ‘A Case of You’ reminds me of the work of Mahler. Goosebumps! Even when I talk about it right now. It’s deep! She maybe even sings an octave lower than her normal singing voice. It’s a great and classic love song. Beautifully recorded also.
When I was younger I thought jazz wasn’t for me. The klinging sound on a hi-hat… Lionel Hampton, not my cup of tea. Of course I revised my opinion. I could give you a long Spotify list filled with jazz now. But there is a period in time of jazz I love very much and this song reflects it for me. Especially the sound of the saxophone. The way of playing is direct, melodic and repetitive. He has something to say with his music and I love that about a musician.
I even used this song in the very first writers-concert I did. The one with Remco Campert. I wrote music to accompany his story ‘Als in een droom’. In this story someone falls head over heals for someone else. Struck by lightning. When I read it my mind immediately went to this song. I thought; I can write something that sounds just like it, but why would I? This song is gorgeous. So I used it.
Let’s move to free jazz. The fantastic title of this record is ‚The shape of jazz to come’. The song is heartbreakingly beautiful isn’t it? Powerfull as well. Something that fit’s the darker times in live.
When I just moved to a place of my own I had a taperecorder. On it was a wide selection of music. From the Art Ensemble of Chicago to something medieval to Stravinsky and Bach. An idiotic mix really. But I liked listening to it. It was playing all the time. But I listen less nowadays. Maybe it’s because I started composing myself. My mind is filled with my own music simmering there. I do play music when I want to get rid of my own soundtrack. It’s maddening sometimes. Or maybe it’s just because I am very busy most of the time. The last couple of months where crazy. At those times I like to watch a serie on Netflix to clear my mind whenever I’ve got a free hour or so. It’s amazing how fast you get used to new media. The first 10 years I lived on my own I didn’t have a the TV, and internet didn’t exist. So I played music.
But when I’m well rested after a couple of day’s free, which is rare, and I start cleaning for example I put on music I love to play flamenco or african music.
Allright. Maybe it’s not a surprise but I can’t not include Zappa. I mainly listened to him between the age of 14 and 18. I absolutely loved it. I kept listening until 1981 but the man kept producing and producing and I lost track and interest for a time. A couple of years later I borrowed some Zappa records of a friend of mine who still was a big fan. The title of one of the records intrigued me: “Make a jazz noise here” so I pushed play. I am a fan again ever since. It’s so good! The horns. The energy. I love the hopping mix between bluesy, jazzy and contemporary. Make a jazz noise here was a direct stimulation for forming my band ‚Corrie en de Grote Brokken’.
Zappa always had the best musicians working with him. Before he went on a tour he had the opportunity to practice for a month with them. During the tour the setlist was never the same. Even the versions of the songs could change anytime. He had signs to communicate how he wanted to play something. In a regular version or a new age version. He could let the rhythm section play Reggae in an instant. Genius. I’d love to be able to do that. But times change. To tour for three months and practice another full month with a band is financially impossible nowadays.
Lovely guitarist. No ego at all. Tastefull, also. Maybe too tastefull at times. I saw him live once, with John Zorn in the old Bimhuis. I thought, come on! play something rough, play something ugly! But he didn’t. But his solo albums like Quartet and East/West I do love. It’s very nice to listen to Bill Frisell in the car. I’ve got a bunch of his records in the glove compartment.
You know, I listen to a lot of different kind of music. I listen to Ellington. I love his arrangements. I also listen to African music. The time they take to make music is inspiring. I love the energy of Flamenco. I know I can’t put all music styles in this list but if we can put an extra classical piece in this list that would be great. Stravinsky, Bach, Kagel or let’s take The Sonata’s of Scarlatti. Beautiful! *whistles along.
Corrie van Binsbergen about the difference between recording and performing during her absolutely nice visit:
"Playing live music is something totally different to me than recording an album. It’s another form of communication. An experience. There is interaction when you play live, music lives in that situation. I love that.
But I like recording as well. It demands a different kind of concentration. When you’re playing in a studio it actually is the best time to let everything go, to let it flow, like you do on stage. However, most musicians tend to do the complete opposite. Just like I did in the past. I recorded many albums live. But recording my latest album was an experience on its own. I entered the studio without a plan because we originally booked it for a trio. When it was clear that wasn’t going to happen a close friend encouraged me to record a soloalbum. After some hesitation I did. I had two days. Well, one and a half actually, because of the traveling and setting up, sound check and so on. The first song I recorded became the first song on the record. I was happy with it but at the same time I didn’t feel I had anything else to say anymore. With an already short deadline I decided take a tiny break in stead of pushing myself. It turned out to be the right call.
I recorded two hours of material in one and a half day. A lot of it didn’t make the last selection. It became a hell of a search before I found what I thought could form my album. I wanted to make an album with songs that connected each other, creating a natural fit. I don’t know precisely but I think I have spend as many hours making the final selection as I did recording it all. Listening, determine the order of appearance, making choices. Finally I managed to reduce it to a fourty-five minute record full of melancholy. Although the trademark I formed over the years was a sound that went in many different directions, sound with a lot of energy, this melancholiac sound was perfect at that time. I wanted to make an album like that forever. An album that sets the mood, or rather one you can disappear in. And it didn’t have to be perfect. Nowadays you could easily record an album like this at home on your computer, but that isn’t the way for me. It has to happen like it’s a live situation for me. There is no use playing it over and over again until it’s perfect. Play your music for someone when you’re recording, play it for your mom.
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"I was drawn by the obvious fun they had while recording. For me, fun is one of the purposes of music!" - Floor Polder (Flute)
This is the song I listen to the most. It's the well kown frase – Less is More – that makes this tune characteristic. It's open groovy and relaxed.
This is also a singer with influences from Cape Verde and Africa.
My dad plays a lot of African percussion form Senegal. The song reminds me of it. It reminds me of my youth. I grew up with this music. It’s crazy how much influence your youth has, isn’t it?
I played this song during my graduation at the conservatory. I like it so much! Mainly because of how good the composer can mix different styles of Brazilian music with the freedom of jazz. There is a saxophone solo I really love. Again, straight to the point, no note too much.
This tune was an eye-opener for me. It was the first Brazilian music piece I ever heard. I was drawn by the obvious fun they had while recording. For me, fun is one of the purposes of music!
Floor Polder studied Jazz at the Codarts Conservatory. During her study she got in contact with Brazilian music and felt the joy of playing that music. Being dutch and with her backgroun in jazzmusic she learned to connect with it in her own way. In january 2016 she toured with one of her projects Trio Sodade in Brazil.
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"I ought to make a top 5 of the Beatles, or top 213 really... all other music comes after that 211th song." - Kubilay Kaya (a.k.a Kayaman)
Awsome record! I really don’t know why. I can’t even hear what he is singing. But still awsome.
These guys are gods! I ought to make a top 5 of the Beatles, or top 213 really, because of te number of songs they released. All other music comes after that 213th song.
I’m not really an Ellington fan, more a Coltrane fan. A love supreme definitely has a place in my top 5 best records ever. Something that’s quite remarkable actually because growing up I didn’t hear much jazz. I only started listening to it 15 years ago. And to be honest, I still don’t get it. Not completely. So, I think I can’t say something about this song. I can only say the following: Are you in a mellow mood? Love sick? BAM. This is the one.
Best soul song ever. I can just hear the love in it. Listen to the opening lyric; Add a little sugar. Come on! And with that falsetto! Without sounding forced or pretentious. I love that. It’s smooth, sexy, but not too much. It’s not sexist. Like a lot of soul singers from his generation. Curtis, he could be your uncle. Do you know what I mean?
This songs is incredible even without the vocals. But Curtis voice is the thing that completes it. But the version I think I like most is by Gladys Knight & The pips. She sings with chest voice which makes it sound even sexier but at the same time more raw, honest. Also, her timing is different and there is less trombone. Which makes it less bombastic.
The beat of this song, by Kanye West, that makes the song work incredibly well. There is so much energy!
Kubilay kicked his career off writing a hit song for Ali B, "Leipe Mocro Flavour". He studied composition and music production for 2,5 years at the HKU, Art academy of Utrecht. He wrote the record "Het leven van de straat" during his first year.
“Suddenly I felt like ‘the man’ with money and succes. But after a while it got less of course. The feeling of having to produce only hit songs in the studio didn’t motivate me. Deep down I always knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do.
The songs had to meet too much requirements. They had to be short to get a chance to be played at the radio. I couldn’t use all the lyrics I wanted in fear to exclude a target group. I mainly wrote for the twenty somethings because they had the most money to spend on a CD. And so on, and so on. When you work like that, the music stays synthetic. I had fun writhing! Don’t get me wrong! But somehow, I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I started writing again, but with less pressure. Writing with friends makes me really happy! And I'm working on a new album for myself. One inspired by Spinvis, and The Beatles of course. It's more art-like than commercial.
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"Yeah, so… I really hate doing my taxes. Surprise! The first few years I tried to make it bearable by putting this song on repeat. Until I got really sick of it. Seriously worth trying." - Maaike den Dunnen (Vocals)
Although my plan was to study abroad for only half a year, I ended up studying in Austria for two and a half. It's a great conservatory and had fantastic teachers from New York at the time. No, it doesn’t sound sexy to study in Austria. Jazz isn't the first thing that comes to mind, Austria is more famous for its history in classical music. But when you look at the quality of teachers... the possibilities were endless. I could never have afforded to take lessons from those teachers when I would have studied in New York.
One of the teachers taught me composition and gave me this record to listen to. I was amazed by it. And the best thing I ever heard until then. Maybe it still is. I can listen to it endlessly without it becoming boring. It’s written really well. And look at the selection of musicians!
I saw Jay Clayton perform twice and met her once when I attended one of her workshops in Austria. Both times I was really impressed. I was fascinated during her concert. I watched and listened closely and was on the edge of my seat! That’s something I don’t experience very often. Maybe 5% of the time during a concert. But when she sings a ballad, I can feel tears running down my face. She’s really authentic, close to herself and her emotions. She doesn’t do tricks.
She had a great influence on the free jazz scene in New York. To be honest, that’s not something I like to listen to. But she got my attention. She inspires me. This is one of her more traditional recordings though, it's easier to listen to. I find it truly beautiful
The thing I love about Norma Winstone are her lyrics. The lyrics from the American Songbook can be one-dimensional for my taste. But she writes with emotion and loads of metaphors. Something I strive to accomplish myself. So when I heard her singing for the first time I felt recognition in a way. Her lyrics are more complex, poetic. You can interpret it in different ways.
I especially listen to her when I feel a little bit down. To enable my self to move on. Get over my funk. This beautiful music is comforting to me.
Yeah, so… I really hate doing my taxes. Surprise! The first few years I tried to make it bearable by putting this song on repeat. Until I got really sick of it. Seriously worth trying.
Stevie isn’t in any of the #5xtypical lists? Wow! That surprises me! Let me correct it by adding a song of his to my list. If only if I knew which one…. he wrote so much great stuff! Back in the Grooveshark day I made whole playlists of Steve Wonder. I played it during cooking. I just added the songs that where most listened to because I liked it all. You know what? Can I add a whole record? Because ‘Hotter than july’ includes most of my favorites.
Now I think of it. It surprises me how I developed my musical taste. My parents didn’t listen to this kind of music at all. Never mind jazz. I only came into contact with Steve Wonder when I was in a band at the age of 20. I think it was via my bass player. But all the band members where fan of either Steve Wonder and/or Steely Dan.
Since I'm a singer, I think most people are surprised seeing this one on my list. Because it's completely instrumental and pretty abstract. I don't find his music very emotional, but there's so much energy and creativity to it, it really gives me a kick.
I think the following anecdote tells us a lot about one of Hollands most prominent jazz vocalists Maaike den Dunnen:
"I think it wasn’t until the conservatory that I started developing an intrest in jazz. It wasn't in the charts, you know? And I always played classical cello. I used it to audition too. I wanted to become a music teacher. But when I got improvisation lessons I started listening to jazz records. Classes in piano accompaniment followed and I had to perform. Singing. That’s when it hit me; this is what I want to do! Singing. Jazz. I started studying really hard to change studies. At first I took jazz vocal and piano classes. I dropped piano not much later to focus soley on singing."
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"I really liked this record when it got jammed in the CD slot of my car in Italy. It sat there for 1,5 years before I got the garage to fix it!"
- Alessandro Fongaro (Double Bass)
I have listened to this album a lot. Mainly because of the melodies. It grabbed me the first time I listened to it and gave me hope somehow. A positive vibe.
I also love the imperfections. There are three saxophones playing. But the interesting thing is that they are out of tune sometimes. They are not always together. And no, they are not playing super tight everywhere. It’s kind of organic. I love the effect they create.
These great musicians all have a strong individual personality but the combination of them playing together is even more powerful. This album is actually the reason why I started my own quintet. The melodies inspired me so much I wanted to try to write my self something similar to it. Although, eventually I started walking my own musical path and took some distance from the thing that inspired me at first. But you can imagine my attachment to this album.
This is something I was totally into like four years ago. The album is recorded live at Village Vanguard. Although I really love the melody of this song, what’s always impressed me the most is about the three solos that are featured. The way they build up the tension through each of the solos is incredible! Every solo makes you hold your breath from the beginning until the end.
I often listened to this album in Italy while driving to a gig, to get the energy. Get into the vibe.
I started playing electric bass around the age of 14. I had a band in high school that covered mainly rock songs. We where into Led Zeppelin big time. So, I really had to choose one of their songs for this list. 'No Quarter' starts with an electric piano sound that has some kind of dark vibe around it but it's powerful at the same time. I loved the guitar riff, but when I listen to it now, after years, what really impresses the most me is John Bonham’s way of drumming!
I didn’t listen to jazz until years later. I heard a couple of friends playing some kind of fusion jazz. I went to their rehearsals and started playing it more and more myself. First on electric bass but eventually I switched to double bass. Only a year ago I got my hands back on the e. bass to compose for my new project. I wanted to create a totally different sound than my acoustic quintet. I wanted to challenge myself with something new.
No, I won’t lose my acoustic sound. I think I still like to play double bass more. But mainly because I’m still more comfortable with it now. I’ve been playing it non stop for the past 8 years. For the non-musical readers, it’s a totally different instrument to play.
I like Time Remembered in particular but the whole album is extremely beautiful.
This record is a tribute to Bill Evans. The musicians are Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano and Marc Johnson. In my opinion some of the most melodic and honest musicians.
They really made something of their own with the songs they featured in this album. With a profound respect for Evan’s work. You can still hear the connection. You could say it’s like a continuation of what Bill Evans did somehow. Like an evolvement. The sound they created can only be made by them. Individually they have such a strong voice. The album sounds sweet and delicate but they play with a very wide range of dynamics.
Put on some good headphones and just relax on the couch without being interrupted. Enjoy the album from the beginning to the end, on your own.
Do I like this version or the original more? I can relate to this version more, period wise. It’s more contemporary. It’s closer to me that way. Not that I don’t love the version of Bill Evans.
I got this record when I started playing jazz, like 6 or 7 years ago. I was really into it when it got jammed in the CD slot of my car in Italy. It sat there for 1,5 years before I got the garage to fix it!
I’ve not listened to it for a long a while now but I still think I can sing the solo's along because of the 1,5 years I listened to this record. I could have turned on the radio instead but I would get board of it after a while. There isn’t much good stuff on the radio in Italy, not during the daytime for that matter.
Yeah, I got it out eventually, unharmed. But now I’m afraid to put it back in because I don’t want it to get stuck again.
For every period of time in his life Alessandro Fongaro, double bass player, has 3 or 4 songs. Songs he listens to about 20 times a day. To select 5 songs, out of the almost 20 songs he collected the past years, seemed quite impossible to him. The 5th song of this list could be replaced by any of those 16 other songs. He selected the last one for the great story he could include.
Alessandro started playing electric bass in a rock-coverband during high school. After playing a lot of Led Zeppelin he got introduced to jazz. It took only a year before he replaced his electric bass for double bass. Only recently he picked it up again. He wanted to look back to where he started in order to find inspiration to go further.
His #5xtypical list reflects his musical journey.
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"He composed the piece while imprisoned by the Germans during WOII on a piano which was stationed outside for almost two years already, a faded violin, cello and a clarinet with missing valves."
- Camiel Jansen (Double Bass)
I really didn’t know which song to include from Radiohead. It doesn’t matter really, I love everything they make. I never stopped listening to them after they released, OK Computer in 1997.
They have a different way of looking at and producing music. It’s storytelling. It’s not about a couple of bars or motives but they use an almost classical composition approach in modern and pop-like music. This way the tension gets to play a bigger role.
They bring something new to the table in every record they release. In their fourth album, Kid A, they went with electronics. Later they returned to instrumental and now they mixed the two. ‘Bloom’ is a good example. The fact their songs can have the length of five minutes, something that’s not really common in the pop-scene, doesn’t matter to them. Within these five minutes they take you to another world. Even if you have no knowledgs of music an it’s technique, even if you are a metalhead or eigthy years old, everyone can find something they appreciate in their music.
Olivier Messiaen was a catholic French composer from the 20th century and a very religious man. I have an appreciation for his amazing development when you look at composition. He experimented with different timbres, scales… well let say the conclusion is he did some groundbreaking stuff when it comes to technique within composition.
However it’s not why I wanted to include this piece. I chose to share it with you because it’s part of a concert 45-minute concert. One he wrote while imprisoned by the Germans during the Second World War. He composed the piece an a piano which was stationed outside for almost two years already, a faded violin, cello and a clarinet with missing valves. He played it with fellow imprisoned musicians.
For me, it’s a heavy piece even without the knowledge of its background. You just feel the suffering. He made choices in the melody he wrote for the cello solo which amaze me. He had balls. It’s a beautifull story with an ongoing melody. That’s bold on itself I think. But when he does take a breath in the melody, and he starts playing again, he repeats parts of the melody he wrote the part before. AND he starts on a note you don’t expect, a note you normally wouldn’t choose.
By the way, it’s no piece to wake up to. I tried it twice, but can’t recommend it. Your mood really gets influenced by it.
This song makes me really happy! I know, not really what you would expect. But it brings me a kind of perspective. I listen to it when the sun starts to shine. At that moment I feel like I can concure the world. It gives me energy. Like someone turned on a light in my head. Do you know the runners high? Kind of like that feeling.
Again, no jazz. No. Is it a bad thing?
This song has multiple layers and let’s me float thru a story. Even without paying any attention to the lyrics. I never listen to lyrics anyway.
I was crazy young when I already knew I wanted to become a concert pianist. But my parents told me they didn’t want a ‘pinging’ kid behind the piano that would drive them crazy. So they told me I could start taking piano lessons when I could reach an octave with one hand. Ten years of piano lessons followed until puberty hit. Mozart en Chopin had to move for 50 Cent, much cooler of course.
Then a couple of friends started a band, Jeroen Batterink (drummer) and Wannes Salome (producer). They needed a dork to play bass. So, eager to play in a band, I started studying bass. In two or three years I learned to play the thing really well. We started to book a lot of gigs, won some competitions and I even got to play with the NBE in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
It wasn't much later Jeroen and I got accepted to the training program of the conservatory. It was there I decided to change to double bass because I wanted to play and study jazz. So, I didn’t become a concert pianist. But that background influenced my love for heavy emotional music I guess.
When I heard we where going to play this piece with the Dutch Student Orchestra I was really really happy. It’s one of my favourite pieces of Ravel. I heard it every day for the last week and a half, and it still doesn’t bore me. But that’s not really the reason why I share it with you guys.
It isn’t even the most beautiful piece of this list, although it touches me. But I got a lot of appreciation for this piece. When you know the story behind it, it’s hard not to. Ravel wrote it for a friend of his who couldn’t play with his right hand anymore. So when you play this piece as a pianist your right hand just hangs alongside your body the entire time. Looks kind of weird. But its virtuoso and showy and just beautiful.
Also, when you play with your left hand you play the lower register of the piano. So, the whole piece is focused on the lower insturments. It has a solo for double bass and basoon and has a big part for tuba. Love it.
It’s craftsmanship and the perfect combination of origional ideas put thogether by somehone without fear to let it shine. The arrangements are put togheter very beautifully and the motives are composed thru the whole piece like it’s something natural. Something Julian Schneeman manages to do as well.
Camiel Jansen told me he often thinks music means different things to him then to other people. It’s for me to try and put what he meant in words. Not easy I tell you. Can we compare it with emotional nourishment?
Afraid he will be seen as an elitist he explains reluctantly that he rather listens to music that moves him deeply on an emotional level. He likes to be sucked into a heavy, layered and complex story in which high quality music technique strengthens the emotional part of a piece. However, technique must not prevail. For that means the musician only wants to show off how well he masters an instrument.
All songs in this list have an accent on the increasing of tension. The songs are not build with a verse and chorus but all tell a different story. Something he was fascinated by even as a kid. He listened to heavy classical music years before his puberty and can’t remember wanting to be something else then a concert pianist. But then puberty came along and 50 Cent took the place of Chopin and Mozart. Happily, the drive to play in a band brought him to start playing bass. Not long after he graduated from Codarts as a double bass player.
By the way, he just recorded the first album with his ensemble Ikarai. They uniquely blend the worlds of classical composition and improvisation into the soundtrack of a tale never told. Stay tuned!
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"It’s from the album ‘The Easy Way’. And if there is something relaxed… it’s this record. This song reflects what I’d like to be myself."
- Ellister van der Molen (Trumpet player)
All that romance! But for me, this is youth sentiment. I’ve got a jazz loving father and we both listened to this a lot when I was younger.
He was the one that motivated me to audition for the training program of the conservatory. Unfortunately, the music world had a stiff maner of looking at education. I was accepted on the condition I would leave jazz for what it was. I was to play onlyclassical music. Which made me love jazz even more. The secretive vibe it got attracted me.
My puberty wan’t very easy. All the early mornings and preparations. I hated it so much. No, I’m still not a morning person. To compensate I listened to Transition by Coltrane every morning, however early. My mother used to hate it. So I loved it even more.
Happily I had great neighbors. One of them even complained he didn’t hear me enough. And I still am lucky. My current neighbors endure my exercises in flexibility and sound, which are even more horrible to listen to than a young kid learning an instrument. I certainly do mind the time I play at. That’s mostly at 11 in the morning or the early afternoon. And whenever I get flowers after a concert, II make sure to bring them to my upstairs neighbor.
Oh and, when you play this while driving, you’re home 10 minutes earler. That’s another thing I appreciate. When I’m frustrated or want to lose some energy, I turn to this song. Repeat an Go!
When I want some peace and quiet, I listen to this one while I cook for myself. It’s perfect for an evening on the couch. Not that I have many of those but that’s what makes them all the more special. I love to drink whisky to close off the evening in style.. Sometimes I invite some friends over and cook for them. The whole record is perfect for it.
After a night like that there is one thing I put off. The dishes. But with Live And in Living Color by Tower Of Power it’s done in seconds!
I was in New York a while back when a fellow trumpet player played the song ‘You’re Still A Young Man’. When I recognized it after less than four notes he was mesmerized. The song itself nor the lyrics are that special. I guess he took me for worse a trumpet nerd than he already suspected :)
I didnt’ know which of these last two songs to choose. It’s a choice between adventure and comfort.
Western suite is just beautiful. Everybody has an own, separate voice, in perfect interaction What I love about the music of Jimmy Giuffre is his untraditional approach to melody and accompaniment: the roles constantly change or sometimes are left out (you don’t always need to confirm the chords / the beat since they’re there anyway). This open space makes the music exciting and fresh. Furthermore he has a nice, recognizable sound on both clarinet and baritone sax.
It’s from the album ‘The Easy Way’. And if there is something relaxed… it’s this record. This song reflects what I’d like to be myself. A lot of musicians play punctual and on time, almost pushing something down your throat. But this is played like there is nothing to it, effortless.
Would you rather play with musicians who are as relaxed as that? Ha! Thats a question of conscience. Yeah, I think I have a preference. But it’s not like I only play with that kind of musicians. The joke is; to lay that relaxed you’ve got to have everything under control. Otherwise you can’t let go. The musicians I enjoy play with the most have that kind of control. Like Jos Machtel. When you hear that guy play it’s great immediately! But don’t be fooled. He still grows and practices every day like no other.
For me, there has to be space to do things totally wrong. There is some bigband lead players for instance who have this immense 'joie de vivre’. When something goes wrong, it’s really, really wrong. But they laugh about it and play on. Nobody blames each other because they took the risk and that by itself is great to listen to. Your playing has to be in your range but not inside the lines. That’s the only way it stays playful.
We all know Ellister is one of few successful female jazz musicians. Naturally we talked a bit about the lack of women in the industry. She thinks it’s due to the fact women crave more safety than men. Most of them want a steady job, buy a house and yes, have children. It does’t mix well with a career as an (instrumental) musician. It may even be harder than pursuing a singing career.
However Ellister didn’t know any better than this is what she wanted from a young age. So she fought for it. I think succes partially depends on continuing to pursue where others stop. So I think the theory of Ellister isn’t that crazy.
But enough about women and jazz. Ellister van der Molen's #5xtypical list reflects her love for jazz. They are not the most beautiful songs or the best because she feels those are not the one’s you listen to for the pure joy of it. Therefore she created the list by thinking of songs she listened to the most. I enjoyed it very much and hope you do to.
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"Maybe that’s why I thought “Yes, I want this in my ensemble as well!” when I heard Itai Weissman play the EWI." - Robert van der Padt (Pianist)
When I took a prepatory course at the conservatory of Maastricht I got a couple of written arrangements of Gerswin, but like any other 12/13 year old I didn’t listen to music a lot. Although... I was hooked on the Black Eyed Peas back then. It doesn’t have an influence any more though. (Laughs). But when I heard the Greatest Hits of Dave Brubeck I was sold. I grew up with it from my 13th until my 16th. Especially this song gives me flashbacks. When I was studying in New York it was played live at Smalls. It got a big smile on my face there.
Man, this is energy. Great catchy theme! The last time I heard 'Laurine' live I was still looking for the stage. It supposed to be somewhere in the open air in the middle of a park in Utrecht. I suddenly heard it when I was riding my bike and for a moment I thought of tossing my bike but it was still too far. While whistling along I raced to that stage. Got to love this song.
Just magnificent. The opening track is my favorite by the way, I used it in one of my own concerts with my band Tyranni Flock not long ago. You can include the whole album by the way, it’s great!
After I played ‘Philip’ by Harmen Fraanje at the conservatory, it was one of the first pieces I played there with Bert van den Brink as teacher, I dove in all his other music. Bert always told me his students inspired and challenged him and in most of the stories Harmen appeared.
I found Harmen's first two records in the library and downloaded the sheet music from his website to study it. Those pieces gave me a lot of insight as to what jazz could sound like as well. His music motivated me to write my own. I bought 'Avalonia', with 'Body and Soul', at his release. I am amazed by Harmens ability to give the standard his own voice and make it contemporary again. I even transcribed it in New York. In my opinion it's one of the best versions available.
By the way, when I was six Harmen could have been my teacher in Roosendaal. He tought jazz piano there but my parents send me to pop because they thought it was more fun for a six year old. They where probably right. But I had to laugh when my mother told me later on. Only much later Harmen played in the concertgebouw with his trio and I went to listen. Apparently my old pop-piano teacher thought the same thing and the three of us ended up drinking a beer after the concert.
Michael Brecker is one of the pioneers on EWI and I just love this song. Maybe that’s why I thought “Yes, I want this in my ensemble as well!” when I heard Itai Weissman play the instrument.
I got to know the song by searching for more music from the Brecker Brothers. During my studies everyone played ‘Some Skunk Funk’ so I got curious about the whole repertoire of the Brecker Brothers.
The song feels like a guilty pleasure because I think I enjoy it more then most sane people do. I’d like to dance to it at home and can really enjoy it. And also, the way it’s produced, fantastic, you won’t find it nowadays.
Robert shifts his time between his master at the conservatory Tilburg, his career as a pianist, his project Tyranni Flock and managing a bookings agency. Because he is just starting he has to ask for a lot of investing time from his ensemble and he says it sometimes feels a bit egotistical. But with his bookings agency he pays back, this is where he can invest in other people.
His graduating research is mostly about giving your music a representative character so you can transfer it better to your public. As an Art Director I immediately got interested. He explained: “Technically you give your public more material to relate to your work and therefor increasing it's expression. If you are a musician you can tell what your music is all about, what you translated into music, and your listeners automaticaly recognizes stuff, is making links and connections. The more elements you add to the representative character, the more expressive your piece gets.
Robert experimented with it himself in one of his own concerts. He had the band play in the back of the venue in stead of the stage. For him it was in line of the representative character of his piece and a translation that fitted with his story, traveling to New York. It was the first part of five from his ‘Brooklyn Suites’. Only following three pieces take place in the city itself and are performed on stage.
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"Don’t put music in boxes you can check. That way the time around it fades and what’s left is poetry." - Ruben Verbruggen (Alto & Baritone Saxophonist)
This take – recorded in 1951 – is fantastic to listen to. You can hear the fun they are having while playing this music. And how they play is magnificent. Although you can’t hear Kenny Clark as much, sometimes it sounds like he's drumming on a chair or on his knees. The sound of the recording is not high quality, but the song in itself is. It’s fresh and a good example of why I also like making live music: playing can give you the feeling everything around you fades away and all that’s left is the music in that moment.
My previous roommate used to listen a lot to Tristano at the same time I was listening to Parker. He told me stories of the guys (including Charlie Parker) who were visiting the jam session at Lennie Tristano's place. So we were hoping a recording of their collaboration would exist. Voilà!
A while ago I was listening to an album of Chris Potter's 'Underground' Quartet, not specifically my cup of tea, but really good. Listening to that record, I was amazed by the way Craig Taborn played the fender rhodes: very creative, strong with both hands and producing a nice and rough sound.
A while later, I was in a record store, trying to find something of Craig Taborn and I stumbled upon 'Farmers by Nature'. I bought it, expecting something like what I had heard earlier. But no, it sounded totally different and I felt shocked! The trio is quite traditional, the music however, is not. The way they play feels free and is so much together in an organic way. They're producing not 'just' the notes of an instrument, they take it further and create a pure and raw sound.
Of course, I’ve always liked Coltrane. I don’t think this one needs a lot of explanation. It just goes really deep. Very nice. For example, how Elvin Jones hits the drums or how Dolphy plays in his own way. I also like the tempo: medium-slow, kind of dirty. Everyone has there way of playing it, but they all swing! And the five of them together sounds so good.
When I was younger I attended a workshop by Ben Sluijs and he told us “When you’re playing the saxophone, playing music, you’ve got to try to play for the cosmos.” You can play a note on a saxophone but you can also project a sound through a certain space, fill the atmosphere. This song is a great example of that.
Maybe you noticed that I listen to lots of the ‘classic' saxophone heroes and that’s right. But not because I ought to 'because they are considered to be great masters.' It's because they are. Simple as that.
For this album Free Desmyter plays with John Ruocco, Manolo Cabras and Marek Patrman. It’s a record with a lot of different songs, moods and freedom. I’m a big fan of this song, which is the last tune of the record and I listen to it a lot. It’s a very nice solo piece composed and played by Free Desmyter and in my opinion it’s an original choice to select this tune to close the album.
What I specifically like about this is the constant confrontation of tension and release. It’s melancholical but not necessarily sad; and at the same time it sounds playful and hopeful. To me music is the ideal form of art to express melancholy. A song like this transcends terms like 'jazz' or 'classical music'. It’s just what it is. Personal. The only thing that matters is the beauty of it.
This is something different. It’s not a song, it’s a short documentary about Sam Dillemans, a Belgian painter. Watching this motivates me. It gives me perseverance to continue what I’m doing. For example, when I have a hard time finishing a composition this inspires me to pursue my work. In my opinion Sam Dillemans is a great example of a pure artist. “Life is full of compromises, but art knows no compromise.” In music, I think, art is a complex word, but yes, making music does feel like an artistic thing.
He also says “Do not move with time, move with poetry.” It’s what I meant to express in my explanation of the Charlie Parker – Lennie Tristano song. You don’t want to place things in a certain time or genre; like this is classical, or, this is freejazz, or, this is bebob. It’s just music of that particular moment. Don’t put it in boxes you can check. In that way the time around it fades and what’s left is poetry. That's why projects such as Bulliphant are interesting to me. It's not determined by restrictions of a certain genre. It is mainly determined by the musicians of the band playing music together, honest and spontaneous.
Ruben walked into my studio with Vinyl and CD’s. Loving analogue things myself we were off to a good start. Even his preperations he had written down on paper. At the end of the interview I understood why. Speaking of music like poetry I got to know Ruben as an artist, although he’ll never say it himself.
He plays in very different formations like his own bands Bulliphant and Spoken Quartet, but also Bravo Big Band, Balkan fanfare Den Ambrassband and projects like Keenroh XL with a big improvising basis. "Especially," he says, "so I can keep learning.". He tries to give all to every project, although sometimes a lack of time makes him favour his own bands, because that’s were his heart lies and he finds the most joy in playing.’
Not only is this the first #5xtypical to go international, it's also the first interview not entirely about music but more about the love for art in a musical way.
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"I love his sound, phrasing and knowledge. This record, with guitarist Jim Hall, is his best in my opinion." - Donald Simoen (Saxophonist)
For me, this is the ultimate “back-seat-of-the-car” feeling. My father played a lot of music in the car on vacation, on our way to family, you name it. I heard this record a lot during those times, probably unaware of it at the time. So it brings back good memories. And, when I was touring, and vacationing at the same time, I found out this was also the favorite album of the whole band.
I was always fascinated by Paul Desmond. I love his sound, phrasing and knowledge. This record, with guitarist Jim Hall, is his best in my opinion. Although I find it hard to choose. Desmond was a unique figure. The more you get to know about his background, the more interesting it becomes to listen to his music.
On another of my vacation-tours in Spain a good friend of mine played this record for me. It quickly became the soundtrack of those two weeks. When I hear this music, it only takes me a second before I sit in the car on my way to the beach!
Now… I’m not a really big fan of everything she made, but this track of Erykah Badu is awsome. It has a great groove and I simply love it.
Sometimes it just has to swing really hard, exactly like these guys do on this album. It gives me a smile on my face every time I hear it. The sound is just fantastic! Even more fantastic if you think about the fact it was their first time playing in this formation!
Donald Simoen is an incredibly kind and fantastic Rotterdam based saxophone player. From the minutes I spend with him taking his portrait I got to know him as a positive guy who likes to collaborate with many different musicians. It’s one of the reasons you’ll probably have heard and seen him playing at different jam sessions within Rotterdam, Amsterdam, or even at the beach in Spain!
He immediately gave me a smile by adding Nightfly by Donald Fagen to the top of his list. It’s one of the favorites of my youth as well and I think many others. To be honest, the whole playlist could almost have been my own. So I hope you enjoy the flashback and this #5xtypical interview as much as I do!
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"You know, the feeling you’ve got to go back to basic, tune it all down and build up again." - Marije van Rijn (a.k.a. Scarlet Mae)
Joni has to be included in my list because she has such a huge influence on us songwriters and her life is a story on its own. She is a wanderer, someone who traveled a lot and never really settled. Maybe it’s the reason I listened to her music a lot when I traveled to New Orleans a couple of months ago. I liked listening to her a lot at that particular time, even though I knew her music much longer. It’s about 3 or 4 years ago I found myself in a blue period. A period in which I could understand her much better.
She started as a folk singer with her guitar and voice, in a men’s world. Her songs where quite unique for that time because they where raw, she wrote exactly what she felt. Actually, it was much too direct. Fortunately there were some people who, because of it, felt a connection with her. During her career, her voice became lower and she started to sing more jazz. You can hear this development in her albums.
I see Laura along the lines of Joni Mitchel. Pure and personal. Both give me the feeling their music isn't beautiful just to be beautiful. It's beautiful in it's raw format, like it's just written down in this moment. Something I appriciate.
About two years ago, I think it was in the summer, I got the feeling I had to ‘reset’. You know, a feeling you’ve got to go back to basic, tune it all down and build up again. At that time, this song was one of my favourites.
The album in particular is kind of special too. Laura wrote the first five songs in one take. There is no pause, she plays them one after the other. This music has to reflect exactly what she was feeling at that moment, really special. It starts melancholic and gets more positive to the end.
Are you looking for music on a relaxt day? An album for the perfect sunday perhaps? One that makes you do the dishes with a smile on your face? I recommend ‘Make me Rainbows’. It’s so lovely to listen to this song, this album, and just shuffle through the house, cleaning, or doing nothing.
I got to know this piece via my teacher at Codearts, Stéphane de May. A really passionate and good pianist of wich I had the honors to get piano lessons from during my time at Codarts. During one of the lessons he said: “Listen to this, it’s so you!” and he gave me Piano Concerto in G, M. 83:2 by Ravel. I myself have a light touché, so it fits me like a glove. My throat closed when I first heard this piece. I hear melancholy and reflection in it and find myself to be emotional when I listen to it.
Stéphane also told me to really think about playing it or not. I decided not to. I didn’t want to touch it at this time because I’m the kind of person who does not want to pursue something just to partly complete it. I’m a perfectionist. And it’s my challange to choose the things I think I can do perfect. So I try to focus on the things I like to do the most. I love this music, but at this time of my life, it doesn’t fit to try and play it. My focus is somewhere else.
Alan Hampton is actually a great jazz bassist and plays with Robert Glasper for example, and Andrew Bird. He made this album in his own time, totally different genre. More like Paul mcCarney and Paul Simon. Two of the musicians I grew up listening to. If you listen closely you can hear their influence in this album too.
These lyrics and music are inspiring to me. It gives me direction to where I want to go, what I want to play.
This is one of the first songs I heard from here. I think my mother gave me her CD when I was 17. It grabbed me right away and I started to dig in her past. She is a disturbed woman. Bipolar. One with a dramatic life. Her husband hit her, was her manager and let her work concert after concert without a break. There is a beautiful documentary about here by the way. I can recommend watching it.
I also leaned she was part of the civil rights movement for a while and she had a period in her career where she was lost. For a while she performed in tiny venues somewhere in the back of bars and cafe’s in France for a meal and some cash. Keep in mind she sold out big venues not long before that.
The thing I love the most about here is the way she plays, freely and with ease. And she can translate emotions in a way no one else can.
This song is more like a jam. It’s a life version of one of the songs i still can hear freedom and happyness in making music. It’s something I, and I think a lot of music students with me, lost a while during my time at the conservatory. There was even a period during my studies I lost all fun in playing. It took a while for me to get it back.
I think it’s a waste that achievement is the main focus point at musical education. Music for me is one of the few things to be free of achievement and goals. So when I give workshops or piano lessons to children myself the emphasis is on making fun. I show them how to make music together and create something beautiful. I guess it’s becomming like a personal mission now I talk about it. A personal mission to focus on the joy of making music. I also want my music to reflect it.
Something totally different. Because this is also me. Although I got to know it via my brother. This song reflects a holliday feeling for me. Get in the car, drive away an put this song on. I love it.
Sometimes, like once in a year, or two, she gets to experience the magic of creating a song that just flows out of her. Lyrics and all. Picked out of the sky to write down on paper. It all is pure, made out of her own originality as a person, as uninfluenced as possible. Just like me (I thought I was weird and the only one) she has the drive to create and think of it all herself. She doesn’t want to be influenced too much by what is already made.
As face of her band Scarlet Mae, Marije van Rijn is a sensitive and emotional pianist and singer-songwirter. She performed at
Pop-up010, visited 3FM, got an incredible lovely review in Oor Magazine for her debut album and has the personal mission to keep the fun of making music alive. Keep an eye on this one and read the interview to get to know her a bit more.
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"I don’t know if I really think its beautiful.
I suppose it depends on how you define the word "beautiful." - Wietse Voermans (saxophonist)
Kopenhagen has been a very inspiring time for me. I studied there for two semesters, one year, and was looking for another way to compose. So I mainly looked at what was done already.
When I studied there I got lessons from Mark Solborg. He suggested I listened to one of his own albums. I even got the opportunity to see his compositions, what made the album extra special and interesting. But even if I hadn’t I would have found it an amazing record. It was perfect for the time, a real eye-opener.
It’s all in the name, a song to make you happy.
Years ago, when I listened to it non stop, it was filed under the wrong name on my MP3-player. It was the start of the MP3 era. You know, the period in time in which you downloaded music but didn’t know if your music had the right name attached to it? I listened to this song a lot, although I wasn’t really into jazz at that time. I didn’t even know all the best names in the field yet. But Cannonball was one of my hero’s, he still is a little. He is one of the first saxophonists I truly listened to. He creates stories with a beginning and end, something I really appreciate because it’s by no means a given.
Lotte Anker gave me one of her records as well. During the lessons I got from her we talked a lot about what I thought sounded interesting.
Lotte is in the free-improve scene. And although this record includes parts that are composed, it’s very hard to say exactly where the composted parts begin and the improvised end. It seamlessly connects with each other. And that voice! It’s used in such a origional way. The voice of an old man, can’t miss it. But especially the saxophone is used in an interesting and totally different way. It’s used as a whole, all parts of it. It is not something we haven't heard before, but just really, really, good.
The best thing of this record is that it is kind of a musical film. Although nice, it also is kind of scary. You can’t dance to it, it doesn’t swing and it isn’t melodic. It’s more like musical storytelling, without turning in a play on the radio. And that’s what I admire about it. You’ve got to grab a comfy sofa, lie there and try to catch the ride. Try to include yourself in the story and get carried away. Don’t try to multitask and go and do the dishes, just listen.
I don’t know if I really think its beatifull. I suppose it depends on how you define the word "beautiful".
The reason I include Jimmi Guyffre in this list is mainly because of his journey as a musician. His journey is quite interesting if you look at a the following short period of time in his life.
Let’s start with the record ‘The Four Brothers Band’. He recorded it in 1947. Cool jazz, clean and well composed and arranged.
A couple of years later, in 1961 he releases two records: ‘Thisis’ & ‘Fusion’, more experimental. I think it has an interesting dark and mysterious atmosphere. In this record you hear the thing I also loved about Lotte’s music, it's not quite clear what is composed and what is not.
In 1963, he recored ‘Free Fall’, totally different, minimalistic this time, with ease, and experimental at a level I wouldn’t expect for this period in time. No surprise, but unfortunately the record wasn't’ very well received. What intrigues me is that it’s free jazz and improvised, but very dynamic, exiting, nuanced and sometimes almost classical.
A bit cliche, but it regularly listened to this song at the start of the relationship with my girlfriend. She moved to Italy for 3 months! Understandably, I was sad about it sometimes so my association with this song is kind of melancholic. I think to hear honesty in it, something pure.
Sometimes I wonder if I really like some music I listen to, or if I like it because it’s found to be ‘good’ in general by the people around me. How much influence do they have on me?
If I remember it well I got this record as a present from my father. Now, it’s a record I play when I want a smile on my face. I play it in the car or at home when I throw a party. Great album cover by the way!
I discovered this band at State X Festival. It’s the band of pianist David Moore and the genre minimal. The whole record listens like a trip. Like you’re under water. Only the pianist and the person behind the electronics take care of movement. Really cool! The rest of them only play long notes. But it works really well.
I met Wietse Voermans as part of EDWIN Quartet a couple of years ago. I also shot his portrait for Spoken Quartet, a saxophone quartet. And in that time, and through the interview I got to know Wietse as another kind of musician. You won’t find him at a lot of jam-sessions around town. He is more a composer, a thinker, a storyteller and is inspired by musicians who experiment with the saxophone as a whole object rather than only the origional instrument. So to me it’s not surprising he, as part of a group, participated in a filmfestival and improvised - life - music under a couple of silent movies. (Don’t worry, I already asked him If he would bring the concept to Rotterdam.)
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"I think I can listen to this record my whole life. Every time I listen to it I discover new things I like. And I think that will still be the case when I’m grey and old." - Jeroen Batterink (drummer)
I’m just addicted to this record. It’s produced really well and the lyrics are genius. Normally I’m not focussed on lyrics, but with Kendrick you HAVE to. Every word, every sentence refers to something else. This whole album is thought out so well, put together so well, he couldn’t miss in this list. And for something extra; one of my all time favourite musicians play together on this album. Like Thundercat.
My idol plays at this record, drummer Marcus Gilmore. He is really quite young but damn good. Everything he plays breathes a kind of overview and controle I never saw with anyone.
I especially can listen to this version of Stablemates because its build unconventional. The way these guys play this song is totally different than we’re used to. It’s not really clear where solo’s end and themes begin. The interaction and teamwork makes it interesting to listen to. I find the communication between jazz musicians intriguing by any definition.
I think I can listen to this record my whole life. Every time I listen to it I discover new things I like. And I think that will still be the case when I’m grey and old.
This is not my favourite album of theirs. To be honest, everyting exept the first few albums are amazing. But with this one I had a sort of out-of-body-experience. (He laughs) I was resting on a bed, very tired, eyes closed, and suddenly felt like I sank further and further into my matras. Hinged from my feet down. I was so into the music I apperantly was relaxed enough to experience this kind of hing. Weird! But amazing!
I listen to a lot of different music. Because of that, making this list wasn’t as easy as it looked when you asked me. Cid Rim belongs in my list because it doesn’t matter if I’m in a club dancing to his music, or I’m just waking up in the morning, up for an active day. His work is always great.
I love electronic music. For example everyone who is part of label Brainfeeder of Flying Lotus (Cid Rim is not one of them.) Although I didn’t lean to appreciate it before some of my friends took me to Pitch festival. That’s when I was hooked.
I especially include Cid Rim in this list because, in contrast to a lot of musicians in his genre, you can hear his musical background. Cid Rim isn’t a musician that just mixes an shuffles with tunes and stuff. He clearly knows what he’s doing. Listen to the harmonies and the beats! It’s complex. When you listen to this song you’ll probably know right away why I chose it.
Allright, there is one person I absolutely HAVE to include in this list. And that’s Wannes. Wannes is a very good friend of mine and I allways looked up to him. Still do actually. He is the kind of guy that only writes good stuff. Like this EP for example. I can listen to it all day. It feels like ‘home’ now. When I was in India for 3 months to teach the culture shock was quite big and I would sometimes feel a bit homesick. At those times I would play his album and the feeling instantly went away.
Jeroen Batterink is one of the most asked drummers of his generation, graduated Cum Laude from the conservatory of Amsterdam in 2014, he falls asleep while listening to Kendrick Lamar, in a good way. He introduced me to - yeah I’m deeply shamed of my ignorance from it - Tiny Desk Concerts. I’m eternally greatfull for that one. And he included an EP of one of his best friends to his #5xtypical list. #respect
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"I don’t want to hear music, I want to feel it."
- Jan van Duikeren (trumpet)
Sports are a big part of my life, mainly running. I need it to build resistance against my asthmatic bronchitis, but also to clear my head. Since I bought a heart rate meter I know running seems to be good for my head but less for the rest of my body. So I try to find the best compromise. However, when I hear songs like Your Cheatin’ Heart by James Brown with the Loui Bellson Big Band (With Ray Brown on bass and Maceo Parker on tenor!), the breaks are off and in only half an hour I’m totally exhausted. For a little change I play Live in Dallas or Live in Paris. Also great records to listen to when your cooking by the way, or racing a car above 120 km an hour.
Sometimes I’ve just had it with my own ideas and vocabulary. At those times it’s a joy to listen to Ryan Kisor. A crazy good trumpet player with a good sound and fresh idea’s in tradition of Woody Shaw, Tom Harrel en Freddie Hubbard. It’s no music to listen to during the dishes or turning in your taxes but it is with some good headphones on, volume 10, on repeat and my trumpet within reaching distance.
I don’t want to hear music, I want to feel it. Donny does that for me. Always. This mans voice and musicality, and such a sad ending. He was also a good orchestrator. I love the whole arrangement in this song. And the rest of the record for that matter. I believe a listened to this record for half a year in my car and I just started playing it again.
Stevie Wonde’s Lately, Sinatra Live at the Saints, Oscar Peterson featuring Clark Terry with Brotherhood of Man Clifford Brown’s solo on Confirmation, Miles Davis’ You’re my everything, Quincy Jones’ arrangement on I can’t stop loving you. D’Angelo live in Montreux, They ar just things that right, however you look at it.
Everyday I’m grateful for what I have and I try never to take things for granted. But when I heard the song ‘Jarig’ or Raymond van het Groenewoud it was nighttime and I was driving my car near Hardewijk, some days before the first birthday of my son. There couldn’t have been a better moment for that song. It hit me really hard, I won’t ever forget it.
In a short amount of time Jan van Duikeren played 18 times in Ziggodome (Amsterdam) with the Special Request Horns. For Marco Borsato, Golden Earring and Racoon. And every morning his alarm goes of early to greet his best friend, his 3 year old son. The conclusion of our conversation: You can do everything if you want it bad enough. Oh, and I almost forgot the repetitions, meetings and concerts with is own quartet JvD4, band FINGERPRINT, the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, Candy Dulfer, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and so on… and so on.. #highonlife
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"To everyone: Please listen to Bill Withers,
it’s inspiring." - Efe Erdem (trombonist)
I listen to a lot of music from the seventies. This song for example. It’s got soul and strong political lyrics, especially for the seventies. They are defending and explain their frustrations. When I listen to a song, most of the time the lyrics are subordinate, because the music has more to offer. There are only a few songs where it’s the other way around for me. And even more rare is the beauty of a song that found the perfect balance of lyrics and music. You’ll hear it in an instant, it’s special. Like this one.
I almost always like the original version of a song better. So, when I heard the covered version of D'Angelo I did some research and found this one. See, when you create a song, it has a certain meaning for you, but other people can interpet it a different way. So when a cover is made it doesn’t have to have this same authenticity. It’s like dressing up a model. And honestly, everything Mr. Watson does is special. His voice and guitar playing are amazing. If you hear and see him play live, it’s a character.
This song makes me appreciate what I have, and gives it importance. The sun, definitely. Even though the sun doesn’t shine at the present moment, you know it’s still there. And as long as it's there, all is going to be fine.
I had eight years of classical music training first, in Turkey. And eventhough I don’t play it anymore, it’s still there. It’s something fundamental, a part of me. The part in this piece I love is the 2nd opus between 4th and 7th minute. There is a part of voila’s that makes me emotional. But not only that part, the whole symphony is beautiful. They used this piece in a movie I saw in Turkey when I was young. It didn’t fit the scene at all but it kind of stuck with me. Now, it’s like a musical flashback. Classical music still feels heavy to me. I experienced a lot of pressure when I got classical music lessons as a kid. When you’re young you try and do what you’re told. Even though you don’t get why you’re doing it. You’re pushed to know things that doesn’t make sense to you. But in time it all comes together and starts making sense. You learn to listen to classical music, but still - for a kid - it’s heavy. I do still visit classical concerts from time to time. I often go when I’ve got some time left in a week. Even if I’m quite tired. I just sit, and close my eyes and feel the goosebumps return. It’s something I don't get from any other kind of music anymore. But this is so close to all human emotions, it hits me every time.
To me, rhythm is like a ritual, a mantra. It goes on and on, gets you in a cycle so you become one with the rhythm. Like a heartbeat. Harmony speaks to your emotions. Different harmonies reflect different emotions. It lets you see the colors of the song. Space in music pushes you to think, to create and talk. It gives you the opportunity to really be there in the music, present. It can make me feel part of the music when I jamm with it on trombone for example. I really like the use of space in this song, the mediterranean vibe, the drama, tragicomical sphere. It’s expressive.
I’m nog going to explain this one. I think it explains itself. To everyone that reads this: Please listen to Bill Withers, it’s inspiring.
Efe Erdem listens miles of different music every day and week. He programs the weekly jamm sessions at NRC (New Rotterdams Cafe), and thinks any kind of pop-music is weird. Not that he doesn’t enjoy playing it. About his future he says: “Music is what I do. I’m the music, the music is in me. It will always be there. So eventhough I’m doing something different in the future. For example, I like fishing a lot, music will allways be a part of my life. But honestly, I see myself touring at the age of eighty."
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"What would I listen to when I feel on top of the world? Silence. No music. Of course." - Shai Maestro (pianist)
I'm an ethereal fan of rhythm. That's my first attraction, my most basic connection to music. For me salsa touches the core of my being, maybe something that has to do with the element of earth. The "extra" content (Lyrics, arrangement ect.) in salsa is important of course but for me it's the rhythm that gets me.
I remember listening to this album over and over again on a family trip to New Zealand. i was really obsessed with it for a long time. the simplicity, groove and intention in this album are just spectacular in my opinion.
Why both happy and sad? Sadness and happiness always co-exist. Yin an Yang. This so resonates with me in many different times and moods.
I don't think this one needs explanation.
Because silence is important, and the world around us is full of colors and smells and sounds and beauty. If I feel on top of the world, i just have to look around. It's all there, all the time.
After his concert in Lantaren Venster a couple of weeks ago, I arranged a meeting with Shai Maestro. I got to ask him a couple of questions and shot a group portrait of his trio.
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"I walked the 250 mile long John Muir Trail, with a big backpack including a Bear Can full of food, a tent, clean water supplies etc etc, I was tired. And I mean really really tired." - Thomas Pol (bassist)
After a 17 day hike thru California, I walked the 250 mile long John Muir Trail, with a big backpack including a Bear Can full of food, a tent, clean water supplies etc etc, I was tired. And I mean really really tired. I saw a shower twice during those 17 day’s.
Tired, but satisfied, free and proud of myself because I made it, I walked into Lone Pine. The village, that also occurs in Godzilla, gave me the opportunity to rest a little before I continued my journey. My car, a Dodge Caravan (MiniVan), aka a Soccer Mom Van, was waiting for me in the parking lot. I cruised to LA with the musical guidance of The Meters. That was the moment I felt as free as a man can feel. I didn't have to do a thing accept driving. Nothing on my mind. Loved it!
*whistling along. This album got recommended to me by a guitarist who also studied at the University of New Orleans. After 5 years of listening, I still can't get enough! It's so energizing. Never boring! I keep hearing new stuff. He combines electronic and acoustic things, tastefully, and in a natural way.
It's a source of inspiration. He sounds modern but not forced. He is hip without wanting to be. Groovy, open. Like a trip. It's high standerd music with a bunch of weird meters. - Robert Frost Experiment - This piece builds kind of like a drum and bass thing. Amazing. Now I think of it, I like this one more then 'The Adventures'. Can I change?
I traveled a lot the last couple of years, met a huge amount of new people, experienced a lot. In those times you notice that a lot of our social contacts come and go in life. Something this song reminds me of. 'If I ever lose my faith in you', it could mean lots of things.
I listen to it a lot on the plane or driving a car. It's kind of nostalgic to me. So it doesn't matter where I am at that moment or what's on my mind. This is a piece of comfort, relaxes me, and gives me a feeling of 'home’. Maybe it's because my father always played it in the car on vacation, on our way to France. It felt like a thousand hours in a stupid crappy car. My brother and I where always fighting at the backseats. But when he turned this song on... we where almost always quite.
This makes me so happy! I have to confess, I'm honestly only listening to this sinds a month or so. Maybe even shorter. By the way, except one, these are all white dudes, and it GROOVES! And it's funny really, when I heard this one I just couldn't remember the name for a long time. But it was/is so familiar!
“We’re pushed in a corner at the conservatory. For me, the tradition worked. I mean I can swing and I like it! Yeah, I like jazz a lot, particularly the old jazz. But there is so much more. Take a look at the bands who totally have formed their own sound. That’s something I aspire, personally. Showing off the things you can do on a instrument is something I find less important than the personal sound of a musician. I’m done with those musicians. There are a few of them who can pull it off, but certainly not all of us. It’s just too damn boring on a record.”
*Starts singing directly, clapping and snapping his fingers.
** I think the singing/playing thing will work out for you Thomas, no doubt about it.
I grew up with this kind of music. My grandfather listened to jazz all the time. My parents are both musicians. So yeah, I grew up in a musical family. I heard Sinatra a lot during my childhood. It swings like nothing else. In my opinion he is one of the bests in transferring lyrics. I can't remember lyrics very well, except his, I think because of his sound and timing.
14 men, and it's mighty grooving! The lines, the timing, everything is great. I love it the most played from an old record player, just for the beauty of the little cracks in vinyl.
Is it shameless to include a song of myself? Because this song really turned out amazing.
It's inspired by an ex of mine in New Orleans. She was an Afro American girl, with a totally different history then me and from another culture of course. She experienced a lot already for her age, big things, like Katrina. She had many highs and lows, emotionally. In one moment her mood could completely change to the opposite. Unfortunately, in her dark days, she would pull me down with her. We would both be kind of depressed. We only had a short relationship, but very intense. She did something with me emotionally.
The relationship came to it's end when I traveled to Holland for a month, during the christmas holidays. When I returned we met for a coffee I she told me she wanted to stop seeing me. I can't blame her, it was my own fault. 45 minutes later I was sitting behind the piano. BAM, in half an hour I composed this piece. It doesn't happen to me a lot I can tell you.
Thomas Pol is a bass player thinking of making a combination with singing. "You just have to except your own sound. It's against the nature of every bass player to be the center of attention. But I slowly get used to it with my own band. Singing will be a nice challenge for me, so it's something for the future. Groove and melody lines (singing) are something totally different. It will take some practice." - Hopefully he won't have to study at it long. I heard his singing voice during the interview. Would be great to hear the combination!
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"...sunday afternoons often consisted of battles of who could make the most noise." - Hermine Deurloo (harmonica)
It only takes a few seconds before I feel like I’m in the bus again, on tour with the Willem Breuker Collective. I’m racing on the highway true the Nederlands, Belgium and finally the small roads in France. The fields go by, small villages, staring out of the car window. I feel a strong sence of freedom, in that moment, there is nothing else. This song brings me back to that time. I listened to it a lot at the time, and all the other work of Morricone.
I think I fall for the whistling and crazy voice in the beginning, both real, authentic. I never heard it like this before.
I listened endlessly to all the work of Nick Drake. And even though there is no further reason to do so, when I hear this song, I cry sometimes. It reminds me of people who are no longer there, the once I miss. Or the heartbreak from the past.
Probability Cloud, never boring. I put it on whenever, wherever. When I’m at home or driving a car. His sound, his choices are never fake. He doesn’t use jazz cliches, he stripped all of that. That’s what inspires me. This song also reminds me of a beautiful moody and rainy day, lovely melancholy.
This is a song of the LP mij father got my mother in high-school, at the beginning of their loving relationship. It has a beautiful text on it from my father to my mother.
The LP, which I confiscated, feels like one of mine now. I listened to it endlessly and still I’m touched by he beautyfull dark an sad voice. As a child I found it fascinating to hear the public and falling of the class. All the background noices. Her piano playing is quite distinctive, not really jazz but with a classic touché.
Everyone knows the song but this version is my favorite, I never heard a better one. She gives it, like always, her own sound and sings rather subdued.
In the moments I just can’t wrap my head around music, or lost the way to go for myself momentarily, I listen to Miles Davis. This song is my favorite, honest and lovely without fake decorations.
I’m not just particulary a fan of Sibelius, but I have a weakness for this piece. I’ve heard it in a the Concertgebouw once, in Amsterdam. Amazing! When I was younger I had extreme high’s and low’s, less nowadays I’m glad to say. But I still get a kick when I listen tho this. The main melody is moving, underneath it the majestic trombone. It ends in ominous and strange. Volume 10 please!
I used to live in an Amsterdam working class neighborhood and sometimes the neighbors had fights. Musically! I’m sure you guessed it already; sunday afternoons often consisted of battles of who could make the most noise. When I was really mad I put this song on, really loud, and joined them. I really don’t know if they heard it at all, but I hope so.
(Jokes: “I notice the whispering is a returning theme in this list…”)I find the setting of the music really inspiring, listen to the many different weird sounds. It’s melancholic but happy at the same time. Cinematic, melodic.
There’s also a harpsichord - like sound (synth) and I suspect myself it’s the something that triggers me in this song. My childhood home had one, my father played. For me it’s the perfect music to ride a bike thru Amsterdam on a beautiful autumn afternoon.
I though long and hard about adding Bach to this list, because he is presented in so many of the other lists. But this piece of Bach is not, and it’s really worthwhile to listen to.
I’m from a pastor’s familiy and grew up with Bach. My father played it on sunday afternoons after he preached in the Amstelkerk (church). Even as a child I found this piece to be light, sweet and moving, even the title.
After the conservatory Hermine Deurloo bought herself a chromatic harmonica. “I play the saxophone less and less. Simply because I like the harmonica better, but also because you use different muscles of your mouth playing the instruments. For now I have chosen to focus entirely on harmonica."
Hermine played with the Metropole Orcheestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Han Bennink, Tony Shcerr, Candy Dulfer, Rembrandt Frerichs and many others.
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"I play this record at least one time a day and still I can’t get enough of it." - Michiel Stekelenburg (guitarist)
Kind of a young dogs-vibe that reminds me of the old records of The Brecker Brothers (which should not be missed in this list actually); Playfull, resourceful, spontaneous, and the play like their lives are at stake. These guys make me really happy!
Guitarist Pat Metheny and Saxophonist Chris Potter are both huge inspiration for me. And on this record, they play together. The pieces of Metheny breath, his melodies sound natural, like there is no other way to play those melodies.
I’m their fan form hour one. I went to a concert on a Sunday afternoon as a young boy of 16, for only Fl 12,50 (gulden)!, and was overwhelmed by their sound, complex rhythms and energetic liveshow. They are pioneers in the field of rhythmical shifts, whose cross-influence you’ll find in contemporary jazz.
Kind of a dreamteam! Great grooves to try new recipes on.
Something totally different. This is a wonderful record for a peaceful Sunday morning. This song in particular.
A special pianist whose music touches me. The perfect combination of classical harmonies, lilting melodies from Armenian folk traditions, and complex rhytms. (You can clearly hear the Meshuggah-invluences.)
I play this record at least one time a day and still I can’t get enough of it. When this piece comes along, I stop with everything I’m doing, it gives me goosebumps and at that moment, I just want to listen.
It turned gray. There are great pieces, I like drummers with a lot of energy. Mark Guiliana is one of them, he is on the top of my list.
Guitar player with a rock/metal history, leeds his own jazz/improvisation-quintet into the last fase of recording his 2nd album. He catched everyone’s eye with his debut record and played at Lantaren Venster and the famous North Sea Jazz festival. He is a musiclover, he wakes up with music and goes to bed with it. He does not fit into a specific genre because he plays jazz, metal, hiphop, classical music and go on. But he has a preference for a strong rhythm and improvisation.
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"This is such a blunt and bold rock song I don’t need no coffee any more." - Baer Traa (singer-songwriter)
This is such a blunt and bold rock song I don’t need no coffee any more. The band has so much adrenaline, and the way the lead singer sings, I spontaniously start bouncing.
Since I lost my Fit-For-Free member cart almost 2 years ago, I take my bike everywhere, as much as I can, to keep some of my condition in tact. It’s just very boring, unless I put on a song like this one. The groove, in particular in the backing vocals of Michael McDonald are a boost that pushes me from Schiedam to Alexander (a part of Rotterdam) in under 4 minutes.
The arrangement, the sound of the guitar, the lyrics, and the almighty voice of John Lennon. Need I say more?
I’m part of writers collective Sugar Sweet Music. We write commercial pop music. Since the beginning of this collective I’ve got a new predilection for everything on a recent Hitzone CD. Mainly Taylor Swift has stolen my writers heart. No guilty pleasure, just pleasure.
Doing the dishes is not my favorite hobby. Fortunately my mate D’Angelo ensures I’m done in a wink of an eye. His songs last about 3 times as long as every other song so if I focus on that, time flies. Besides that, it’s totally awesome.
This friendly, 24 year old, soul, folk and jazz Singer songwriter can call himself, not only, the youngest winner of the jazzvocalist concours in Zwolle, and public favourite I might add (!), but also a finalist of the Erasmus jazz price in 2012! He graduated 2 years later than scheduled, due to all the things he already was involved in as a musician.
He performs as Baer Traa, The Marble Roots & Any Vegetable and writes his own songs. Alone, but also in collaboration with Merel Kooman, for a trailer of a short film for example.
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"Like he said once himself: “It has something for the everyone”." - Sebastiaan van Bavel (pianist)
For me, Mozart is a pleasure to listen to. On the one hand its easy to listen to, on the other it’s unbelievably ingenious! Like he said once himself: “It has something for the everyone”.
The phrasing and lyrics of this track are totally awesome! Mos Def is a big source of inspiration for me. He is especially a master in how to phrase rhythmically.
The way he works with melody, rythm and harmony, its beautiful! Everything comes together in an organic way, while it all is unbelievably complicated. This is also a master! For me it’s the best pianist of this time.
The lines of Coltrane are timed so well. The way he floated in Blue Train, comes back in time, and floats again, its mesmerizing. It gives me a kick every time I hear the start of the horns in the backings.
Two years ago I discovered this master of a musician via my bass player Maciej Domaradzki. The style of the music they practice is called Qawwali. It’s the music of the soefi’s, it’s mainly about worshipping Allah. However, it’s done true a crazy groove with a intense listening experience.
He could have kicked of his career as “the son of…”. But, instead, in 2014 he won an Edison! In the category Jazz National Debut Album (‘As the Journey Begins’). Before that this pianist an composer already won the prestigious ‘Princes Christina Concours’ in the category Jazz (2008). Three years later he did it again, but then in the Classical category (2011). In the studio he said not to have an preference. So it’s no surprise his own record floats between this two genres.
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"If you ever think you've got a hard life, listen to Walk in the park by Beach House" - Daniel Eskens (bassist)
African guitar music; from Nigeria! I don’t think I have to explain this one.
Listening to this one is an experience every time. The sound that hits you when you let a big choir sing this composition, it’s mighty. Also, it’s impossible to do anything else than listen when this is playing. Just listen, do nothing more.
I’ve got 7 records of this guy and probably could have put any of those songs here. In almost every single one of them you can feel the dark and depressive character sometimes. However, it doesn’t lead to only heavy music, it provides a lot of energy. Besides that i like the ‘No-Bullshit’ sound of the band and arrangements.
This probably is one of my favorite pair of improvising musicians playing together. The teamwork, the focus, the freedom they take, it leads to one of the most awesome live records I know. Piece by piece they are, for me, the most inspiring musicians.
Awsome to hear what an incredible unique sound this band has. It’s a see of sounds that hits you which I like very much.
Daniel Eskens, bassist, graduated Cum Laude from the conservatory of Rotterdam at the age of 21. By that time he played at North Sea Jazz Festival, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Bimhuis and toured in countries as Turkey, USA, Kenia, Hungary, Spain, France and Germany. He shared the stage with musicians as Eric Vloeimans, Eef Albers, Rudesh Mahanthappa, Jan Laurens Hartog, Reinier Baas, Ilja Reijngoud, Ed Verhoeff, Karrs Donmez, Lilian Viera, Pete Philly, Giovanca and many others.
This summer we'll hear more about his own arrangements and music!
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"And, if I had to choose, I’d choose the song ‘Goodbye to love’." - Stephanie Francke (saxophonist)
With friends over: Never will I marry - Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderly.
I LOVE India Arie!
Actually, this whole record is sentimental for me. I turned the whole thing gray! And, if I had to choose, I’d choose the song ‘Goodbye to love’.
This song makes me really happy!
This music is really contemplative. Perfect for watching the earth from a plane.(Unfortunately nowhere to be found on the internet.)
She was winner of the Erasmus Jazzprice in 2012 (and public favourite), she is launching her second album ‘Ripples’ in collaboration with ‘Zennes’ records. Which I shot the cover of. Her music is known by her storytelling compositions. ‘Ripples’ takes you to her hometown in Zeeland (South-Holland) and makes a field trip to new York.Stephanie Francke Quartet consists of: Stephanie Francke on saxophone, Koen Schalkwijk on piano, Guus Bakker on bass and Niek de Bruijn on drums.
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"For me, and I don’t know why, this is a really romantic piece." - Loran Witteveen (pianist)
The piano concert of the Danish composer Poul Ruders. An incredibly beautiful piece, and wonderfully orchestrated. Turn the sound up and you will get blown away by all worlds of sound he takes you to. Sometimes really romantic, sometimes static or sour.
My favourite record of one of my biggest jazz heroes. Paul Bley has got an enormously original sound and vocabulary.
One of the latest pieces of Schoenberg that uses the twelve-tone row. For me, and I don’t know why, this is a really romantic piece.
One of the most beautiful piano-trio records of this time. Complex compositions, but also with simpler lyrical and minimalistic music-like-pieces. A really complete record.
Really origional and imaginative etudes performed by one of my favorite classical pianists.
During our walk I came to the conclusion that his neighbors are in pure luck! Loran's grand piano is just standing his living room. And no, the living room has no double walls or anything! #freelivingroomconcerts
Although, I doubt he is much at home. By being a winner of the Dutch Jazz Competition in 2014 he toured for YoungVips through the best jazz venues of Holland this year. Also, he teaches, and tours as part of many different other formations.
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"In the weekends the ghetto blasters appeared; there was a complete salsa band on my porch sometimes. It would be nice if we Dutchies had more of that!" - Mark Schilders (drummer)
The best salsa there is (skip the intro for those without any patience). I lived in Brooklyn for a while, in a neighborhood with mainly Puerto Rican immigrants. In the weekends the ghetto blasters appeared; there was a complete salsa band on my porch sometimes. It would be nice if we Dutchies were more like that! It’s the best remedy for dark days.
Listen to this! It’s the end of the world as we know it, the end of a year, the end of a friendship, a romance. I hear a lot of darkness but a lot of hope as well. A rocket to the moon and at the same time a landing on Earth. I discovered Daniel Lanois only recently. He is one of my heros. I listened to this song a lot recent winter in New York.
I tend to be obsessive with someone when I become a fan. So, here is another one of Lanois. I go for a walk on this one, or rather I’d like to walk when I hear this one. I recently read his autobiography ‘Soul Mining’, it’s a must-read. He came from far and got everything he wanted by sticking with his endless love for and trust in the natural way of making music. He’s mainly famous as a producer of a.o. U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young and others.
Sometimes I lose touch with music in general. I learned I am a musician who needs to go thru dark times before I can put a step forward. This song hit me hard when I was in such a period. This is euphoria, this is blues. All her music is amazing, I think. It pushes me to look for more, there are more layers underneath, a demonstration of sound you rarely hear (you won’t hear it in this piece, she’s going for it!)
My latest discovery. It seems like a combination of elements form the music I listened to when I was a teenager. She’s got a emo/gothic rock-like-voice (that’s what I listened to in my early days. I had a lot of feelings, many, many of them.), combined with a great groove and a bizarre sound field of synthesizers.
As a drummer, Mark travels the world. He visits countries everyone dreams of, even if it’s just for a few days. He won the Erasmus jazz price and the Prinses Christina Jazz Conncours during his college years at Codarts (Conservatory of Rotterdam). Who did or does he work with? Well...Reinier Baas, Randal Corsen, The New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Anton Goudsmit, Ben van Gelder, Jason Lindner, Gregory Porter, Wouter Hamel, Benjamin Herman ect. ect. ect.
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"I listen to her in the train and get this ‘secret’ feeling. Like: ‘What if people new I was listening to this right now…’ :)" - Helena Basilova (pianist)
The alarm goes off, it’s still dark outside and after a long night without a lot of sleep, I got to get up… This CD is my only salvation. It started in Japan. I stayed at a friends house when we played a couple of concerts there together. She had to get up early every day to rehearse with her orchestra and listened this CD during breakfast. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. The waking-up-early-situation immediately felt lighter. I still play the album when I’m having trouble waking up!
There is something magical about the simplicity of Mozart and this piano concert. The first time I listened to it I had to get home as soon as possible to listen to it again. Something about this piano concert gives me the feeling all will be ok. It’s comparable with the feeling you had when you where little and sat on your grandmothers lap. You knew there was nothing in the world that could touch you.
I’m a huge fan of Morton Feldman! His work is often long. Although some people think you can only listen to his music live, I’ve got trouble sitting still for a long period of time. So I rather play his work at home with the possibility to move around. Especially when my head is full of ideas and things I’ve still got to do, Feldman gives me the peace and quite of mind and brings everything sort of together.
This is one of my favorite bands. When I lived in New York, I listened to them and Tribe Called Quest a lot.
It’s wonderful to walk around the city while listening to this. And, the clip of the song is one of my favorites from the nineties. I still remember being glued to the television, waiting for this song to appear on MTV.
Not long ago I saw ‘Bodyguard’ once again, since then I’ve got the hits of Whitney Housten on my mind. She's simply awsome! Sometimes I listen to her in the train and get this ‘secret’ feeling. Like: ‘What if people new I was listening to this right now…’ :)
Helena Basilova performed in Carnegie Hall, her latest album is a tribute to Russian componist Alexander Scriabin and she says music is always around her. "Making a selection of 5 songs is just impossible! There is so much beautfull and amazing music written. Although, as a pianist, I play a lot of music from Russian composers from the 20th century like Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaya, it doesn’t mean I only listen to this music. I literally listen to everything and learn something from every style and genre."
This summer we'll hear more about his own arrangements and music!
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"When I was little all I wanted for my birthday was a trip to the recordstore with my dad. To buy a new classical, mainly piano, record." - Jeroen van Vliet (pianist)
I, Karen, asked Jeroen quite cheesy if he has ‘a song’ with his girl. “Yes” he said, “bur it’s no jazz, do you mind?”. “We listen to Damien Rice a lot. His new album as a song we find beautiful. It’s called ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’.
This man can draw outside the lines like no one else and is therefor one of my biggest inspirations. He is averse to conventional playing. His music is eye-opening. The thing he is exceptional in, is his talent to combine genres and thereby constantly creating new sounds. You’ve got to pay attention to his use of the Fender Rhodes in this one.
This is the weird part of being a musician. You’re listening to yourself most of the time. I listen to the music of others when I’m on holiday for example, when I’ve got the time. This songs is one of my favorites It stops the clock, opens doors. And it sounds like a whale is part of the equation here. It’s fantastic!
In this list, I’d like to pick one song of a musician I admire. It’s a song of Colin Vallon. I find it really intriguing how far he goes if we talk about improvisation, further then me I dare say. We once exchanged CD’s at a festival in Maastricht. It still inspires me.
If there is one artist that can’t be missing in this list, it’s Keith Jarrett. He has definitely left is mark on jazz piano. His is always urgent and has lots to say. Is expressiveness is immensely strong. As a jazz pianist, you cant avoid him, although it’s an impossible reference.
Pianoconcert K. 466 of Mozart was my very first album. When I was little all I wanted for my birthday was a trip to the recordstore with my dad. To buy a new classical, mainly piano, record. When I was 10 I got my first piano lesson of Willem Kuhne. We started improvising in the first lesson! I was sold. Just with 5 notes, making stuff up as we got along. That’s where it all started.
This well known piano player is all about improvising and performs regularly solo, with the Zeelandsuite Revisited, OGU, his own new Moon Trio, Estafest and Sikeda. In 2014 he won the Buma Boy Edgar Prize and is most proud of his album "The poet & other tales”. En still after al that he is one of the most humble men I had the honors of meeting.
This summer we'll hear more about his own arrangements and music!
LISTEN & READ INTERVIEW
"Almost any musician that has ‘John’ in its first or last name is awesome, no matter what." - Jesse Bell (singer-songwriter)
In my opinion David Crosby and Graham Nash belong to the best songwriters of their generation. And well, this song… it definitely inspires me as a songwriter. The lyrics, the arrangement, the sound and the harmonies are amazing. Leave the rest of the album for what it is. After this song, the first song, it doesn’t get better unfortunately.
Well, who doesn’t get into a party mood listening to this?
I have a distinct liking for jazz pianists from Scandinavia. They play and compose very melodically. Tord Gustavsen is my favorite. It is almost like he sings when he plays. The melodies lend well for singing, and that is why I put lyrics on some of his pieces in the past. This music pulls you into a different world where time is not a factor, a little bit like when you are on an airplane for a long time and you’re traveling; in those moments I listen to this music the most. It is also good music for the wee small hours of the morning or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Put those headphones on and stop the time for a while.
Although very popular, I feel he is still underestimated as an artist, especially in the Netherlands. This is an amazing musician with an incredible work ethic. I chose this song specifically because it nods a little bit to the music of Michael Jackson. If MJ is the King of Pop, then JT certainly is the Prince of Pop (and he has rightfully been referred to that at times).
Paul Simon took a chorale from J.S. Bach and used its melody for this masterpiece of a song. The way Kurt Elling (currently the best jazz vocalist in my book) interprets it gives me goose bumps every time again. It is a sad but also hopeful song at the same time. Looking for an even more beautiful version with a Dutch taste to it? Find the version with the Metropole Orchestra.
Last thing: Almost any musician that has ‘John’ in its first or last name is awesome, no matter what.
He attended Codarts and Berklee College of Music and is now a fellow at the music department of NYU Abu Dhabi. He is busy with lots of different things, but the thing he loves the most is writing songs - for himself, or others. He frequently works in collaboration with Bear Traa, for example on his recently released EP ‘Nothing is the Same’, a record with acoustic folk and pop. After presenting me his 5 songs he told me about his admiration for every musician that has John as a first or last name, so he decided not to include them. Quite the logic isn’t it?
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"If you listen to Bach, there is only Bach..." - Julian Schneemann (pianist)
Jimi was genius, zo coll and full of soul! The band has an incredible groove.
Taylor makes seriously awsome music, influenced by both electronic music as hip-hop and jazz.
If you listen to Bach, there is only Bach...
These man swing so hard… There phrasing is so natural it feels like they tell you a story. In this song ‘sings’ trumpet player Clark Terry a story without any use of words. This makes me so happy!
Julian is composer, pianist and just graduated the conservatory of Amsterdam. He studied physics a year before that. And let me say, I’m glad he quit. If you listen to his record ‘Roundabout’ you’ll know what I’m talking about. For this album he was inspired by all sorts of genres and asked himself: What happens when you mix Bouzouki with Bazooka? When you play a swinging Fughetta? Can you mix instruments like a bassoon, electric guitar, trumpet, saxophone, piano, french horn, drums and double bass, which have never played together before?
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"....Stevie Nicks is so cool!" - Louk Boudesteijn (trombonist)
....Stevie Nicks is so cool!
Wonderful teamwork and tranquility. It brings me back to the essence of making music like I love.
…and all other tracks of my favorite jazz record of all times by Duke Ellington & John Coltrane! But don’t forget Elvin Jones on drums and Jimmy Garison on bass.
Vladimir Horowitz returns from exile to Russia and plays Träumerei by Robert Schumann live in Moscou.
Looking at his own cross border style of playing and infinite long list of musicians he worked with, this trombone player has a broad musical interest. He led the B&W Quintet with trumpet player Rob van der Wouw, with which he also started the (New) Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. He still is (co-) artistic leader. He recorded records with Paul Weller, his own group Fullduplexx and played with names as Beef, Caro Emerald, Special Request Horns, Marco Borsato, Raccoon and the Metropole Orchestra.
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"My journey is instantly 27 minutes shorter when I listen to this one." - Maarten Hogenhuis (saxophonist)
There are a couple of songs I can listen to everywhere. Songs I can press play to no matter the time of day or mood I’m in; This record is awesome, from beginning to end. All is perfectly right: the band, the arrangements, the tension, everything.
My ultimate record for in the car. If got to watch my feet on the accelerator in my car cause Coltrane’s boundless energy is contagious. His solo in this piece is as long as 27 minutes. My journey is instantly 27 minutes shorter when I listen to this one.
When I’m at home with my girl, we often listen to this record of Ellington & Coltrane. We both listen to a lot of different things, but this one is in both our top-10s. It’s unbelievable these guys never played together before (or ever after) and created such a historical record with only ‘one-takers’.
His previous album “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” was crazy, his last one was great as well. But this track of the record still is the one I play lately. It’s a source of energy. I listen a lot to jazz and acoustic music, but now and then - and I don’t know why - I just need a big fat beat. It usually is Q-tip, The Roots of Kendrick Lamar. Like fast food, but then really really good.
When I want to close myself off to my surroundings, I listen to this track. It usually is in a plain, train or subway, or another crowded place. This record works as a good book: it takes you far away form reality. Almost all records of Björk have that power. I’ve got a lot of respect for her and everything she does.
Maarten Hogenhuis is a saxophonist who is a member of exhilarating powerjazzgroup BRUUT!, The More Socially Relevant Jazz Music Ensemble (led by Reinier Baas), the two-drummer band Krupa & The Genes and successfully leads his own quartet and trio. He tours all over the world and just married the lovely Mylene Berghs at an exotic location. But if you want to know more about Maarten, just read and listen to the musical interview.
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"...and I was so impressed I got a ticket and drove to Zwolle two weeks later. Just to hear them play again." - Mylène Berghs (singer)
This whole record puts me in a relaxed vibe. The ‘emptiness’ in the solo’s are so damn good and swinging!
I especially love Big Nick, In A Sentimental Mood and Angelica. But eventually the whole record is fantastic. It’s a shame the only recorded one album together.
This is one of the best records ever! I can’t get enough of it and every time I listen to it I hear something new that impresses me.
Not long ago I saw them in ‘de Melkweg’ (Amsterdam), and I was so impressed I got a ticket and drove to Zwolle two weeks later. Just to hear them play again.
I can listen to Sarah everywhere actually. Her timing, her perception of text and sound give me goosebumps.
On her audition to the Mylène training programm of het conservory Mylène got a choice, classical of jazz? Without any previous knowledge of both, she chose jazz because of her affinity with popmusic. After the Conservatory of Amsterdam she, from 2008, sings in YesSister JazzSister. The released two records. Mylène writes and arranges a lot, also for this group.
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"...The euphoria of infatuation when nothing else matters." - Niek de Bruijn (drummer)
When I’m angry or don’t feel like cheerful music, but not at all feel like music that feeds rage. This song breathes in every way and is set up broadly. The forward motion in this piece lets me figure out all the things I keep to myself, it makes me see in perspective again, everything falls into his place again.
Just listen to the beginning of this song on it’s self. And then.. the sounds, the voice of Jhené Aiko, the climbing and continuous tention without climax. It’s not too sweet, not too common (only Kendrick Lamar himself, but he is allowed). From 3:45 you’ll hear the start of “What A Life”, something that breathes less sex in my opinion. So my advise? Listen to it a lot, but only the first 3:45 minutes of it.
The euphoria of infatuation when nothing else matters. That’s the feeling I get when I listen to this version of ‘Autumn in New York’ by Billie Holiday. Sweet but tasteful.
Friends in my house, this song, beer, and it instantly feels good. It’s energetic and relaxed at the same time. It’s transparant and played lightly, but at the same time with much projection. Curtis Mayfield sings like only he can. It puts everyone in the right vibe.
In the car from Spain I once listened to the record ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ by Sting a million times. Listened and shouted. We played with a couple of friends at some beaches in Spain, best gigs ever. If I hear this song, I’m instantly at the Route du Soleil, on my way on this kind of holiday.
Kwabs has a intense, deep voice and uses it in a way that speaks to me immensely. No bullshit or trics, just a unbelievably good voice. One of the few vocalist of this time who truly touches me I might ad. Definitely this piece. You can listen to an acoustic version on youtube of this piece. With only piano and singing, it’s even better!
It’s only happiness wrapped in a Rhythm Changes. An intense, but not exuberant happiness. It’s a song lifts up everyone. Even if you don’t know it (it’s a song you’ll definitely hear at the aforementioned Spanish beaches.). The piano lick at the intro will most definitely be recognized by everyone because it’s used as a basis in ‘Do Your Thing’ by Basement Jaxx.
Niek de Bruijn, fantastic jazz drummer, gets requested by everyone. Musicians praise him for is creativity, energy and dynamic game. He won the prestigious Erasmus Jazz Price in 2013. Over the years he worked with and performed with groups like Biréli Lagrène, The Metropole Orchestra, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Roby Lakatos, Andreas Varady, Giovanca, Pete Philly, Re:freshed Orchestra, Jorge Vistel and many others.
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"Maybe I’m really just looking to recreate that state of wonder I felt that day in kindergarten." - Sjaak Douma (aka. Analogue Dear)
parted by my birthday and without you here I am a different age.’’
A noisey albeit beautiful pastoral take that reflects about the fleeting nature of human relationships. It reminds me of all the people I’ve known and how delicate most human connections really are. Some are more lasting than others, some may leave impressions for a lifetime while others are but a footnote, but each and every person is a tiny little vessel crossing paths with yours. This song reminds me of that cyclical nature of letting people into our own little weird worlds and ultimately saying goodbye to most of them.
leave the safety of my room, to go and take a chance on what could be
Briana sings certain phrases over and over again like she’s reciting sacred mantras, adding so much weight to the honesty and directness of her already unadorned lyrics. They remind me of some of my own anxieties I cultivated in my late teens in a gap year that I almost entirely spent alone in my room. Although I had little sense of direction or purpose in life that year, I fondly remember the romantic notion of being on my own, immersing myself in a wealth of music, cinema and literature. That year not only taught me a lot about myself, but also about these two most rudimentary forces behind peoples actions; fear and love.These days, I’m still amazed about what I’m doing now and what I’m comfortable with once I started acting more out of the latter. Leave your rooms, kids.
town is all in hell’’
After my gap year, The Notwist was one of the first few bands I discovered that shaped the direction of my own musical voice for years to come. I think it’s hard not to see the resemblance of the gloomy lo-fi aesthetic that combines band instruments with electronics. To this very day, I still try to perfect that same aesthetic in my music in one form or another. Sometimes, just ever so slightly, I feel as if I’m brushing against that idea of aesthetic perfection that has lingered in my head for so long. In between the utter frustration and failing in meeting that goal, those are the brief moments that keep me going as a songwriter.
your mouth and speak while your heart’s full’’
One day in kindergarten, I remember being emotionally overwhelmed by this beautiful, whispery singing voice of my teacher, who sang a simple and bittersweet children’s song in class. Somehow, I feel that this event still resonates strongly through my own output as a musician and my taste in art in general. I find solace in melodies and harmonies that breath a childlike innocence, on the verge of being overly sweet. Maybe I’m really just looking to recreate that state of wonder I felt that day in kindergarten.
Sometimes, I wish I could go back to being a non-musician, for my musical perception and reaction when I was younger was so much more a physical and pure one. I remember floating almost transcendentally over the music I loved, bordering on obsessiveness by playing the same song 30 times in a row, trying to somehow figure out its magic. I would be lying next to my old battered tape deck while listening and forget about my physical presence in the world. In these moments, I was only but a dreamer, trying to be forgotten.
Sjaak Douma aka Analogue Dear is a pianist, or rather allround musician. He manages to play all instruments he uses to create his music. He is one of the few musicians who got me listening to his album in stead of all the jazz I drive my colleagues at the Brouwerij crazy with. Nice to know: Gregory Euclide, the artist who designed the cover of Bon Ivers ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ also created a piece of art with the inspiration he got listening to Sjaak’s remix of ‘Me’ by Nils Frahm. You can listen to the song and watch Gregory paint in the video below.
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"I think, between twenty somethings, there is some kind of taboo around spending an evening alone at home." - Oliver Alexander (singer-songwriter)
Deep inside, all musicians are insecure creatures who regularly seek confirmation in many areas. The question I hear often, form myself and others, is “Why do I (still) make music?”. Every musicians has a song that banishes that feeling almost immidiately. For me, it’s ‘Gravity’ by John Mayer. If you look at it, it’s quite a simple song with a few chords and (someone told me) the shortest lyrics out of his repertoire. But then again, it hits me all the time. Less is more? The Live-version of the CD “Where the light is”, is even better! His magnificent guitar playing, the purity of his voice and the fantastic song that unfolds like a melancholic jam: that’s what inspires me to make music (as well).
As a ‘tuff-guy’ it’s not really excepted to show your emotional side. But I don’t care. Because some movies, books and music exist for the pure grace of lovely hopeless ecstasy listening. Aslyn is per definition one of my favorite artist by her album ‘Lemon Love’. But her song ‘Wally’, for me, is the ultimate heartfelt lovesong. In retrospect on eternal love with an autobiographical character. Listen and soften.
I think, between twenty somethings, there is some kind of taboo around spending an evening alone at home. If you tell your friends you like an evening to yourself, alone on the couch, they almost immediately ask you if your sure and if you rather want to do something with them. While it can be rather nice to have some peace and quite for a change. To do the things YOU love to do and make it a party for one. Don’t think I spend half of my week on the couch now… but sometimes it’s lovely and inspiring as hell! Most of my songs are created at night. So, pure for this taboo, i wrote a tribute to “an evening at home”. Alone. Usually such titles mean having a handkerchief at the ready, but in this case it’s a "celebration of my own isolation". All that’s left for you to do, is hanging the garlands.
When you want to see a movie, you just don’t start with the last scene. The same goes for ‘discovering' a new genre of music. People who hate jazz often ran away after their first encounter with it, listening to some obscure instrumental bebop. They didn’t get the smoothest introduction to jazz a man can have. Bebop, for me, isn’t the start of listening to jazz, maybe not even instrumental jazz; singing makes listening to music more accessible. In 2003 I heard a song by Jamie Cullum, his own version of “I Get A Kick Out Of You” by Sinatra. I was sold. From that moment on I listened more and more jazz, even the deepest caverns of free jazz (that’s when I knew my limit). So, when I try to ‘convert’ someone to jazz, the song of Jamie Cullum is were I start. It’s real jazz, but accesible. The ideal start for beginners…. and my personal favorite.
I’m by far a reincarnation of Michael Jackson, seriously. But when it comes to dancing I feel like him when I hear ‘Move Your Feet’ by Junior Senior. It’s my guilty pleasure. Play this song in a bar and I start moving uncontrollable and ridiculously. Exactly what this song is about, haha! It’s has to be hilarious to watch and after exactly 3 minutes and 1 second, the party is over. But in those seconds, I feel ultimately happy.
New week, new inspiration. This time it’s Oliver Alexander! This pop-jazz singer songwriter recently presented his debut EP “Transmission”, visited different radiostations and performed at DWDD, the Dutch television talkshow. He talks almost as fast as me (!) but sings a whole lot better. Enjoy #5xtypical Oliver Alexander!
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"My favourite rock band is Radiohead, and once i heard this cover by Brad Mheldau I was stunned for a long while." - Marco Santos (drummer but mainly musician)
My favourite rock band is Radiohead, and once i heard this cover by Brad Mheldau I was stunned for a long while. The Sensibility of Jorge Rossy on drums and Larry Grenadier on double bass... Impressive...!!!
Bill Frisell, my favourite guitar player ever... and this songs just touch me deeply.
Bernardo Sassetti was a one of the most important Portuguese piano players and great composer. a big inspiration for me.
I love Brazilian music, and as a composer Gismonti had always a big impact on me. He is a genius!
African Culture feels like family to me... And senegalese is a special one. Cheikh Lo is a recent discover through my time in Senegal and I really love is devotion and his music....
His musical career followed a path from classical percussion to jazz drums, world music and composition, for which he moved to the Netherlands. You won’t find him here often though. During our correspondence I got emails from Portugal, Maderia, Cape Verde and Senegal. He played with different musicians as well as art disciplines, for example dance.
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"Thelonious makes me happy and energized!" - Celia Swart (saxophonist)
If something goes wrong with anything, this song always gives me inspiration to continue my journey. I compose a lot in this style for my band SWART. That’s why I find this one of the best songs ever.
This track of Little Dragon is great as well, but when I feel a bit down, it only makes me more sad. This version of Robert Glasper is full of soul and brings me a relaxed mood.
Thelonious makes me happy and energized!
The start of this song is so emotional. When I like someone, or when I’m in love even, I listen to this one a lot.
Right before I go to a party, I listen to a lot of Beyonce. Especially her live records I find amazing, the songs are always slightly different than the once on her record.
On Celia's 14th she started composing. She attended the talent class at the ‘Zweewse Muziek School’, is allmost graduating the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and is 20 at this moment. She is doing great to say the least! Although composing has her heart, she has her own band SWART. and plays the saxophone. If she could only listen to one song her whole life, she’d choose the first one. And personally, I think I can agree.
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"I’d like to push myself. This song has a killer tempo for at the gym and so a really good workout song!" - Sarah-Jane (singer)
When I first heard this song, I went crazy! It inspires me so much.
A friend of mine is DJ. When we drive together in the car we lower the windows and play Sanko really loud. It’s one of the best songs to start a evening of partying. This song makes me let go.
This is the best Feel Good Song I know! It’s one of the first songs I play. Mainly in the summer. It’s a power song and definitely has to be included in mij list of 5.
When I’m working out, I’d like to push myself. This song has a killer tempo for at the gym and so a really good workout song! I push myself to not run slower than the beat of the song.
Sometimes, when I’m looking for answers of just lost track of myself in a hectic day, this is the song I turn to. It’s lovely and quiet.
Sarah-Jane made a visit on popular Dutch TV program DWDD and sang at North Sea Jazz this year! She won the Amsterdam Popprijs in 2014 an was NPOs Radio 6 Soul & Jazz Talent. Her stage experience began as a background singer for people like Glennis Grace, Sabrina Starke and Rita Marley. Also, she toured the Dutch theaters with the Soul Sisters.
In 2012 she released her debut EP ‘Deigh & Nite’ and in 2014 her first official single ‘ Psychedelic Love’. My favorite quote of her: “For every emotion i felt when I was younger, there was a solution to be found in music. So it was quite clear for me from a young age: “I’m going to make music!"