Blues for the Date

Blues for the Date

Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw / Peter Beets

Label: Challenge Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917329629
Catalog number: CR 73296
Releasedate: 02-04-10
This is happy music, chock-a-block with fresh voicings, counter-melodies, and intriguing harmonic choices, and it requires for its proper execution a cohort fully trained in the idiomatic particulars of hard swinging, as Beets and his JOC colleagues most demonstrably are.
  • This band was selected from the leading musicians on each instrument from the younger generation, representing different areas of jazz music in Holland
  • Uniting the modernistic jazz approach with straight-ahead musicians
  • What makes JOC stand out is its fluency in each of the dialects it addresses
  • Music of rare class
This is happy music, chock-a-block with fresh voicings, counter-melodies, and intriguing harmonic choices, and it requires for its proper execution a cohort fully trained in the idiomatic particulars of hard swinging, as Beets and his JOC colleagues most demonstrably are.

Virtuoso pianists operate at such rarefied levels of technique and harmonic acumen as to transform their instrument into a virtual orchestra, which is perhaps the reason why they appear so rarely as a primary soloist in the major big bands of the jazz canon. Such canonic pianist-bandleaders as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jay McShann, Claude Thornhill, Francy Boland, and even Misha Mengelberg with the ICP Orchestra, imprinted their singular tonal personalities on their units less through pianistic derring-do than the force of their ideas and personal style. There are, of course, exceptions—among them Earl Hines, who liked to interpolate his majestic declamations between band numbers; Mary Lou Williams with Andy Kirk; Jess Stacy and Mel Powell with Benny Goodman; Roland Hanna and Jim McNeely with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra.

Add to this list the third recording by the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw on the Dutch series division of their imprint label, documenting a quasi piano concerto constructed from nine well-wrought compositions by JOC pianist Peter Beets and a single reimagined standard.

Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw
Henk Meutgeert: conductor
Joris Roelofs: lead alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute
Jorg Kaaij: alto saxophone, flute
Simon Rigter: tenor saxophone
Sjoerd Dijkhuizen: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Juan Martinez: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
Jelle Schouten: lead trumpet, flugelhorn
Wim Both: trumpet, flugelhorn
Rini Swinkels: trumpet, flugelhorn
Ruud Breuls: trumpet, flugelhorn
Jan van Duikeren: trumpet, flugelhorn
Martijn Sohier: lead trombone
Hansjörg Fink: trombone
Bert Boeren: trombone
Martien de Kam: bass trombone
Martijn van Iterson: guitar
Peter Beets: piano
Frans van Geest: double bass
Martijn Vink: drums

The 18 members of The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (JOC) are the current most talented jazz musicians in The Netherlands. The orchestra performs a minimum of 35 times a year. Very often the orchestra plays compositions and arrangements written by both its musicians and/or the conductor. All pieces are arranged especially for the orchestra. The big band performs regularly with guest jazz artists of the highest standards such as Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Lew Tabackin, James Carter, Richard Galliano, Deborah Brown, Madeline Bell, George Duke, Ellen ten Damme, Benny Golson, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Lee Konitz, Roy Hargrove, Dennis Mackrel, Toots Thielemans, Ack van Rooyen, Rita Reys, Bert Joris, Mathilde Santing, Miranda van Kralingen, Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Han Bennink, Johnny Griffin, Misha Mengelberg and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

The orchestra was founded in 1996 as the New Concert Big Band. In 1999 the band swiftly moved to centre stage under an arrangement with Amsterdam’s prestigious Concertgebouw to become The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. Currently the JOC has more than 35 000 visitors a year throughout The Netherlands, Europe and Japan.

Peter Beets has shared the stage with jazz greats like Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Chris Potter and John Clayton. He recorded with Jeff Hamilton and Curtis Fuller and in 2001 his recording "New York Trio" was released, which brought him international acclaim.

Peter Beets was born on the 12th of June, 1971 in the Hague. From birth he was surrounded by music: classical from his mother who is a music pedagogue, and jazz from his father who is a gynaecologist with a great love of Oscar Peterson and Art Blakey. This musical family, which includes two older brothers, Marius and Alexander, moved in 1972 to Groenlo, where Peter received his first piano lessons at the age of six. Although originally both parents did not associate the word "musician" with the word "career", music is definitely in the family's blood. Both Marius (1966) and Alexander (1968) become professionals on string bass and tenor saxophone, respectively. After college, Peter studied from 1989 at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He combined his music studies with law school, but the jazz virus matured and he decided to concentrate exclusively on music.

From 1985 the brothers performed together as “The Beets Brothers”. In 1988 Peter won the prestigious Pall Mall Swing Award and a year later the Princess Christina Award. After this point, Peter's career began to rise rapidly. In 1990 the first recording of The Beets Brothers appeared, followed by two more, School is Closed Now (1993) and Brotherwise (1995). In 1996, Peter recorded a remarkable trio album called “First Date”, with drummer Jeff Hamilton, the driving force behind Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson. Peter became a much wanted pianist both inside and outside the Netherlands, and accompanied, among others, Deborah Brown, Dee Daniels and Holland's "First Lady of Jazz", Rita Reys. In 1998 he finished his conservatory studies, and won the Parisian Prix Martial Solal. He also became the regular pianist of “The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw”. With trombone and jazz legend Curtis Fuller, Peter made a live recording in 1999 and won in that same year yet another prize, the Concours de Solistes de Jazz in Monaco. More recordings follow: in 2000 “Powerhouse”, in 2001 “All Or Nothing At All”

In 2001 he recorded the CD “New York Trio”, with the rhythm tandem Rodney Whitaker and Willie Jones III, the first CD of Peter Beets recorded on the Criss Cross label. After the sequel,  “New York Trio Page Two” recorded with the world-famous Larry Grenadier on bas he made a third CD for the label Criss Cross. This time with Reginald Veal on bass and drummer Herlin Riley, known from the group around Wynton Marsalis. In October 2007 his most recent CD appears on the renowned label. This time he chooses to perform without drums, but with the strength of piano, guitar and bass. The CD, called “New Groove”, is recorded in New York featuring Joe Cohn (guitar) and Reuben Rogers (bass). A few songs are recorded with a dutch cast, Martijn van Iterson (guitar) and Ruud Jacobs (bass).

Peter has had very successful tours with his trio in several countries in Europe such as Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Poland as well as in Japan and the US. He played at the famous Birdland Club in New York as a “special guest” for one week.