For the occasion of a Carte Blanche for Brosella Folk and Jazz Festival 2017, I put a 7 piece band together and wrote new music for it. A fresh new version of the ‘Imaginary Band’ that had been patiently sleeping in my head, had finally been born. The core of the band, a contemporary piano trio with it’s roots deeply embedded in jazz, formed by the well known Erik Vermeulen Trio (Django d’Or) with Manolo Cabras and Marek Patrman on bass and drums. While the top of the band consists of a less obvious ‘jazz’ instrumentation, such as the violin, played by the all-round Ananta Roosens whom we may know from Gotham Project, Oba Loba, La Sieste du Dromadaire,….. and the euphonium player Niels Van Heertum that has been a prominent part of the Belgian Improv Scene for the last decade, being part of a vast number of ensembles and orchestras such as; Ifa y Xango, Book of Air, Solo, Chantal Acda, Platel/Cassol: Requiem pour L., …. Last member of this divers band is the young and talented Sylvain Debaisieux on tenor and soprano saxophones. Sylvain has been noticed on the jazz scene being part of Stéphane Galland & The Mystery of KEM, Pentadox, Eve Beuvens’ Heptatomic, etc…
I wrote the music in order to give value to the wide range of timbres and dynamics of this band. I looked for structures that could offer enough freedom harmonically and rhythmically to the rhythm section and at the same time provide me a good platform to express the voice, through song and through merely sound. I looked for textures where the individuality of the different instruments could come to live, applying various kinds of approaches in improvisation to harmonic and non harmonic contexts. The result is a ‘layered’ music that rests on open structures, flirting with pop aesthetics as much as with free jazz and electronic improvised music while the rhythm trio pulls the repertoire through the history of jazz. Influences you might distinguish are Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley, Frank Zappa, Annette Peacock, Ligeti, Miles Davis Quintet, and any band I’ve played in the last 15 years.(you can check on this website)
Theme-wise, this album treats different subjects. It’s about what it means to stand in this society today for me, or possibly for someone else around me. Rather daily issues than world problems. For instance the difficulties new medias may bring upon us, referring to new and old (mis-) communication, consummation, social pressure, control of the intellect. But also more classic issues that may include; loss of dear ones, existential questions and escapism. My approach to lyrics is, as it is to the music, a very free one. Although the ideas above lie on the basis of most of the texts, the lyrics often may seem to have no content. Built up by phrases that I like and with little determined information, they stay open for interpretation depending on the listeners imagination.
Our first record is out on Clean Feed the 11th of May! Recorded in December 2017 at DADA Studios by Peter Soldan and Thibault Dupont. Mixed and Mastered by Manolo Cabras. Album Artwork and Photography by Sophie Saporosi.
Sylvain Debaisieux: soprano and tenor saxophone
Ananta Roosens: violin, trumpet
Niels Van Heertum: euphonium
Erik Vermeulen: piano
Manolo Cabras: double bass
Marek Patrman: drums
Lynn Cassiers: voice, electronics, composition