24 September 2012
Jam, no red lighting
Nothing laid back about this jam session. Dirk had said to go and it was a great recommendation. It’s been going on for yonks (was it 15 or 25 years?), it’s hot and sweaty and take no prisoners, it’s a fight to get to the bar or even to get in the door. But the beers are good. Dirk says there are tons of best Belgian beers on tap and I had one but couldn’t see enough of the bar to check how many others there were. The tunes were all the old Real Book standards, of course, but chosen for excitement and played for speed and abandon. These were top level players. There were some great solos and a milling of mates between tunes. Lots of horns, a few pianists, just one bass and drummer. I got the name of the bassist and will try to find out other names, but he was wonderful: Jacko Schoonderwoerd. He’s the right age so I guess Jacko is a tribute to Jaco and a comment on his chops. He was on acoustic bass, with chops a-plenty and interesting lines. There were plenty of modern harmonies and substitutions and flourishes from pianos and horns and just a touch of the older styles were evident from occasional more venerable gentlemen, but always with that jazz vivacity. There was one home-experimentation-test-bed of a trumpet with a panel of buttons and additional valves. Someone said it’s electronic and mentioned echo. In this contest he just played the standard three valves, and he was certainly no slouch either. Nice and noisy and central and not one to miss from 5pm on Sunday evenings at the literary Café de Engelbewaarder (translates as the Guardian Angel Café) on the Kloveneersburgwaal, near the Zeedijk (red light district) in Amsterdam. The originators and hosts are Jacko Schoonderwoerd (bass), Victor de Boo (drums) and Sean Bergin (tenor). Also Hans Leeuw (experimental trumpet), Robert Rook (piano).