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Rollins in Holland

thu 23 jun 2022
Theme: Jazz

Saturday 25th June, 14:00  – Concertzender Live. In May 1967 tenor sax Sonny Rollins made a short tour of Holland, playing in Utrecht, Arnhem, Loosdrecht and Hilversum. Ruud Jacobs is the bass, Han Bennink the drummer. No piano. Recordings were published in 2020 on a double cd, Rollins in Holland, accompanied by a 100 page book of essays, interviews and photos. A brilliant release which rapidly became a worldwide success .

In 1967 Jaap van de Klomp organised a short tour for Sonny Rollins in Holland. The tour took Rollins among other places to the Arnhem Academy for Art, the Go-Go Club of Pim Jacobs in Loosdrecht, and Van de Klomps own jazz club, the Utrecht Persepolis. Rollins asked for a bass and a drummer – thus a  trio, without harmonic accompaniment. He had recorded Way Out West in 1957 this way and liked the format.

Van de Klomp recruited Ruud Jacobs and Han Bennink. Both had previously accompanied Great Americans. Their musical paths no longer ran parallel in 1967  – Jacobs remained a mainstream bopper, Bennink chose the avant-garde – but they both admired Rollins. There’s no time for rehearsals. The repertoire is standards, but the whims of the tenor, who goes in unexpected directions and sometimes starts another number in the middle of a song, requires the maximum from his accompanists. The collaboration works wonderfully well and Rollins is full of praise for Jacobs and Bennink.

The concert in Arnhem is recorded on a cassette recorder, which is obvious. Where is the bass? They Can’t Take That Away From Me runs seamlessly into Sonnymoon for Two. Something similar happens in the next piece: On Green Dolphin Street turns into There Will Never Be Another You after one minute.

Pim Jacobs arranged a performance in VARA Studio 5. Two pieces by Miles Davis and one by George Gershwin.

To finish two pieces from the Go-Go Club in Loosdrecht: Rollins’ Sonnymoon for Two and Gershwins LoveWalked In.

Rollins is supreme, Jacobs a solid anchor, and the hyper Bennink is, as so often, totally focussed on his snaredrum which he really hammers. Not only were the audience enthusiastic, even the professionals used superlatives. Michiel de Ruyter calls the concert in Arnhem ‘one of the most important jazz happenings I witnessed in the last 18 years.’ The 80 year old Hans Dulfer: ‘I always like Rollins , whatever style he plays. But 53 years ago he played the best concert of my life in Arnhem.’ And Rollins – at 90 still involved with this release – calls his Dutch tour ‘one of the high points in my life.’

‘Rollins in Holland’ is a coproduction by Resonance Records and the Dutch Jazz Archive.

This is the 100th broadcast of Concertzender Live – a programme by Jaap van de Klomp