Last Saturday I went to a concert by a Dutch pianist called Rembrandt Frerichs and a group especially formed for this occasion.
The title of the concert was ‘Chiaroscuro’ and it referred to the way of painting Rembrandt van Rijn is famous for. The group took off with this concept of light and dark and tried to express this in a musical way. To my opinion they succeeded very well and just to give you an example of what they played: Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington ( which put a smile on lots of faces) and a piece of the composer Messiaen from his cycle ‘Quator pour la fin du temps’ ( which is offcourse a piece with a very dark mood). This last piece moved me a lot. It is difficult to categorise their music. It is not jazz, neither is it classical, you can only put the label ‘improvisation’ on it.
The group consisted of Rembrandt Frerichs on fortepiano, Tony Overwater on violone ( a sort of cello especially build for Tony), Vinsent Planjer on whisper kit ( a sort of drum kit build by Vinsent on which he can make soft sounds), Ties Mellema on three sorts of saxophone and Maria-Paula Majoor on violin.
Rembrandt is playing the fortepiano ( the ancestor of the piano we hear now most of the time) because he felt the sound of it is better accompanying the music he is performing nowadays.A fortepiano was especcially built for him by the Belgian master piano builder Chris Maene in the spring of 2014.
Rembrandt and his trio are touring the world, collaborating with local musicians, for instance with Kayhan Kalhor, in Iran and London last year and this year in the Netherlands. Another musician they have played with is the famous Italian trumpet player Paolo Fresu. You can find some of their musical collaboration on Youtube. Paolo Fresu is one of my favourite trumpet players, sometimes remembering me of the way Miles Davis use to play, but has ofcourse also a style of his own.
Unfortunately I was captured by the music so much that I didn’t film anything which is a pity in retrospect. Maybe Frerichs or somebody else will post something on Youtube. If so than I will put the link on my website.
Amsterdam, the 7th of October 2018