The story of finding my first album on the Impulse! label which had such a big impact on my life. I now own loads of other albums on the Impulse! label 🙂
At high school age in the late 70s, friends of mine got into Jazz Rock and listened to the CTI albums by Deodato and Hubert Laws, etc.. I liked the saxophone and got more into the albums of Grover Washington Jr.; Live at The Bijou was my favourite for a long time. However, after a while I felt I could handle music with a bit more substance and started reading a few books on Jazz and the New Thing. Of course, the records of John Coltrane were recommended by everybody. None of my friends had anything by Coltrane and my normal records store had nothing either, so I had no chance to listen and understand what it was all about.
One day I happened to step into the records store we normally ignored as it virtually had nothing of interest, certainly no Jazz, except, it had a small crate with some Jazz records and among those records I found Impulse! A10 Coltrane “LIVE” at the Village Vanguard. You could see that the records in that crate had survived multiple sales and discounts.
I bought the record and, at home in my room, I put it on my turntable.
The record only contains 3 songs:
- Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
- Chasin’ the Trane
The opening notes of Spiritual immediately sold me, it felt like coming home. The bass clarinet of Eric Dolphy intertwined with the soprano saxophone of Coltrane; and that drumming by Elvin Jones! It was out of this world to me.
The most influential and intensive song without a doubt is Chasin’ the Trane and I can understand that this must have been maybe too intensive at the time.
To celebrate 40 years of North Sea Jazz Festival, the Dutch broadcaster NTR showed a programme on the NPO3 channel on 5 July at 23:00 which highlighted recent and classic concerts from the rich history of the festival.
One of the very special classic concerts was the Archie Shepp Quartet with Johnny Meijer on jazz accordion in 1981. As became apparent, saxophonist Hans Dulfer had brought Shepp and Meijer together and it had been the only time they had played together. In 1981 I visited the North Sea Jazz festival for the first time and, being a big fan of Archie Shepp, I had been present during this remarkable concert and taken photos.
A few days before the taping of the program I was approached by the team behind the programme to confirm that it was my photo and asking permission whether they could use the photo. I could supply them with a high-res version of the image and allowed them to use the photo if they could give me full credit. I can image that not many photos of this event are still around 34 years after the fact and I was happy to oblige. They generously left my photo and my name up for the duration they discussed this concert with Hans Dulfer which impressed my family. 🙂
Sun Ra and his Arkestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival – Saturday 17 July 1982.
A Sun Ra concert is something you will remember for the rest of your life: it is a mix between a big-band free-jazz concert, a religious ceremony and a trip to outer space. Long before UFO abduction stories had been heard of, Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount) had become convinced that his roots lay on the planet Saturn which he visited by spaceship and he developed “cosmic” philosophies and lyrical poetry as he preached “awareness” and peace above all in his music. No need to point out that the concert of Sun Ra and his Arkestra that I visited on the Roof Garden scene at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1982 was quite the spectacle with the space music, poem recitals and space costumes.