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Ack van Rooyen/Paul Heller - Celebration

16.00 € (incl. VAT)
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Cat No.: MR 874474
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German Release:


Ack van Rooyen – tp, Paul Heller – sax, Hubert Nuss – p, John Goldsby – b, Hans Dekker – d.

My ideal, Chasing shadows, One for Griff, Crossover, Autumn Bugle, Cat & Mouse, Short Cut, Close encounters, Another waltz, Last minute blues, Reprise

Paul Heller and Ack van Rooyen met for the first time in 1987 at a workshop in Remscheid.Three years later, Heller (who was not yet twenty years old) had to muster all his courage when he asked van Rooyen if he would like to play a few concerts with him. Heller's courage was rewarded as the trumpet and flugelhorn playing van Rooyen said “yes“. Everything was set on course: "that was the beginning of a long and very fruitful musical relationship. Ack still has a huge influence on my entire musical work".
The collaboration between the musicians is documented on several recordings, beginning with Heller's 1994 CD debut. They met again recently to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Dutch jazz musician in style, and as befits full-blooded jazz musicians, acoustic treats were served instead of coffee and cake. Eleven pieces were played on the new CD – though perhaps the verb “played“ should be replaced by “celebrated“. The proceedings are opened with the enthralling standard "My Ideal". On tracks like "One For Griff" (a tribute to Johnny Griffin), "Cat & Mouse" or "Another Waltz", Heller once again demonstrates that he understands, as both musician and composer, how to accurately paint sounds throughout the shades of modern jazz.
Although some four decades separate the woodwind and brass players, their differences are outweighed by their similarities, namely cliché free playing, ease when handling their instruments and formative experiences in a large jazz orchestra (Ack van Rooyen has played in the SDR and SFB big bands among others, while Paul Heller has been tenor-saxophonist in the WDR Big Band Cologne since 2005).
Whether playing uptempo numbers, ballads or swing, both jazz musicians master their tasks with a refreshing virtuosity that doesn’t become a contest of technical proficiency, but rather at times deliberately focuses on the pauses in between. Van Rooyen and Heller understand how to organically combine flexibility and stylistic surety in both solo and quintet playing. They find themselves in good company in this illustrious and star-studded birthday bash with Hubert Nuss (piano) and Heller's colleagues John Goldsby (bass) and Hans Dekker (drums) from the WDR Big Band.
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