Let there be Life, Love and Laughter - Eric Ineke meets the tenor players

Tenor saxophone: Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis; Dexter Gordon; Johnny Griffin, Grant Stewart; David Liebman; John Ruocco; Clifford Jordan; Lucky Thompsom; George Coleman.
Piano: Rein de Graaff; Rob van Bavel; Rob Madna; Rob Agerbeek.
Double bass: Koos Serierse; Henk Haverhoek; Marius Beets; Ruud Jacobs; Rob Langereis

Recordings: between 1968 and 2014
Titles: Body and Soul; Stablemates; Wee; Bye, Bye, Blackbird; Let there be life, love and laughter; Lady Bird; Walkin’.

Label: Daybreak (Challenge Records Int.)

Erik Ineke

Cassettes. I never liked them. The sound quality is mediocre and they always break. At unpredictable moments, a bunch of plastic spaghetti comes out of the player. Always a pencil, some tape, and a pair of scissors next to the deck. After the repair, the best part of the recording is most of the time missing.

The social functions of cassettes were great. You would give a cassette with your personal selection of recordings to a close friend, a dear one, a colleague. Or the person you were in love with. On the inlay the hand written titles of the recordings. And often with some cute drawings. A Facebook in music.

Back in the days, cassettes served for every kind of social gathering: to relax in a car during long holiday rides, as background music during dinners, for dancing at parties. Some people always had cassettes in their pockets. All sound carrier after the cassette did technically better, but they never reached the social function and status.

When I look at the cd called ‘Let there be life, love and laughter’ it seems like a-cassette-turned-into-cd. A personal collection of recordings of drummer Eric Ineke with tenor saxophonists whom he had played with over the years.

This cd clearly proofs that jazz is a world-wide musical artform. Jazz musicians in Europe in the 1960’s and on, shaped and developed jazz as good as their colleagues did from the USA. This cd proofs that there is no such thing as American Jazz or European Jazz or ‘You-name-any-country’ Jazz. No matter what marketeer, journalist, or record labels want to tell you. There is just jazz and the jazz on this cd happens to be from Europe, from The Netherlands.

The oldest recording is form 1968, the newest from 2014. Drummer Eric Ineke is the constant person in four different rhythm sections. The tenor players are Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Grant Stewart, David Liebman, John Ruocco, Clifford Jordan, Lucky Thompson and George Coleman. The various rhythm sections of Eric Ineke bring out the very best of these wide variety of players.

My three favorites
‘Stablemates’ written by Benny Golson, here performed by Dexter Gordon, really stands out. Normally Dexter Gordon warms up in the first two or three choruses, a climax in the next one, honking in the last ones. Not her! He gives all his energy, creativity and attention from the first chorus to the last. Dexter Gordon at the peak of his creative powers.

‘Let there be life, love and laughter’ by Kurt Weill, recorded in a small club in Belgium in 2014. Not a standard that you will hear at every jam session. Just as many other songs, it is deceptively simple but in essence quite complicated. In the hands of David Liebman and John Ruocco, different but equally good tenor players, this song is turned into a gem. Marius Beets, on bass, is as incredible steady time keeper, Eric Ineke om drums, a little bit too far away in the mix, plays spot on, constantly coloring and responding to the two tenors. John Ruocco and David Liebman, both on tenor, just like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane as on Saxophone Colossus.

The opening title Body and Soul, recorded in 1984 with Johnny Griffin, shows once more that jazz is not confined to any geographical limits but is living all around the planet. Johnny Griffin, relying on a super steady rhythm section, flies off in his solo, leaving the classic Dexter Gordon version of the song form 1939 far behind him. A rare documentation of Johnny Griffin having a musically extremely good time enjoying the strong support of an excellent rhythm section.