Jasper Staps and Rembrandt Frerichs celebrate friendship on their first joint album.
In the modern jazz landscape, where innovation and experimentation prevail, the human interaction of jazz sometimes runs the risk of being lost. Saxophonist Jasper Staps and pianist Rembrandt Frerichs are returning the focus to telling a musical story and the pure beauty of jazz on their highly anticipated debut album. After a friendship of twenty-five years and countless joint performances in between their individual projects, they are finally joining forces to treat the world to The First at Last – two seasoned jazz icons playing in quartet with two fresh up-and-comers who have swing running in their blood, making a magnificent album of “simply good jazz”.
The album is a celebration of their deep-rooted friendship and a tribute to the musical movements that have inspired them from a young age. Jasper Staps and Rembrandt Frerichs met years ago at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and immediately felt a strong connection. While Jasper shaped his career as an arranger, conductor and sideman in jazz orchestras, Rembrandt followed his curiosity and developed into a pianist-composer who performed all over the world, experimenting with different musical genres, from Middle Eastern and Early music to collaborations with classical music orchestras. Although they each went their separate ways, the friendship remained strong and brotherly, always finding each other during small performances in between, playing jazz music. On this album, Staps and Frerichs are joined by young musicians Matheus Nikolaievsky on double bass and Mitchell Damen on drums. The interplay between the experienced jazz veterans and the rhythm section of rookies creates an interesting dynamic within the band. It is a meeting of established names and promising newcomers, resulting in a lively and fresh sound.
Jazz on Historical Instruments – a vintage sound
A remarkable aspect of this album is Rembrandt’s choice to play on a historic 1903 Fortepiano by the top French instrument maker Erard. An instrument that represents a piano sound also heard by Gershwin and the early jazz pianists when they made their jazz…. This historic instrument has a unique character, a somewhat sleeker sound than modern Steinways that are often so harsh that they suppress all the overtones of saxophone and double bass. Staps his saxophone has a very vintage character as well. “I chose the piano because of Jasper’s sound,” says Frerichs. “Jasper has such a beautiful timbre – when he plays you step into a bath of sound. I wanted the same vintage tone, and playing on a first-rate instrument that they might have played on in the fifties – it’s a nod to classical chamber music, historical performance practice, as well as the jazz we listened to as boys.”
The quartet has chosen to record with Just Listen Records, an audiophile label that makes their own recordings, and always do so in a live setting, in a place where the musicians can be in the same room and close to each other, preserving the live energy. They are happy to embrace possible imperfections or bleed in the pursuit of rendering their music as naturally as possible.
Jasper Staps – saxophone
Rembrands Frerichs – piano
Matheus Nikolaievsky – double bass
Mitchell Damen – drums
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:05:20
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||November 3, 2023|
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