We Got Rhythm: The Music of George Gershwin

Frans van Geest, Rob van Bavel, The Ghost The King And I, Vincent Koning

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Jazz Pianist Rob van Bavel returns to NativeDSD with his second album We Got Rhythm: The Music of George Gershwin.  Here is joined in the trio named The Ghost, The King & I by Vincent Koning on Guitar and Frans van Geest on drums.

Dave Kikoski says: When it comes to Jazz, I’ve developed a discerning ear over the years. I often find myself listening to snippets of tunes when someone shares their music, especially if it piques my interest. After all, I’ve been enjoying and studying music for many years now.

But then came this recording by Rob, Vincent, and Frans, and everything changed. The music is so captivating that I couldn’t stop myself from hitting play on tune after tune. I have a feeling that this album will be in my regular rotation for years to come.

This unique trio recording stands as a remarkable achievement. It’s a testament to their collective skill, creativity, and ability to capture the essence of Jazz in a way that’s both timeless and fresh. So, sit back, relax, and let the enchanting melodies and intricate harmonies of this recording take you on a journey you won’t soon forget. The trio has truly outdone itself, and I can’t wait to see where their musical journey takes them next.


The Ghost, The King & I
Rob van Bavel, Piano
Vincent Koning, Guitar
Frans van Geest, Double Bass

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
It Ain't Necessarily So
08:43
2.
I Love You Porgy
05:24
3.
'S Wonderful
05:47
4.
Summertime
07:06
5.
I Got Rhythm
04:27
6.
First Prelude
05:44
7.
Second Prelude
05:21
8.
Third Prelude
11:26

Total time: 00:53:58

Additional information

Label

SKU

SL1064A

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Microphones

Main central microphone: Josephson C700S Support microphone Rob: Josephson C700A Support microphone Frans's bass: Josephson C700A Support microphone Vincent's guitar: Josephson C715

Other Gear

Micpre's: Merging Horus Microphone cables by AudioQuest Speakers: TAD Compact Evolution Poweramp: Moon 760A Mixing headphones: Sennheiser HD800S / AKG 702 All power cables and power conditioners by AudioQuest. Network switch by SOtM.

Instruments

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Original Recording Format

Release DateDecember 8, 2023

Press reviews

JazzNu

The Ghost, The King and I, swing with a deep and magnificent groove in unique interpretations of George Gershwin classics.

Recorded earlier this year in the sacred sanctuary of Studio 2 at MCO Hilversum, ‘We Got Rhythm – The Music of George Gershwin’ is a live performance documented in the presence of a studio audience. Notably, the audience’s presence adds a distinct quality to the recording.

The trio’s name, while suggestive of literary or dramatic associations, is straightforward—bassist Frans van Geest is the ‘Ghost’, and guitarist Vincent Koning is the ‘King’, both equal partners to the trio’s founder, the ‘I’ Rob van Bavel. Their names carry recognition within the jazz community.

The inaugural track of ‘We Got Rhythm’ unfolds as a guitar-led rendition of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’. The title alone is a lesson in syncopation, emphasizing the weak syllable.

The guitar’s lighthearted solo takes you on a spring walk in the sun, and the piano continues the journey. The double bass solo brings tranquility, merging into a delightful call-and-response interplay between guitar and piano, and the last note leaves a lingering reminder not to take everything in the Bible literally.

‘I Loves You, Porgy’ and ”S Wonderful’, showcase a balanced interplay across piano, guitar and bass, and the trio’s reinterpretations of ‘1st Prelude; The Man I Love’ and ‘2nd Prelude; The Blues’ contribute to a cohesive thematic structure. The Album concludes with the ‘3rd Prelude’, nicknamed ‘The Spanish Prelude’, incorporating fragments of Rhapsody in Blue.

Gershwin intended to expand his preludes to a twenty-four-part composition he intended to call ‘Melting Pot’. Unfortunately, he died young from a stroke.

‘We Got Rhythm’ is a noteworthy addition and deserves a place in every Jazz collection.

For every baby boomer growing up in a ’60s household during the latter half of the last century, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was a rite of passage. The clarinet’s smooth traverse through space, converging with a symphony orchestra marked a moment when classical music embraced jazz. Fast forward to the seventies, and the youthful Rob van Bavel, nurtured in a musician’s home adorned with multiple pianos, embarked on a trajectory destined for jazz. Although initially choosing classical at the Tilburg Conservatory, he later switched to the Rotterdam Conservatory, graduating cum laude from the jazz department.

Similar to Nina Simone, Rob’s affection for classical music is an integral element of his unique signature style. Yet it is clear in his perspective, that the essence of a piece is incomplete without the presence of a groove, or you might say; “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”.

RootsTime.Be

This is a great album. Thanks to this rock-solid trio’s hugely surprising and refreshing approach these interpretations provide a unique and nuanced perspective on Gershwin’s body of work.

Ranging from traditional to modern, the album features well-known jazz pieces and classical gems like the ‘3 Preludes’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘S Wonderful’ and portions of Rhapsody in Blue; ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’, ‘I Loves You, Porgy’ and ‘Summertime’.

In the brisk ‘I Got Rhythm’, shades of Oscar Peterson emerge, but I appreciate Rob’s more subdued and profound approach. The Gershwin preludes, particularly the ‘Second Prelude (The Blues)’ showcase Rob’s blues sensibilities, drawing comparisons to Ray Bryant and Otis Spann and with a lovely bass solo by Frans van Geest.

Vincent Koning’s excellence is evident in the ‘Third Prelude’ from ‘The Spanish Prelude’, incorporating segments from ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.

This album’s refreshing perspective on these well-known compositions is a pleasantly surprising addition.

Rob van Bavel is acknowledged as one of the best Jazz Pianists in the Netherlands, with the Ghost the King and I, Rob brings his prowess to a fresh configuration.

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