November 22, 2018

Reinier Baas & Ben van Gelder ft Metropole Orkest: Smash Hits

Dutch ensemble Metropole Orkest isn't known as a particularly adventurous lot, but let them play together with Reinier Baas and Sax player Ben van Gelder, two of Holland's fine young jazz musicians and lo and behold: they can swing an add something extra. The live album Smash Hits was recorded at the Westergastheater in Amsterdam on January 16th 2016 and the Transition Jazz Festival @ TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht on April 8th 2017. Thanks to smart sequencing it sounds like it was laid down at a single show.

Baas and Van Gelder have been playing together for years, solidifying in instantaneous musical interaction that the orchestra could latch onto. Arrangers Gerd Hermann Ortler, Rob Horsting, Daniel Jamieson and Christian Elsässer dug into the duo's discography, cherry picking highlights such as Guiding Principle, Do You Know Ben Van Gelder and Smooth Jazz Apocalypse. Conductor Christian Elsässer steered the orchestra through the proceedings in a firm but relaxed approach. The soloists found themselves surrounded by a bunch of musicians who were enjoying themselves and went out their way to be step out the faceless mode of sight-reading professionals. Fluidity interspersed with the ability to stop and start again within the blink of an eye can only be achieved when musicians are willing and able to really listen to each other.

Smash Hits is released thru Basta Music.

  1. Stuiter
  2. Silver / Grey
  3. Introduction To 2Nd Coming
  4. 2Nd Coming Of Homunculus
  5. Do You Know Ben Van Gelder?
  6. Guiding Principle
  7. Palace
  8. In Retrospect
  9. Smooth Jazz Apocalypse
  10. The Dramatic Demise Of Princess Discombobulatrix

Videos of the performances of 2Nd Coming Of Homunculus, Guiding Principle and Palace are posted on the Metropole Orkest YouTube channel.


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