Hip Holland Hip: Modern Jazz In The Netherlands 1950 – 1970

Sdban Records delve into the Dutch jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s with a selection of classic and rare hard bop and cool jazz tracks from artists like Herman Schoonderwalt, The Diamond Five, Wessel Ilcken and Tony Vos. Holland never sounded this hip before!

“Jazz is garbage and a caricature of the modern orchestra; it is garbage arranged by half-grown musicians for the benefit of common entertainment.” In spite of the Dutch cultural establishment’s attempts to preclude jazz – as illustrated by this citation from the October 1926 issue of music magazine De Muziek – The Netherlands was one of the earliest adopters of the new music style as it came over to the Old Continent at the end of World War I.

Kwartet Leo Meyer So Why

Originally drawn to the clarinet under the influence of the Dutch Swing College Band as a teenager in the mid-1950s, Leo Meyer converted to bebop after befriending pianist Rob Madna. He then switched to the alto saxophone and learned the ins and the outs of the instrument by listening to records of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Phil Woods and Stan Getz. In the early 1960s, Meyer was playing with the cream of Dutch jazz (Madna, Herman Schoonderwalt, Frans Elsen, Cees Smal) in clubs in Haarlem, Amsterdam or Rotterdam (where he played the warm-up of Eric Dolphy’s concert in jazz club B-14).

The Jacobs Brothers Two Brothers

It’s difficult to imagine Dutch jazz history without the Jacobs brothers from Hilversum. To the mainstream audience, pianist Pim became the face of the post-war jazz scene thanks to his work as the fixed accompanist of his wife, star singer Rita Reys, as the host of thousands of ‘schoolconcerten’ (educational concerts in schools throughout the country explaining the principles of jazz to the youth) or as the host of his TV show Djes Zien. In all of these activitities he formed a partnership with his brother, Ruud, who was also the most in demand bass player of the Dutch jazz scene and played or recorded with Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Don Byas and Sonny Rollins. The song Two Brothers captures them at the dawn of their long and rich careers – Ruud, who makes a rare appearance on saxophone, was merely 20 years of age here.


A1. Herbie Mann with the Wessel Ilcken Combo – Afro Blues
A2. The Diamond Five – Amsterdam Blues
A3. Kwartet Leo Meyer – So Why
A4. The Jacobs Brothers – Two Brothers
A5. Kwartet Martin Verlinden – Four On Six
B1. The Rhythme All Stars – Relaxin’ With Rhythme
B2. Martien Beenen and the Orchestra featuring Sandy Fort – Golden Earrings
B3. Tony Vos Quartet – Lady Elisabeth
B4. Herman Schoonderwalt – Theme from the movie ‘Mensen Van Morgen’

C1. The Diamond Five – Les Halles
C2. The Red and Brown Brothers – Blues For Eddy
C3. Frans Elsen Quintet – Sem
C4. Leddy Wessel with Jack van Poll and his Tree-oh – Sing Sing Sing
C5. Boy’s Big Band – Blues Minor
D1. The Frans Wieringa Trio featuring Eduard Ninck Blok – Work Song
D2. Rita Reys and Oliver Nelson – Wives And Lovers
D3. Herman Schoonderwalt Septet – My Plea
D4. Trio Tony Vos – Comin’ Home Baby

Sdban Records will release Hip Holland Hip: Modern Jazz In The Netherlands 1950 – 1970 on June 16th, 2023.

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