Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dutch Jazz Times Closing Down

Dear All

During the last few months I have been working hard together with MFM Media to build a new site dedicated to the European Jazz scene called:

Jazz In Europe is a new English language blog dedicated to all things jazz in Europe. Why English? The answer to this question is rather simple; our goal is to spread the word about all the great jazz talent and happenings in the European jazz scene to the broadest audience that we can reach. Our focus is truly world wide. We believe the best way to achieve this is to communicate to our readers in English.

We will feature concert and CD reviews, publish interviews with European and international jazz musicians performing in Europe, Spotlight top European venues and festivals and comment on all the latest news regarding Jazz in Europe. In time we will be adding extra features to the site including among others a Geo-targeted concert diary, video interviews and much more.

With this in mind I will be discontinuing this blog effective 31 March 2013

You can find the new site at:

Please come and check us out

Thanks to all my readers who have followed me and I hope to see you all on Jazz In Europe.

Johan van Deeg

Monday, October 8, 2012

Maria Mendes Presents New CD in Amsterdam's North Sea Jazz Club

After successful performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and her recent Portuguese tour, Jazz vocalist Maria Mendes will present her debut CD “Along the road” (Dot Time Records – DT9013) at the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam on the 13th of October  2012.

Maria Mendes is one the current rising stars on the jazz scene. In 2011 Maria signed a worldwide recording contract with the New York based jazz label, Dot Time Records. With the release of her debut CD “Along the road” Maria has drawn the attention of both the jazz media and public. The recent Portuguese concerts and the CD presentation in the North Sea Jazz Club mark the start of a concert tour in 2012 – 13 that will see Maria performing throughout Europe, the USA and South America.

Maria Mendes is an undeniable talented jazz singer with incredible inventive and unique vocal abilities. Maria is known for her crystal clear voice, creative and exciting phrasing and vocal virtuosity. All these qualities make her singing standing out elegance, charm and vivid charisma. Her culturally rich background has influenced her style with elements of the Bossa Nova’s gentle groove, the melancholy of the Portuguese Fado and the American jazz swing of the early 50s. .

Carrying these natural abilities with her on stage, Maria’s performances have provided her with international acclaim, significant awards and rave reviews while at the same time building her a loyal international following. During the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2010 Quincy Jones stated “I see a promising and shining future for this young talented singer”. With the release of “Along the road” we can see that Mr. Jones prediction was right on the money.

Concert Details:
Title: Maria Mendes – CD Presentation
Date: Saturday 13th October 2012
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue: North Sea Jazz Club | Pazzanistraat 1 | 1014 DB AMSTERDAM
Tickets: Available from €14.00 | available online at


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Greg Diamond - Conduit

Dot Time Records - DT9011
Seamus Blake, tenor saxophone | Brian Hogans, alto saxophone | Mike Eckroth, piano | Edward Perez, bass | Henry Cole, drums | Mauricio Herrera, congas |

During the last edition of the Jazz Ahead club night in Bremen (Germany) I had the pleasure of seeing Greg Diamond, a young NYC based guitar player. This was for me one of the highlights of Jazz Ahead 2011 and I left the venue sure that we will be hearing a great deal about this talented guitarist in the years to come. Surprisingly enough Greg’s second CD “Conduit” landed on my desk for review a few weeks ago.  The CD features a number of heavy hitting players from the current NYC scene including Seamus Blake on tenor sax, Henry Cole on drums and Mike Eckroth on piano, all in all a very impressive lineup.

The CD features 8 of Greg’s compositions and shows Greg as not only a wonderful player but a very talented composer as well. Yvette opens the CD with a unison melody played by guitar and tenor leading into a strong solo’s from Seamus Blake and Greg. The contemplative “Inertia” follows, Mike Eckroth on piano sets the tone for a beautiful melody again played in unison by Greg and Alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. The track gradually develops into a slow montuno grove and sets the stage for an impressive solo’s from both Greg and Brian Hogans.

El Martillo is a 7/4 Latin jazz romp and displays this rhythm section at its best.  In contrast “El Pozo” provides a vehicle for Greg to demonstrate his affinity with Latin jazz, his playing on this track displays the utmost taste. Bassist Edward Perez shows great skill in “Turbulence” with a short but well crafted solo reminiscent of Scott LaFaro. My personal favorite is the beautiful ballad “Song for Jerry (Mi Viejo). This well crafted composition is full of surprises and features an impressive solo from Tenor player Seamus Blake.

Greg Diamond I consider to be one of the most exciting guitarists that I have heard in years. Although well established in his native New York City outside of the big apple he is largely unknown. With this release I am sure he will gain the attention of the international jazz world that he deserves.

Johan van Deeg

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

VEIN feat. Dave Liebman

Vein feat. Dave Liebman
Unit Records - UTR 4384
Michael Arbenz - piano | Florian Arbenz - drums | Thomas Lähns - bass | Dave Liebman - soprano/ tenor sax

The Swiss piano trio Vein has released their 2nd CD on Unit records this time featuring special guest Dave Liebman. Recorded in two of Europe's leading jazz venues (Sunset in Paris and the Altes Phandhaus in Cologne) the CD features a combination of original material together with a number of standards.

First cab off the rank is the Brubeck standard In “Your Own Sweet Way”. Dave Liebman opens this straight ahead swinger with a beautiful rendition of the melody leading to a typical Liebman style solo full of harmonic and rhythmic tension.  Title track “Lemuria”, composed by pianist Michael Arbenz settles straight into a solid rock groove providing a strong foundation for soloists Liebman and Michael Arbenz to explore the edges of tonality. 

The ballad, “I Loves You Porgy”, is a Vein standard and also appears on their first release on Unit records “Porgy & Bess” (UTR 4284). The track opens with a beautiful sax and piano duet, Michael Arbenz continues with a tasteful solo including some very well placed Gershwin style licks. 

Vein original “Evolution” provides room for bassist Thomas Lähns to show his virtuosity prior to opening up into a free style improvisation leading to a superb drum solo by Florian Arbenz. Next up is Dave Liebmans composition “Climbing”. This track that provides the listener with a soundscape reminiscent of the ECM releases of the early 80’s. While originally written for Bobo Stenson this track appears for the first time on this CD.

The final track on the CD is an arrangement of the Gershwin standard summertime. On this track Lähns bass intro gives way to a complex funk grove, setting the stage for Liebman's sparse but rhythmically complex solo.

Once again the brothers Michael and Florian Arbenz (piano, drums) together with bassist Thomas Lähns have delivered a great set that highlights an almost empathic interplay between these talented musicians. Dave Liebman's inspiring playing demonstrates a level of interaction that can only be expected from a group of musicians creating great jazz from a position of mutual respect. Highly recommended.

Johan van Deeg

Back on board

Dear all I am pleased to announce that after a long Illness that I am now able to resume my writing activities for the Dutch Jazz Times. While the last 12 months have been very taxing I received comfort in the numerous Get well soon mails received. Thanks to all those who took the time to contact me.

Well enough of that, from today I am fully back on board with renewed energy and look forward to posting interesting news from the Dutch and European jazz scene. When I started this blog I had completely underestimated the amount of work it takes to keep a blog up to date. From what I hear this is a common mistake.

This blog is very dear to my heart and my goal is help European musicians get their news out to all those jazz fans throughout the world. To achieve this I have realized that I need assistance. If you love jazz, have a good command of English and would like to contribute to the Dutch Jazz Times please contact me on

To kick off the resurrection of the Dutch Jazz Times I have just posted a review of a great CD released recently on Unit Records from Swiss trio VEIN featuring Dave Liebman. I am a great fan of piano trios however I was completely unaware of this group until their CD arrived in my letterbox for review. What a surprise, great CD and incredible trio. From the press release it would appear that VEIN together with Dave Liebman will be once again touring in March 2013. Here is a tip for Dutch clubs, book is band! If this live CD is any indication, it will be a great concert.

Johan van Deeg