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For the "Three is the magic number" section, each week we randomly pick a jazz musician, journalist, organiser or other professional and enquire about the three records that currently apply as the main source of inspiration for their career. Styles and borders are thrown overboard and people who do not include a W.E.R.F. release are not necessarily locked up in a dark cellar of our jazz bastion in Werfstraat in Bruges.
This week we focus on Kris Smissaert alias Dick d'Alaise: a renowned record collector, radio producer with Bruges radio station Villa Bota and...resident of the Werfstraat! He selected several records before and after concerts in De Werf and his radio show Mo'Jazz is listened to far beyond our national borders.
He selected the following records:
John Coltrane - Live At The Village Vanguard (Impulse! 1961)
I’m especially hugely charmed by the opening track 'Spiritual'. The rolling drums of Elvin Jones, the piano cascades of McCoy Tyner, the intense power and simultaneously subtle phrasing with which Coltrane plays solo and -the icing on the cake- Eric Dolphy in top-form on clarinet. In the outro of the track it can clearly be heard where Alice Coltrane was inspired for her spiritual jazz music.
Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (Blue Note 1972)
After his record 'Electric Byrd' Donald Byrd increasingly got the taste of merging electronic music and grooves in his music. This unparalleled record 'Ethiopian Knights' is evidence of this. This album has three tracks, two of which are over 15 minutes long. 'The Emperor' is built up around a funky guitar riff with the rolling vibraphone sounds of Bobby Hutcherson. On tenor sax we hear the perhaps lesser known Harold Land, who adds even more spice to everything. 'The Little Rasti' takes you on an intensive 17-minute trip through 'grooveland'.
Idris Muhammad - Power Of Soul (Kudu 1974)
This album was one of the first ‘real’ jazz records in my collection. I got to know it via a sample used by the Beastie Boys for their legendary album 'Paul's Boutique' from the track 'Loran's Dance'. It opened up a completely new world for me and I gradually became inspired by the 70s jazz fusion movement. To me, this is the type of album that is done to perfection from beginning to end.
COS - Viva Boma (IBC 1976)
This is the kind of record you either love or hate! Many electronic instruments, drum breaks, vocals by Pascale Son. At times we hear fragments of exoticism creep into the music. The fantastic compositions were written by Daniel Schell and Marc Hollander. At the controls is no one other than Marc Moulin and this can be clearly heard in the group’s sound.
Placebo - Placebo (Harvest 1974)
It wasn’t easy to choose a favourite of the records of this incredible Belgian group. The opening track alone 'N.W.' with the ground-breaking guitar-playing of Philip Catherine is so impressive that I just had to choose this titleless debut album. At this moment Placebo had a really unique sound, on the national as well as the international jazz scene. This is something us Belgians should be really proud of! This is largely thanks to front man Marc Moulin.
Nathalie Loriers New Trio - Les 3 Petits Singes (W.E.R.F. 2012)
I personally believe this is the best produced record of the W.E.R.F. label. This of course also has to do with the quality of the musicians who play on it. Nathalie Loriers is a phenomenon and more than earned her stripes internationally with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Her other half Philippe Aerts has also been around for a long time as the permanent bassist of, among others, Philip Catherine. American drummer Rick Hollander has excellent timing and is also a joy to see live in action.