|Michel Herr & Life Lines|
Bert Joris or Gino Lattuca : trumpet
Steve Houben : alto saxophone, flute
Fabrice Alleman : tenor & soprano saxophone
Phil Abraham : trombone
Marcus Bartelt : baritone saxophone
Michel Herr : piano, composer / arranger
Samuel Gerstmans or Sal La Rocca : double bass
Bruno Castellucci or Dré Pallemaerts : drums
Pianist Michel Herr is known internationally as a composer/arranger. He has been writing for all kinds of instrumental set-ups.
He explored the nonet format on several occasions, a.o. in 2001, when he formed one ("the Belgian all stars") for the album "Meggie" of baritone sax player Jean-Pierre Gebler. The repertoire of the album, arranged by the pianist, could be described as post bop to cool jazz.
Afterwards, Michel decided to give the ensemble a life of its own and rapidly expanded the concept to present new and more personal material, like a.o. some more modern pieces composed by himself and one by Steve Houben, plus great pieces by Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, and a few magical standards etc..., all arranged by Michel.
After a few concerts, the band has found its direction and its sound. The solists are superb, among the very best one can find in Belgium, and they shine in the framework of refined, colourful arrangements, where brass and woodwinds produce diverse and contrasting colours.
The music is rich, the arrangements refined, tasteful, creative and swinging, and the concept is enjoyable and accessible at all times.
The band made several successful appearances in various concerts and festivals.
In October 2005, it also was the specially featured band, this time in tentet, during the Belgian Django d'Or evening (aired by the Belgian tv) under the (occasional) name of "the Michel Herr Gold Orchestra".
In July 2006, Michel Herr & Life Lines appeared during the "Blue Note Records Jazz Festival" in Ghent (with radio broadcast on VRT).
In 2008, Michel Herr & Life Lines recorded a new piece, "Tolerance", that Michel Herr wrote in the framework of his participation to the album JazzOlympics, produced by Jean Kluger and commissioned by the Belgian olympic committee to illustrate the values associated with the games. On this occasion, the band was expanded to a tentet, with Alexandre Cavaliere on violin.
Within minutes (live)
This does it (live)
Strange ideas (live)
Tolerance (from the album JazzOlympics)
Within minutes (Quicktime movie).
Photos © Jos L. Knaepen