Continuing their obsession with premium experimental jazz-rock, The Return (released 27th August) takes further inspiration from the period with 14 reworking’s of compositions from artists including Philip Catherine, Placebo, Palle Mikelborg Ensemble, Bob Porter, Cos and Koen de Bruyne. But this is no lazy rehash, copy or rip-off. Pyschedelic, free-spirited and infectiously groovy, The Return perfectly captures the inspiring crossover energy that seemed to prevail in the Belgian jazz scene of the 70s.
Take Nineteen Seventy Fourths was influenced by the Philip Catherine recording of the same name which appeared on the September Man (1974) album, Bram Weijters' Crazy Men breathe new life into the track which floats anywhere between heavy funk and psychedelic jazz rock and also takes inspiration from the Palle Mikelborg Ensemble live version performed at Jazz Middelheim in August 1974.
Consisting of musicians from a wide array of contemporary jazz bands including Lucid Lucia (ex BRZZVLL), Dans Dans, STUFF. and Cargo Mas, the ensemble is led by Antwerp based piano and keyboard player, Bram Weijters. The spark for this very special collaborative project was ignited by the reissue of composer, arranger, pianist, and keyboardist Koen de Bruyne’s 1974 rare Belgian gem, Here Comes the Crazy Man! via Sdban Records in 2015, which spawned the release of Bram Weijters' Crazy Men’s debut album Here They Come in 2019.
Listen to Bram Weijters' Crazy Men new single Nineteen Seventy Fourthfrom the band's forthcoming album The Return:
Bram Weijters first began studying music at the age of eight years old, attending piano and percussion classes. In addition to his classically trained background, he played drums in several alternative rock bands as a teenager and experimented with tape recorders and electronic circuits. This eclectic background still forms the basis of his open approach to music today.
During his development, Weijters has participated in a number of different projects over the years including several jazz formations as well as with musicians from the Belgian hip hop scene, singer-songwriters and alternative bands but jazz and impro are his first love. He would go on to form and be part of the Bram Weijters-Chad McCullough Quartet, Bram Weijters Trio and Quartet, Hamster Axis of the One-Click Panther, Mazzle, Zygomatik, and Jelle Van Giel Group and has performed at venues, festivals and concert halls throughout Europe.
Bram Weijters’ Crazy Men are: Bram Weijters: Piano and Keyboards, Sam Vloemans: Trumpet and Percussion, Andrew Claes: C-Melody Sax, EWI, Wavedrum, Toine Thys: Tenor Sax (track 9), Bass Clarinet, Vincent Brijs: Baritone Sax, Dries Laheye: Bass, Gerben Brys: Bass (track 9) and Steven Cassiers: Drums.
Watch below Bram Weijters' Crazy Men new single Nineteen Seventy Fourthfrom the band's forthcoming album The Return:
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week: