Lander Lenaertsdoesn’t simply nurture an unconditional love for jazz, he’s also one of its most stimulating European experts.Nextto promoting theart formthrough DJ-sets, a fulfilling blog (Jazztime Europe) and documentaries, he has also dedicated his life to delving into the history of the genre and some of its most obscure expressions, past and present across the Old Continent.
With his latest collection, which will be published on the 14th of April bySDBAN/N.E.W.S., Lenaerts impressively achieves his aims. Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970is indeed a captivating compilation, finally giving exposure to the remarkable Belgian jazz talents active between the immediate post-war period and the 1970s.
Even though some of the genre’s most influential musicians became popular and made their names playing in Orchestras in the States (for example, Bobby Jaspar, René Thomas and Fats Sadi), their popularity rarely crossed the Atlantic, and remained anchored to the local scene. However, Belgian jazz grew exponentially during the Sixties, and developed into one of the most dynamic scenes in Europe.
Here’s an exclusive “prelisten” of one of the tracks of the collection, composed and performed by one of the finest Belgian saxophonists:
Jack Sels - ‘African Dance’
In addition, we seized the release of Let’s Get Swinging as an opportunity and asked its author to compile a playlist of some of his favourite Belgian and Belgian-related jazz tracks:
“Take a dive into the wide spectrum of jazz in Belgium, a country that has embraced the musical genre ever since it appeared on European shore one hundred years ago.
Whether it’s the cool jazz of Jack Sels, Bobby Jaspar and René Thomas, the refined piano playing of Francy Boland, the futuristic fusion sound of Marc Moulin, René Costy, Open Sky Unit and Solis Lacus, or the avant-garde explorations of Babs Robert, the Belgian jazz discography offers plenty treasures for both the jazz newbie as the seasoned listener.”