6 top jazz musicians and a string quartet play the music of Michel Herr
Bert Joris, trumpet, flugelhorn
Paul Heller, tenor saxophone (D)
Peter Hertmans, guitar
Nathalie Loriers, piano
Sam Gerstmans, double bass
Dre Pallemaerts, drums
Benoît Leseure, 1st violin
Pierre Heneaux, 2nd violin
Jean-François Durdu, viola
Merryl Havard, cello
Michel Herr, who is known internationally for his talents as a jazz pianist/composer/arranger, presents this superb tentet, which features the encounter of a jazz sextet with a string quartet.
His compositions, his unique touch and his refined arrangements illustrate his attachment to a music that is accessible, rich in melodic and harmonic contents and built on nice grooves. The strings have a substantial role as a musical partner in the project and the soloists are first class.
Compositions, arrangements and musical supervision by Michel Herr.
The album “Michel Herr – Positive / Music for sextet and string quartet” received the Sabam Jazz Award.
See some photos taken in the recording studio and during concerts.
Below, a teaser with an overview of the recording session of the album.
“Michel Herr is delivering another masterpiece, combining his composing/arranging skills with the talents of great improvisers, and a string quartet. “
Philippe Baron, radio host on RTBF radio (B)
“In the end, however, it is Herr’s arrangements – the deft application of strings to a straight-ahead jazz setting, the balance between solo and ensemble voices – that makes the greatest impression. Stringed instruments haven’t always featured prominently in jazz, but they have been there since the beginning of the story… Seen in this context, Positive continues a long tradition. Herr, with this fine tentet, has produced an album of considerable beauty.”
Ian Patterson, Allaboutjazz.com
“What immediately impresses me is how subtly and seamlessly the string quartet (which is conducted by Herr, by the way) is woven into the whole fabric. Just try the first track, ‘The Right Choices?’, and you will see what I mean. Secondly, I am pleased and maybe a little surprised at how accessible the music is. I have an involuntary association of “string quartet” (I love classical string quartet) with “serious,” but ‘Positive’ has nothing stuffy, right-out-of-the-academy, or artificial about it. Thirdly, the album has a nice mixture of moods and grooves. Overall it has a tranquil feel to it (try ‘Second Look’) … At the compositional core is a structure for emotionally genuine improvisation and sometimes hard blowing by the sextet…In short, it is a struggle to stay positive, but ‘Positive’ is positively helping!”
Randy Gibbons, blogger and jazz specialist/critic
Many more press clippings can be found in the album page on the Michel Herr website.
Photos : Pauline Herr (& video), Jacky Lepage