Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Marius Beets - A Force in Dutch Jazz

© -  Steven A. Cerra - copyright protected; all rights reserved.

Marius Beets [pronounced “Bates”] is one of three brothers, all of whom are prominent players on the Dutch Jazz scene.

Brother Peter is a remarkably gifted pianist who reflects the influence of Oscar Peterson in his playing both with his own trio and as a member of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.

Alexander Beets is a big-toned, straight-ahead tenor player who performs with a number of small groups as well as with The Beets Brothers Powerhouse Big Band.

It was in the latter context that I first heard Marius on a The Netherlands based Maxanter CD entitled Marius Beets and the Power Big Bad Vol. 1 75232.

The recording was released in 2005 and in the intervening decade, Marius has continued to grow and develop as a bassist, composer, and as a recording engineer of considerable skill.

Along with his work in both big band and small group settings with brothers Peter and Alexander, Mauris has been a long-standing member of pianist Rein de Graaff trio along with drummer Eric Ineke and he also joins Eric as a member of his JazzXpress quintet. He has performed with The Houdini’s and a host of American Jazz musicians including Johnny Griffin,James Moody, Bud Shank, Gary Bartz , Ronnie Cuber, Herb Geller, Jeff Hamilton,, Houston Person, and Dave Liebman.

You can locate more information about Marius by visiting him at his website:

The following insert notes from Marius Beets and the Power Big Bad Vol. 1 provide a few more details about Marius’s career circa 2005 and also contain his annotations about each of the tunes on the recording.

“With this album Marius Beets introduces himself in a broad variety of ways. Not only can he be heard playing double bass and electric bass, but he also presents himself as a composer, band leader, arranger and recording engineer. Marius started his professional career as a musician during his college-days at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In 1994 he graduated with honors from this venerable institution. Arranging he taught himself, his main inspiration coming from the work of Oliver Nelson and Gil Evans. His many orchestrations include arrangements for strings for Trijntje Oosterhuis and Bobby McFerrin. Big Band arrangements by his hand were played by the New Cool Collective Big Band. As a recording-engineer he was responsible for albums by Houston Person and Dave Liebman. Apart from all these activities, he teaches double bass as a principal subject at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

01  Moody's Groove ( M. Beets ) solo: Sjoerd Dijkhuizen, Peter Beets The theme contains elements learned from tenor saxophone player James Moody during a tour with him. Two pentatonic sequences can be heard in a tritonus connection. This composition is the result of studying this structure.

02 The Witch Doctor ( L. Morgan ) solo: Ruud Breuls, Peter Beets, Louk Boudesteijn
Opening number on the Blue Note album of the same name by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, one of my main sources of inspiration. I incorporated parts of the original Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter improvisations in the backgrounds and special.

03 Pinocchio ( W. Shorter)
solo: Peter Beets, Ben van den Dungen, Martijn van Iterson
Back in time to be heard on Miles Davis' Nefertiti album, this is my most elaborate orchestration. I began studying it for a recording-session with Rob Madna. Parts from the original solos by Davis, Shorter and Hancock are assimilated in this arrangement,

04 The Jody Grind ( H. Silver) solo: Rolf Delfos, Peter Beets
This is my first big band arrangement. It was played in 1997 by the New Cool Collective Big Band. The saxophone-special is based on a Benjamin Herman solo in a never released recording of this composition.

05 Donita ( B. van den Dungen ) solo: Louk Boudesteijn, Ben van den Dungen The theme was composed by Ben van den Dungen, who himself can be heard playing the tenor saxophone on this song. On his request this orchestration was made for the Rotterdam Conservatory Teachers Big Band.

06 Speak Like A Child ( H. Hancock ) solo: Martijn van Iterson This Hancock original is one of my favourites because of its impressionistic sonorous sounds, giving birth to a new approach. This orchestration was played by the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra.

07 Boppa ( M. Beets ) solo: Rolf Delfos, Peter Beets This composition is dedicated to my little son's utterly indispensible toy-hippo of the same name. It was composed when he was one year old.

08 The Dip ( H. Mobley ) solo: Sjoerd Dijkhuizen, Martijn van Iterson Dippin', by the Hank Mobley quintet, was the first cd I ever bought. The Dip figures as the opening number. This album proved to have been very inspirational for tenor saxophonist Sjoerd Dijkhuizen too. So he was a logical choice as a soloist.

09 Bass-ic Instinct ( M. Beets ) solo: Alexander Beets, Peter Beets. Ruud Breuls This original composition for jazz-quartet was first recorded by the Beets Brothers in 1995. It is a blues with a bridge.

10 Just Around The Corner ( H. Hancock ) solo: Juraj Stanik, Martijn van Iterson This piece of disco-music from the Hancock album Mr. Hands was arranged in 1997 for the New Cool Collective Big Band. I changed the bass-lines and quotations from Hancock's solo can be heard embroidered in the background.”

The Powerhouse Big Band CD is available both as an Mp3 download and as an audio CD from Amazon.

The following audio-only Soundcloud file will give you a taste of what’s on offer in the music of Marius Beets, a truly creative musician.

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