Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - The Return
Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - The Return
Label : SDBAN Ultra
Format : LP - Album
Release : 27/08/2021
Style : Jazz - Belgian Pride
Bram Weijters' Crazy Men is a thrilling take on Belgian jazz-rock and fusion from the 1970s. 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.
On a continuous quest to explore the roots of early Belgian jazz rock, 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.
Continuing their obsession with premium experimental jazz-rock, 'The Return' 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' for example. 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.
Elsewhere, a reworking of Placebo's 'Planes' is inspired by two memorable live performances of the track from Marc Moulin's jazz-fusion band; 'Placebo Live in Temse' (1972) and 'Placebo Live in Bruxelles' (1973). An all-out assault of crossover energy, it fizzes with dramatic trumpets and a racing rhythm section while 'Carol', originally recorded by Steve Houben, Mauve Traffic for the album 'Oh Boy' (1979) brings the pace right down and allows Weijters' piano to take centre stage.
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. At eighteen, he studied jazz piano at Antwerp Conservatory and later jazz composition and arranging at Brussels Conservatory - graduating in 2005 and took lesson and attended masterclasses from jazz scholars including Kenny Werner, Anthony Braxton, Gary Peacock, Mark Turner, Dave Liebman, Bill Carrotters and more.
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.
A1. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - The Beginning
A2. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Nineteen Seventy Fourths
A3. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - The Silver Eye
A4. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Pathetic Sounds
A5. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - The Silver End
A6. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Planes (intro)
A7. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Objí?dka
A8. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Planes
A9. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Chiang Mai
B1. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Carol
B2. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Nasca
B3. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Transvested Express / Postaeolian Train Robbery
B4. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Chief Of Freen Bean / Oh Boy
B5. Bram Weijters' Crazy Men - Reine De La Vallée