zaterdag 13 november 2010

Eef Albers - 1987 - Pyramids

Eef Albers

01. Flamingo Dance
02. Chrystal Dreams
03. Marathon
04. It Still Is
05. Everlasting
06. Pyramids
07. "27"
08. Marthon II

Eef Albers: Guitars
Peter Van Straten: BAss
Leon Klaase: Drums
Hans Vroomans: Grand Piano
Jasper Van't Hof: Synthesizers
Ack Van Rooyen: Flugelhorn
Eddie Connard: Percussion

This CD really started to show Eef's unique guitar playing & compositional approach. Brilliant compositions & playing by all musicians, a must have.
An all time favourite, Eef can play any style and blisters with the best of them, but none can match his improvisational style and unique compositional abilities. He is still one of the most unknown, undiscovered guitarists of all time, maybe he likes it that way?

Translation of an interview with Eef Albers, published in the Music Maker, August 1996. The interviewer was Roberto Palombit.
Eef Albers is a many-sided guitar player, recognised abroad for his skills. Among others, he has played with John Lee, Gerry Brown, Stanley Clarke and Simon Phillips. Both Eef & fellow musician Ack Van Rooyen teach at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Holland and also abroad. He performs as often as possible, as a guest player or with his own quartet. With this quartet he made his last CD 'Birds of the night'.
In 1977 Eef Albers replaced Jan Akkerman in Focus. For about ten years he played with John Lee ( Larry Coryell's Eleventh House) and Gerry Brown (Chick Corea), playing mostly jazzrock, But he also recorded with this rhythm section ( Lee/Brown) under the name " Medusa " recording an album (of the same name) of heavy funkrock, like that of the band " Mothers Finest " . 'That record (Medusa) didn't do anything, I don't even have it myself'. I liked it. The singer, Cheryl Alexander, was great and James Batton, the keyboard player, sang also. He was overweight and died very young of a heart attack. We never performed on stage. One way or another I do not stay long with bands. This applies also to Focus, where I played the guitar with Philip Catherine."
Focus made a record with P.J.Proby as the singer. 'He drank Four Roses whiskey the whole day, so much so that the nearest liquor store was soon sold out. We watched him very carefully, as he always had the intention to run away. When he was in the surroundings of an airfield, you never saw him again'.
Albers has made very few solo records in his long career. 'That's correct. With John and Gerry I made a few CD's, but very few solo CD's. Firstly, Blue Capricorn, in 1976. Then a radio broadcast on the VARA network was released as Skyrider, in 1981. Next, Pyramids, in 1987, which I recorded at Chris Beckers Criss Crazz studios. And finally, Birds of the Night, which is my fourth solo record. Do you know what it is - its not for me, no thanks! If there is no demand for it, why should I make a CD. I am not like Americans who are promoting themselves all the time'.
This CD was born through drummer Roy Dackus efforts and who also more or less financied the whole project. 'Eef Albers needs a kick up his backside sometimes and at other times he needs a pat on his back. Maybe I am too pessimistic. Why should we spend so much money to make a CD that nobody buys?. Radio and TV do not promote my music. I, as much as anyone else, would like to feel appreciated. I would like that people tell me, gee, Eef, you do make a nice record. Then I will make two a year. Okay, you may be right saying that this is a very naive attitude. I reproach myself that I sometimes react so resigned, but that's me. Now Roy took the money out of his household purse to finance my record. But I always need a little push,yes, a kick up my ass. But that's me. Afterwards I am very glad. I stand for this music, I am very proud. I only would like to have a little more positive response. Not that I will compare myself with him, but I sometimes feel like Van Gogh'.
Guitar players like Mike Stern, John Scofield and Pat Metheny always say that they gain more respect in Europe than in America. And it would be easier to get more performances here. 'Yes, that's true. These guys are always here because they hardly have any work in America. And here they are more respected as musicians. Maybe I am not so respected in Holland, because I am Dutch. In Germany, for example, they show more respect for me as a musician. That I find important!'.
'The CD ( Birds of the Night) was recorded over two years in the Basement Audio, the studio of Pieter Nieboer at Spakenburg. There we recorded the most, but we also have recorded with an Adat elsewhere. Our keyboard player, Christoph Erbstoesser, has done some things at home and Bob Malach, for example, recorded a track in the kitchen at Roy's house. Peter Tiehuis sat behind the console for most tracks. It always pays to have such a good guitar player around. He knows what to do. In the beginning we also mixed in Spakenburg, but we were not very satisfied. So then Michael Hoogenboezem remixed it again in Wisseloord. It sounded much better. Wisseloord is one of the best studios in the world."
"When we go into the studio, everything is already fixed. At home I write the music first. The melody, the chords and the groove are almost definite. Then we go and rehearse and also try it out live. In this way a song grows. When you are in the studio there are less surprises. This doesn't mean there is no room for improvisation. My best recordings are usually in one take, sometimes two. Then you go for it and the atmosphere is the best. Afterwards it becomes worse, even the solos. We didn't cut it in. In my opinion there was only one guitartrack on this latest CD."
Guitars. "I mostly play on my old Stratocaster, which is a pre-CBS model from 1962. All new models which I have tried over the years are not as good. I put on new frets countless times, those big jumbofrets. I like soft material, which gives a warm sound. I'm never happy with these frets and am constantly filing them. Then they are get too flat and I need new frets again. And, then the fretboard gets too flat and so another fretboard has to be attached. Maybe I have to learn this myself very well. In one song I also used an old jazzguitar, a Gibson ES-175, with that little tip, you know. That's a guitar from 1956. I bought it from Jan Hollestelle and he has this guitar from his brother Hans. I also have an acoustic Levin, but I didn't use it on the record. I always use a 010-set, mostly Ernie Ball or SIT, but I also have spares of an unknown brand."
Equipment. "My gear has been built by Ernst Fliek, who's a gear-builder from Schagen. He builds pre- and power-amps with valves and whole switchboards with Midi. How it works I don't really know. I only step on these buttons. My installation has four pre-amps which takes care of the sound from clean to heavy distortion. You can combine them, but this doesn't apply to me. These four different sounds are enough. The power-amp takes care of the warm sound. There are 12 inch Celestion speakers in it, but with these I still experiment. The external effects are easy to mix together. The original guitar-sound stays direct to the amp and the effect will be surplussed. I have an old Korg reverb, an old Roland 3000, an analog stereochorus of TC Electronics and a compressor which Peter Tiehuis built for me.
"That's all. Eef Albers needed a huge kick up his backside, but this resulted in a strong record. Maybe I am a late developer. I played with Bob Malach and with Stanley Clarke. He played very well when he was eighteen, but today he still plays the same way. It's simply Stanley."
"I had so many things on my mind. I find it just as nice to play traditional jazz with Ferdinand Povel as well as heavy rock with Simon Phillips. And I'm also proud that I can. I always wanted to hussle all sorts of things. That has to become more mature. Only now I can make heavy jazzrock on a record and combine this with a duo with Ack van Rooyen."
"I am 45 and only now I have the feeling to have recorded something in which I have combined all the things I had in my mind for all these years."

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