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The Ghost, the King and I - We Got Rhythm

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"The connoisseur hears that the trio’s, thoroughly researched vibrant Gershwin tribute transcends limits. 'We Got Rhythm,' is a true celebration."
- Jeroen de Valk, JazzFlits

Rob van Bavel - piano
Vincent Koning - guitar
Frans van Geest - double-bass

Total time: 53:58

The Ghost, the King and I - The Music of George Gershwin

When it comes to jazz, I've developed a discerning ear over the years. I often find myself listening to snippets of tunes when someone shares their music, especially if it piques my interest. After all, I've been enjoying and studying music for many years now.

But then came this recording by Rob, Vincent, and Frans, and everything changed. The music is so captivating that I couldn't stop myself from hitting play on tune after tune. I have a feeling that this album will be in my regular rotation for years to come.

Rob van Bavel, a jazz piano faculty at the University of the Arts The Hague, is a true virtuoso. His piano playing exhibits a clean sure technique that's as crisp as a summer breeze. From the very first notes, the arrangements are like a sumptuous feast for the ears, grabbing your attention immediately. What's truly remarkable is how the guitar, bass, and piano seamlessly blend, revealing new layers of musical brilliance with each repeated listening.

'Prelude One', a rendition of 'The Man I Love', is executed with impeccable precision. Rob's piano work in this track is a testament to his mastery of the instrument. The Coltrane-ish modulation adds a delightful twist that keeps you engaged from start to finish.

As we venture into 'Prelude 2', we hear soulful blues, and it's hard not to be reminded of the great Oscar Peterson, yet Rob is no mere copycat. He is entirely his own man, showcasing a brilliant and distinctive style. What stands out even more is his remarkable independence between both hands - a true marvel to appreciate.

What makes this recording even more impressive is that it was captured in front of a live audience. The energy and connection between the performers and the listeners are palpable, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the music. Bravo to Rob, Vincent, and Frans for delivering such a captivating and memorable performance.

In closing, this unique trio recording stands as a remarkable achievement. It's a testament to their collective skill, creativity, and ability to capture the essence of jazz in a way that's both timeless and fresh. So, sit back, relax, and let the enchanting melodies and intricate harmonies of this recording take you on a journey you won't soon forget. The trio has truly outdone itself, and I can't wait to see where their musical journey takes them next. 
- Dave Kikoski.

"Working with the extraordinary talents of 
The Ghost; bassist Frans van Geest, 
the King; guitarist Vincent de Koning
the I; pianist Rob van Bavel,
underscored for me why they rightfully reside at the pinnacle of the European jazz scene. Their unwavering dedication and professionalism are nothing short of remarkable. 

Vincent Koning, knowing the hall's acoustics from his excellent contribution to Simon Rigter's 'Growing Up' album brought a guitar amp tailored precisely for the occasion.

During setup, Frans van Geest asked me to stand right behind the central Josephson C700S microphone, listening and helping him to finely calibrate just how much attack was needed to seamlessly blend his double bass sound with the piano and guitar sound. 

Rob van Bavel's leadership shines through his ability to value each individual's distinctive contributions to the shared musical journey. While Rob van Bavel masterfully arranged each composition, he remained completely receptive to insights and suggestions from both Frans and Vincent.

Engineer Frans de Rond dedicated significant time to achieving an ideal balance, utilizing our trusted Josephson C700S in the "sweet spot" before applying spot microphones. 

Our goal was an intimate yet deep sound field, providing a visual representation of the instruments in prime positions on the soundstage. This approach, reminiscent of old jazz recordings, allows us to visualize the trio arranged from left to right, as opposed to the more prevalent (and radio-friendly) format where the instruments are piled on top of each other.

In some ways, we are old-fashioned. We may have listened to too many old jazz recordings, but as Louis Armstrong once said, ''The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the backyard on a hot night or something said long ago."
- Peter Bjørnild

"A fantastic virtuosic and sparkling album, transcending all clichés thanks to the qualities of this strong trio and their refreshing approach."
Jan van Leersum,

“...a beautiful live recording….in ‘It Ain't Necessarily So’ the guitar's lighthearted solo takes you on a spring walk in the sun, and the last notes remind you not to believe everything in the Bible. Delightful! … this album deserves a place in every swing collection.”
Monica Rijpma, JazzNu

Recording, mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond.
Produced by Peter Bjørnild & Rob van Bavel.
Music arranged by Rob van Bavel.
Recorded at MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on the 19th March 2023.

Sound Liaison provide the one to one copy of the original master.
This is a One Mic + recording.

Mastered analogue signal chain to 768kHz.

Used equipment:

Main central microphone: Josephson C700S
Support microphone Rob: Josephson C700A
Support microphone Frans's bass: Josephson C700A
Support microphone Vincent's guitar: Josephson C715

Micpre's: Merging Horus
Microphone cables by AudioQuest
Speakers: TAD Compact Evolution
Poweramp: Moon 760A
Mixing headphones: Sennheiser HD800S / AKG 702
All power cables and power conditioners by AudioQuest.
Network switch by SOtM.

Cover illustration by Victor de Boo
Cover design by Tom Beek
Portrait photo by Bas Koning

Catalog Number: SL-1064A

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