Born: 1932 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
A lot has been said and written about alto-saxophoneplayer Piet Noordijk since he started his professional career nearly 60 years ago in his hometown of Rotterdam. And rightfully so! For Piet is a typical no-nonsense person who speaks and plays straight from the heart. He developed his extraordinary talent on the alto and tenorsax by playing almost nightly in one of the many clubs that featured any kind of music in and around the largest port of the world. Sometimes he would be joined by his older brother and mentor Kees, who was a tenor player as well and an excellent accordeonist. After succesfully finishing his clarinet studies at the Rotterdam conservatory, he eagerly joined the many musicians who had been deprived of jazz during the second world war anbegan an impressive carreer as a soloist and section leader in the many (big)bands that craved his unique abilities. After retiring from the by now world famous Metropole Orchestra, he once more formed his own quartet with top Dutch musicians and recorded a hugely succesful album: Piet plays Bird. Before and during his tenure as lead-alto player with the Metropole Orchestra, he has performed with and accompanied some of the greatest jazz-soloists in the world, such as: Gary Peacock, Lee Konitz, Oliver Nelson, Clark Terry, Ben Webster, Tony Bennet, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Clarke, Wynton Marsalis, the list is endless!
For all his work, playing and teaching he received one of the highest Merits or orders by the Dutch Government (Ridder in De orde van de Nederlandsche Leeuw) as he set out for a national tour with his quartet, celebrating his 65th birthday in 1997. In 1999 he assembled his NEW QUINTET, with which he made stunning appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague in Holland as well as in Capetown, South Africa. No wonder, for the line-up features the best there is in The Netherlands or any other land for that matter!!! Summa Cum Laude pianoplayer Rob van Bavel who won second prize in the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition in 1987 is one of the most imaginative players around. He also deftly arranged this Sinatra batch and has been closely associated with Piet for over 10 years Jesse van Ruller is the no holds barred guitar-player, who at 23 finished first at The Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition in 1995. With his uncanny dexterity he is the perfect frontline match for Piet. When comping he is equally at ease with the great bass and drum tandem of Hein van der Geyn and John Engels, who have recorded profusely during their respective successful careers. Both have globetrotted with Chet Baker and performed with the Who's who in Jazz, garnering awards as they groovingly went along.
The first searing CD of The New Quintet (BMCD 304) was broadcast and recorded before a very lively audience at the famous Nick Vollebregt Jazzcafe' for TROS-SESJUN in Laren Holland, on February 17th. 2000. Piet has been toying with the idea of recording Sinatra songs for a long time, and you are now listening (I expect) to the results of Piet's selection, Rob's arrangements and the great effort of all concerned. Piet reached seventy years of age in May 2002 and is playing better than ever. He never ceases to amaze his many fans and colleagues with his biting Parker-like agility in the up-tempo's and his haunting sotto-voce delivery of the melody in great ballads such as Nancy (with the laughing face) or In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning. Although Piet paraphrases Strangers in the Night at the ending of You Make Me Feel So Young, bowing for one of Sinatra's biggest single-hits, these five masters were certainly no strangers to the repertoire or themselves as they laid down the tracks in the studio. A tight-knit group, they recreate 11 of Sinatra's most famous songs in an invigorating way, so take off your (reading)glasses and enjoy the rest ofPiet plays Sinatra!