Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mike Del Ferro - a Dutch music explorer: The Journey

Inspired by the music of remote exotic places
 Challenge Records introduces Mike del Ferro in a new cd-series: The Journey.
Hans Koert

Mike del Ferro – a Dutch record player, could be best labeled as a global trotter – a cosmopolitan pur sang …..  If you have a look at his agenda 
 I guess you’ll understand what I mean. In the weeks to come (September 2012) he has to play in Moldavia, Amsterdam and Malta and has to prepare for the Caribbean Jazz festival in Aruba, one of the Lesser Antilles.

Mike Del Ferro (© Challenge records - photo courtesy: Hans Speekenbrink)

Mike Del Ferro raised in a musical family.  His father was a celebrated opera singer and inspired Mike to study classical piano at the Amsterdam
Conservatory. When he heard Oscar Peterson in concert, he became fascinated by jazz music ( he repeated Oscar's music without tears at his parents piano ..)  and thanks to Jerry Van Rooyen (1928-2009), a well known Dutch trumpet player, bandleader and composer and Henk Elkerbout, he  finished his studies and received a master on Contemporary Music.

 Jeroen Vierdag ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Since that day, Mike became a sought after pianist, who received a lot of awards. The album Electric Night (1989), recorded by Future Shock, must have been his debut on record, as he can be heard on it as a guest player with the tune China Air. In February 1994 he recorded for the first time under his own name with the Del Ferro / Overwater / Paeffgen Trio – the start of series of own recordings. Recently Mike released his first album for Challenge Records – the opener of a series of almost a dozen albums …..

 The Journey - Mike Del Ferro (Challenge Records CR73321)

The first album by Mike Del Ferro at the Challenge label is entitled: The Journey and in fact an introduction to a series of records. His new trio contains the young double bass player ( also on electric bass), Jeroen Vierdag and the experienced Belgian drummer Bruno Castellucci, who debuted on record somewhere in the 1970s with Philip Catherine, Richard Rousselet and Marc Moulin.

 Mike Del Ferro (© Challenge records - photo courtesy: Hans Speekenbrink)

Like Brad Mehldau, who released a series of Art of the Trio albums during the past decades, Mike Del Ferro wants to share his experiences, he had during his world tours ……  Like a real cosmopolitan – an explorer or if you like a collector of foreign countries, he proudly announced that he visited almost a hundred foreign countries during his career, where he was inspired by local artists. In his announced series of records, The Journey, he will share the music inspired by his trips to these remote exotic places.

Bruno Castellucci ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The opening cd features more then a dozen tracks, four composed by Mike himself ( Miron – Idrobas – E-Ballad and Brazilian Exercise) and the rest originally composed by great names like Duke Ellington ( Caravan),Thelonious Monk (I Mean You), Vernon Duke ( Autumn in New York) and Miles Davis ( All Blues), but also two compositions (Benny Golson and The Woolf) by the Dutch flute player and composer Thijs Van Leer - all inspired by the music and musicans Mike heard during his travels around the world.  Duke’s Caravan was inspired by Latin American rhythms – Miles’ All Blues got that typically 7/8th meter, which can be heard in music from the Middle East and Bach’s Ave Maria refers to his roots in classical music and becomes a kind of bossa nova in his hands ………   

Let's introduce to Mike's sound in a fragment of a performance at the popular Dutch music program Vrije Geluiden (by VPRO-television) at the Bimhuis - Amsterdam - Miron, one of the tunes at the album. 

For me Caravan surprised – it opens almost as a classical piece but continues as a Brazilian samba ….. with a great rhythmical accompaniment by (electric) bass player Jeroen Vierdag and drummer Bruno Castellucci. The track that fascinated me most, is Mike’s solo piano version of Monk’s I Mean You, which he plays in a rather strange meter. The final tracks can be considered as a promo for his next album which will contain Brazilian influences and will be released later this year ……….  Keep an eye on this fascinating Dutch piano player

This album can be ordered at Challenge Records and Mike Del Ferro's site..

Hans Koert
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Mike Del Ferro leads a busy life with concerts and work shops .. not only in his native country Holland, but all around the world; even in exotic and remote places, where they don't have a word for his kind of music ..... Like a 16th Century explorer, he visited and performed in almost 100 different countries where he loves to play and be inspired by local musicians. In a series of a dozen albums, to be released by Challenge Records, he loves to share these experiences ... This series is entitled The Journey and recently its first album was released - a preview ( or shall I say pre-ear)for the rest of the series: The Journey.  Keep an eye on this Dutch pianist ....

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