Various: Hip Holland Hip – Modern Jazz In The Netherlands, 1950-1970

Collection of the work of Dutch post-war jazz luminaries includes guest spots for Herbie Mann, Rita Reys and Oliver Nelson


Jazz was banned in Holland following Hitler’s invasion of 1940. Despite this, fans gathered at secret meetings or listened to British broadcasts on hidden radios. After liberation in 1945 people had little money and it wasn’t until 1949 that the scene revived with the aid of the “new jazz” coming out of the United States.

Imported records became available again, new jazz magazines like Rhythme were published and jazz clubs re-emerged. Although the scene dissipated in the 60s with the arrival of beat music, the Dutch boppers kept playing and laid the groundwork for jazz in the Netherlands today.

The musicians featured in this 18-track compilation include celebrated jazz drummer Wessel Ilken (heard here with his trio and American guest flautist Herbie Mann), the Diamond Five (inspired by the hard bop of Art Blakey and Horace Silver), the Jacobs Brothers (who played with visiting Americans Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley and Sonny Rollins) and Martien Beenen, former Dixieland drummer with the Dutch Swing College Band but here with an all-star group of modern jazz players and singer Sandy Fort. 

Then we have altoist Tony Vos with his trio and quartet, clarinettist and altoist Herman Schoonderwalt (who featured extensively in the 1950s as soloist on most of the important modern jazz recordings made in Holland such as Jazz Behind The Dikes) and the Red and Brown Brothers – two pairs of brothers from the swing-era Ramblers jazz orchestra who featured on most of the Dutch milestone modern jazz releases. Other names to conjure with are singer Leddy Wessel, pianist Frans Elsen & his quintet, pianist Frans Wieringa’s trio and altoist Herman Schoonderwait with his septet.

The CD comes with an informative 28-page booklet containing contextual and background details of the artists and photos of the record covers from which the tracks derive. Due to a misprint, the description of track 16 (Rita Reys and Oliver Nelson) is missing and tracks 17 and 18 are misnumbered. However, while it’s unfortunate, you shouldn’t let this detract from the overall high quality of the recording.

Afro Blues; Amsterdam Blues; So Why; Two Brothers; Four On Six; Relaxin’ With Rhythme; Golden Earrings; Lady Elisabeth; Theme from the movie Mensen Van Morgen; Les Halles; Blues For Eddy; Sem; Sing Sing Sing; Blues Minor; Work Song; Wives And Lovers; My Plea; Comin’ Home Baby (73.58)
Herbie Mann with the Wessel Ilcken Combo; The Diamond Five; Kwartet Leo Meyer; The Jacobs Brothers; Kwartet Martin Verlinden; The Rhythme All Stars; Martien Beenen and the Orchestra featuring Sandy Fort; Tony Vos Quartet; Herman Schoonderwalt; The Red & Brown Brothers; Frans Elsen Quintet; Leddy Wessel with Jack van Poll and his Tree-oh; Boy’s Big Band; The Frans Wieringa Trio featuring Eduard Ninck Blok; Rita Reys & Oliver Nelson; Herman Schoonderwalt Septet; Trio Tony Vos. Netherlands 1950-1970.
Sdban Records CD16