October 2, 2014

Dutch Rail sings to shafted train travellers

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Why say sorry if you can sing it, make people smile and rip them off even more? That is exactly what Dutch Rail decided to do when they apparently hired jazz singer songwriter Baer Traa to pose (!) as fictitious train conductor Job van Gils.

Dutch Rail has been making a veritable fortune by not paying back any money owed to people who forgot to check out with their public transport chip card. Now subscriptions holders who forget their pass card and have had to pay a fine cannot ask for their money back either. Even the Dutch Rail employees are appalled and somehow somewhere Baer Traa dressed up as a train conductor got a gig telling people ‘sorry’, or in less polite and more accurate terms, how Dutch Rail is screwing them over easy.

Traa gives ‘peddling excuses’ a whole new meaning at Amsterdam Central Station in this video. He starts singing again at 1:08, as the beginning of the video was the end of one song. He actually tries to explain that Dutch Rail has a new policy that shafts more people than even before.

(Link: brekend.nl, Photo by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)

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July 26, 2010

Willem Breuker (1944 – 2010): what the papers say

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 8:42 am

Last week composer, band leader and saxophone player Willem Breuker died of lung cancer at the age of 65.

Breuker played a type of Dutch jazz that was dfferent from American jazz. In 1974 he founded an 11-piece band called the Willem Breuker Kollektief, with which he toured and played until the end.

Frankfurter Allgemeine writes about him:

Willem Breuker irritated everybody in a way that was humorous, never belittling and always clarifying.

He could entice the most trivial series of notes from his instrument, but he would tie those notes together in his unified concept of jazz, street songs, Mozart gestures and folklorisms in what was the high art of a public music theatre.

The way he worked with this material was anything but trivial. He pushed schlagers into the acid bath of Free Jazz, painted over twelve tone rows with Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western sound, and put Italian operas back into the street, from where they originally came. None of that came across as arrogant, and nobody was made fun of, even when the odd overtone sometimes sounded a bit different from what one might have gotten used to.

Le Monde adds:

In the Dictionary of Jazz as edited by Robert Laffont, music critic Daniel Soutif said of the Kollektief that it practised “with much humour a form of musical theatre in which the pastiche played a big role.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung:

Breuker was an exception in the otherwise humour free genre of Free Jazz. At a time when his contemporaries were busy trying to grasp the spiritual depths of exotic folk music and coming up with new theories of music, he staged his improvisations as actions of a musical fun guerilla. He would at times mock a major competitor by playing his compositions on a plastic flute, and he would test audiences’ patience with schlagers.

And NRC.next:

Breuker was contrary, stubborn and had an enormous drive.

See also: Willem Breuker Kollektief webpage and Youtube.

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November 26, 2009

Jazz pianist Pia Beck dies at age 84

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 2:18 pm

Dutch jazz virtuoso Pia Beck has died of a hear attack at her home in Torremolinos, Spain. RIP. She was self-taught, couldn’t read sheet music and just, well, jammed it: boogie-woogie, jazz, rock ’n roll, blues, you name it.

Here she is scatting along and singing in French.

(Link: shownu.nl)