Tour Program 83


Tour Photos







Smirnoff Quintet  LP - Rene van Helsdingen



  Filmed on July 20th, 1983, in Ermelo, The Netherlands during a barbeque party organized by vvv Ermelo

Cover text - English
Turning Point Records  TPR 010683 / Made in Holland
Cover text created in 1983 (biographical information out of date)


Album notes:

The 1983 Smirnoff Quintet is the actual Quintet of René van Helsdingen sponsored by Smirnoff. The group plays fusion music strongly influenced by swing, bop and refined rock.
These artists create a build-up of tension through their use of timing and touch.



Side 1
A. Mr. Chu
B. Song For Nema (part 1)
C. Song For Nema (part 2)

Side 2
A. Mingus Two
B. Dreams Will Come True

All songs composed and arranged by René van Helsdingen except for:
* ending guitar melody “Mr. Chu”; composed by Brian Batie
* Trumpet melody “Mr Chu” composed by Evert Hekkema
* 2nd part of Mingus Two, melody composed by Evert Hekkema

Technicus: Jan Willem Ludolph
Producer by: René van Helsdingen
Studio Spitsbergen Studio, The Netherlands
Audio Visual: Elres – Haarlem
Turning Point Records Inc 1983., Doelenplein 16 – 2011 XR Haarlem (Holland)


René van Helsdingen

Amongst the many amazing pianists in the World today there are those who have sufficiently great command of their instrument to be able to effect a sort of crystallization of harmony and melody. Some of these artists can also create a build-up of tension through their use of timing and touch. But only the chosen few can make their instrument soar from a whispering pianissimo to an aggressive fortissimo. René van Helsdingen, born on the 25th of February 1957 in Jakarta falls, in my opinion, into this last category. Van Helsdingen chose jazz to display his dynamisms and vitality via his own compositions. In 1978 he departed for three years to America, the land where his Music was born around the beginning of this century, and where it developed into the most vital of art forms.
He played in America with tenor sax man Charles Owens and bassist Leroy Vinegar. Finally together with Obie Jessie and Billy Higgins he recorded his First album in Hollywood. Back in the Netherlands millions of television viewers were enlisted to help finance a new LP via the tv program ‘Mies’. Four hundred viewers were offered the chance to purchase space on the record cover in which they could put their name or a message. And so one sees on Van Helsdingens album, - ‘motivation’, apart from names as Pim Jacobs, Cees Schrama, Koos Serierse, Andre van Duin, Gerrit den Braber, Gerard de Lange and Jan des Bouvrie, the message: ‘please play that to us once again, bear me away, my soul upon the wings of Music away to those enchanting skies where space is bluer and deeper’. The Music on “Motivation” was just as original as the way in which the album was financed and the album was eventually bought by many more people than the original four hundred sponsors.
As you will hear on this, his latest album, Van Helsdingen’s sound has been strongly influenced by the penetrating trumpet of Evert Hekkema, the carefully chosen bass-notes of Brian Batie, the driving percussion of Henk Zomer and the guitar of John Butler with its strong harmonic base. These musicians form Van Helsdingen’s Smirnoff Quintet, which has become recognized by the media as one of the most promising combos of its type. The Smirnoff Quintet has been living principally in an eleven meter long, red bus equipped with an open air podium, hydraulic lift to get the piano onto the podium and one hundred collapsible chairs. This Jazz-bus and the five musicians have crisscrossed the Netherlands giving concerts strongly influenced by swing, bop and refined rock. Recently they stopped long enough at the Spitsbergen Studios to record some of their carefully thought out musicality and charm. The Smirnoff Quintet is already on the road again but they left this LP behind on which one can clearly hear just which way it is.: To those enchanting skies where space is bleuer and deeper.

Written by: Imme Schade van Westrum

Helsdingen Music copyrighted © 2000. All rights reserved
Email: hmbv@xs4all.nl
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