KISS MY JAZZ
|KISS MY JAZZ|
stef kamil carlens
tomas de smet
sigrid van rosendael
viking dave robertson
in doc's place, friday evening (1996)
This is probably the oldest of Rudy’s bands. One of the projects that
emerged from the Heavenhotel days, Kiss My Jazz is the coolest Belgian
big band from the nineties. Describing what they sound like is just
about an impossible task. It’s refreshing, diverse, silly,
anarchistic, unpredictable and at times even confusing- what would you
expect from a band which comments on one of it’s own tracks; ”Sort
of No Wave thing- Most people will hate this one.”
At it’s peak counting about 15 members, Kiss my Jazz produced very diverse music through the years. While Rudy Trouvé is the official frontman of the band, many members write songs, riffs, 4-tracks, lyrics or just about anything that can serve as material for the band.
Founded somewhere in 1991, they performed live from time to time at 'De Muziekdoos' or 'Cartoons café',
both music-bars in Antwerp. Back then, it was mostly Rudy Trouvé (guitar/vocals),
Jacki Billet (bass), Elko Blijweert (2nd guitar), Heyme Langbroeck (trumpet/sax) and Stef Kamil Carlens (drums/vocals)
who were in the line-up. They played their music accompaning video-and
TV-projections, often dressing as a bunch of transvestites. Their
popularity was pretty much limited to a couple of enthusiasts back then- they probably were just too
plain weird for any audience in the early nineties.
The ‘philosophy’ of the band was to be like the compilation audiotapes they made when they were young; a mix of very diverse and varying styles, which everyone in the band liked. When asked by who they were influenced, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Chet Baker and Louis Neefs get mentioned.
During 1995, the band started working on a first album. It was recorded mostly on fourtrack at home, and in their rehearsel room in Wommelgem. Early 1996, Kiss My Jazz presented their first album to the world: 'In Doc’s place, Friday evening’. It was an experimental feast, a lo-fi and eclectic adventure through the minds of a bunch of crazy weirdo's from Antwerp. Press was enthusiastic, and the album sold a couple of thousand copies in Belgium and the Netherlands - not bad for an album so bizarre and inaccessible.
Fall 1996 saw the release of a 10" vinyl, ‘In coffee we trust’. Both the album and the 10" were released with the aid of the Knitting Factory; a New York-based record company which supports mostly experimental jazz-style musicians. (Other Belgian bands that worked with them are X-Legged Sally, DAAU and Think of One)
The band kept on playing live, next to the numerous other projects of every band member.
The band members also continuously kept on making four-track songs on their own in their bedrooms, or together as a band. In october 1997, the band released a new maxi cd, ‘Stained
glass’. It was a teaser from the forthcoming new album, and a beautiful single in its own right. New guest-musicians had joined the band; Mathias Broeckaert (sax), Simon and Buni Lenski (from DAAU,
playing cello and violin), and Oliver Defossez.
After a live tour early 1998, Kiss My Jazz 'cooled down' a bit; there were occasional gigs and such, but 1998 was a busy year for Rudy Trouvé, with cds by Lionell Horrowitz, Dead Man Ray and Gore Slut being released in a very short amount of time.
Two years after 'In the Lost Souls Convention', time was ripe for a third full cd, 'In
a Service Station'. (Accompanied by a 7” split single of ‘Easy
Also on In a Service station is a
‘hidden’ mini-album, called ‘In a Ghosttruck’. It was a collection of ten tracks: some alternative versions of songs on ‘In a service station’, and some new songs which didn’t fit in between the tracks on the main album.
To all beautiful thing smust come an end though, and in december 1999, rumour
spread Kiss my jazz would split up after a final tour. Rudy Trouvé
himself didn't want to make a fuss about it, and quietly hoped the band
would simply 'fade away'. The news did get a lot of attention though,
and suddenly everybody was mildly shocked. The last album was as good,
if not better than the previous ones, so why would a band like Kiss My
Jazz need stop? The reason for this is, Rudy Trouvé wanted to end in
beauty. "Kiss My Jazz has reached the point where we’ve got
nothing really new to add. We are now where we were heading to when we
started, we have no goal anymore. It’s better to stop now than to go
on forever, when we really shouldn't".
And so, the end of Kiss My Jazz was a fact. January 30th, the band did their last performance in the Ekko, Utrecht.