LIVE, Bimhuis, Amsterdam
21 February 2001
San Kuiper – acoustic
& electric guitar
Bart Suen (??) – alto saxophone
Marcel Schimscheimer – bass
Jasper Le Clercq – Violin
Mousse Pathe M’Baye – Percussion
(Sabar, Tania, Djembe)
Amadou Pape Seck – Percussion
(Sabat, Waterdrum, Djembe)
Roy Dackus – Drums
Jan Akkerman J.A. Willem Heins
Signature’ electric guitar
Trijntje Oosterhuis - Vocals
set (70 min.):
In the Pocket
The Bengali Boat Song
set (60 min.):
Hot Club de France
(D Jan Go-logy /Piétons)
The Jungle Warriors is a fusion-formation
led by guitarist Jan Kuiper, with whom Jan A. had worked before on the
occasion of the ‘Five Great Guitars’-tour last year. They
perform every 3rd Wednesday a gig at the Bimhuis, which is located in
the heart of Amsterdam, just opposite to the ‘Zuiderkerk’
where Jan A. was born in December 1946. Every session features some
special guests, and since it was announced that Jan would be one of
the special guests on this occasion, I was already very curious about
how this would turn out. The music of the ‘Warriors’ can
be described as a crossover between Fusion and World Music, with a large
dose of improvisation. I don’t label it as ‘world music’
just because of the two Senegalese percussionists, but as there is also
a violinist, the combination of both European and African traditional
music makes it a more than logical affair in this case.
So, the three of us, Bas, Kees and me (Wouter), were quite excited in
advance of what to expect. Bas even saw Jan playing a couple of strains
from Skydancer during the sound check!
The gig started at 9.15 PM with a slow and swirling starter, called
‘Bardot’. Starting with a musical conversation between the
two percussion-players, Jan played along after a couple of minutes with
his rhythmic chords and marvellous backing. The whole atmosphere reminded
me of something Jan did before on the very underrated ‘Prism’-
album that he recorded with Tony Scott in 1977, and during the era of
the jazzy and ‘saxy’ Pleasure Point band in late 1981…
the building-up of this piece was a kind of searching towards a familiar
theme, which featured some solos. The ending to this piece was as quiet
as the beginning.
After this surprising opener, the next song ‘Fast Dance’
was indeed a lot faster and the musicians seem to enjoy it a lot, as
it was also the first time that this composition was played live. While
guitarist Jan Kuiper did some guitarsynths -like colouring of sounds,
Jan played a trademark melodic solo in a way only he could do it.
The highlight of the first set was ‘The Bengali Boat Song’.
Jan Kuiper explained in advance to the audience that he recently saw
a performance by an Indian guitarist that had inspired him to write
this song, utilizing some Indian influences in his (acoustic) guitar
playing. The first couple of minutes of this composition featured the
two guitarists in a magnificent musical dialogue, both with acoustic
and electric guitars. Jan had also brought along with him his Lowden
acoustic, but this instrument remained in the case during the entire
During the last song of the first set, an African dancer came on stage
for some traditional African dancing, which was quite a nice addition
to the setting.
After a 15-minute break, the band came back on stage and they introduced
Dutch female singer Trijntje Oosterhuis. Oosterhuis made a name with
her brother Tjeerd in the formation Total Touch and she recently did
a flashback tour featuring the music of Stevie Wonder. Also, she was
invited by jazz-pianist Michiel Borstlap to perform with him as well
in his group (which occasionally also features Jimmy Haslip on bass).
For this gig, there was only a ‘mystery guest on vocals who concentrates
herself more on jazz these days’ announcement, but when she came
on stage, the audience was quite surprising that it was her.
They performed the Stevie Wonder-classic ‘Higher Ground’,
as well as the landmark ‘Summertime’, for which Jan A. played
an introduction together with Trijntje. ‘Summertime’ was
not played in the Brainbox-version, but more ‘a-la-Django’.
After this song, Trijntje thanked the band for the invitation and left
Now it was Jan’s turn to do some of his solo stuff: 'Streetwalker'
was probably better than ever. It sounds better everytime I hear it
(especially during the last couple of renditions I have heard), and
with this line-up, especially the percussion was a great addition. Pity
was that Jan broke his E-string during the last part, but this was not
turning back the audience at all. A very enthusiastic applause was the
While Jan Kuiper was to be announcing the last song, which was a ‘Senegalese
Child-song’, Jan A. responded with a simple ‘who’??….’.
So, err…..Jan was doing some more, which was ‘D’Jan’Gology’
and ‘Pietons’ glued together. Funny thing was that during
this ‘Hot Club de Paris’-part, both the sax-player and Jan
Kuiper decided to take a seat at the side of the stage and ordered a
drink, while Jan A. encouraged the violin-player to perform along, like
‘Stephane and Django’ were together.
After this, they indeed proceeded with a Senegalese child-song, which
closed the second set.
For the encore, Milestones was played, while every musician got the
opportunity to do another solo, including an excellent bass-solo by
top-bass-player Marcel Schimscheimer (he did a fantastic solo in Streetwalker
And so, around midnight, this very special evening was over. We all
agreed that this was a ‘once in a million’-chance to see
such a session and Jan A. told us that he was already looking forward
to the participation of The Jungle Warriors with him at a festival in
Groningen later that week. He clearly enjoyed it and had a great time,
both off- and onstage.
Bass-player Marcel Schimscheimer said to me after the gig, that sometimes
there was a bit too much ‘information’ coming from the stage
during the gig, but let’s not consider this too seriously.
This seven-piece band just has to look at each other, they know it’s
all right and so they play their butts off!!
Review by Wouter Bessels
(with thanks to Bas van den Berg and Kees Oudheusden)
Final editting by Irene Heinicke