In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Monday, October 1, 2012


Vinyl LP album, Philips - 6468 067, Belgium – 1981

First of all, this is NOT a jazz album.  Actually it is the kind of album one would expect to find on the Growing Bin blog.  So it’s quite simple:

(i) If you usually like what Basso, Cesare & all post on the Growing Bin, give this album a try, you’ll like it too,
(ii) If you don’t know the Growing Bin or do not like what’s posted there, don’t bother to download this album.
You’ve been warned.

That being said, it is a sad testimony to Belgium’s cultural apartheid when a man of many talents such as Jean Blaute, a Flemish musician, composer, producer and TV personality, remains largely unknown on the other side of the “taal grens” (the linguistic border that separate the Dutch-speaking North from the French-speaking South).

I have been fortunate to grow up on the border with one foot on each side.  In the early seventies, I was introduced by my Flemish friends to a thriving musical scene that remained largely ignored by the French-speaking side.  There was a traditional folk revival going on (with bands such as Rum, De Snaar, De Kadullen …), blues was still going strong with Roland & his Bluesworkhop, Karel Bogaerd Blues Band, Big Bill, there was prog-folk with Kandahar, pop/rock with Raymond Van het Groenewoud and a whole set of talented singers-songwriters (“kleinkunst” was popular in the early seventies).

Musical centipede Jean Blaute was in the late 1970s/early 1980s not only the smallest centimeter in Raymond Van het Groenewoud's backing band, he is also a great musician, record producer and songwriter. His collaboration with Roland, Urbanus, Nieuwe Snaar, K's Choice and the already cited Raymond resulted in many jewels in the Flemish pop history.  Jean is also something of a TV personality, just think of his hilarious contribution to the "Urbanus movies", his interventions in the popular "De 3 Wijzen"/"The 3 Wise Men" and recently his quest a side Ray Cokes for the taste of beer in "Tournée Générale".
In 1981 Jean delivered with the instrumental solo album "Hello Young Lovers" a sample of his musical ability. Some of the songs were used as tune in Flemish TV programs. Anyone have a clue for which this beautiful "Mama Linda" was used? (Adapted from: HERE)

If you can read Dutch, there is an extensive interview with Jean Blaute HERE.

I found this album years ago on a brocante and was attracted at first by its artwork, a drawing by famous cartoonist Ever Meulen.  Then I had a look at the credits and saw a whole roster of famous names - well, famous mostly in (the North of) Belgium -  jazzmen such as John Ruocco and Bruno Castellucci, former Placebo bassplayer, Yvan de Souter, Flemish blues legend Roland, members of rock bands TC Matic (Jean Marie Aerts) and Raymond Van het Groenewoud’s backing band (Stoy Stoffelen).   I became curious to hear the music.

So what about the music? It is an instrumental album and a pure product of the Eighties - not my favourite decade musically speaking. The music covers a whole spectrum of genres, from Westcoast Disco (Diploma) to Organ-led Soul Jazz/ Funk (Billy’s Bag) by way of jazz fusion (Colonel Spannee), some almost Larry Corryelesque acoustic guitar (Mama Linda), electro-funk-pop à la TC Matic (Johnny Muzak, Madagascar) and everything in between.

A1 Diploma Written-By – J. Blaute 3:05
A2 That Haunting Melody (Elfstedentocht) Written-By – Drs. P 5:27
A3 Colonel Spannee Written-By – J. Blaute 3:18
A4 Mama Linda Written-By – J. Blaute 2:35
A5 Madagascar Written-By – J. Blaute, J.M. Aerts, S. Stoffelen 2:59
B1 Harnanas Written-By – J. Blaute 3:00
B2 Warffum Written-By – J. Blaute 4:15
B3 Billy's Bag Written-By – B. Preston 3:28
B4 Simpel Written-By – I. De Souter 5:45
B5 Johnny Muzak Written-By – J. Blaute 3:30

Backing Vocals [Ray Connif Singers] – Raymond van het Groenewoud (tracks: A2)
Bass – Evert Verhees (tracks: A1, A2, A3,B1,B2,B3,B5), Mich Verbelen (tracks: A4), Ivan De Souter (Ketje) (tracks: B4)
Bass, Synthesizer [Roland Guitar] – Jean-Marie Aerts (tracks: A5)
Clarinet – John Ruocco (tracks: A2)
Drums – Bruno Castellucci (tracks: A1,A2,A3,B1,B2,B3,B5)
Guitar [Acoustic] – Roland Van Campenhout (tracks: A4)
Harmonica – Roland Van Campenhout (tracks: A3)
Percussion – Chris Joris (tracks: A1 to A4, B4), Firmin Timmermans (tracks: B1,B3,B5)
Percussion, Drums – Stoy Stoffelen (tracks: A5)
Saxophone [Tenor] – John Ruocco (tracks: A1,A3, B5)
Synthesizer [Jupiter 8, Programmed By] – Tars Lootens (tracks: A1,A2,B1,B5)
Synthesizer, Piano, Guitar [Acoustic & Electric], Organ, Accordion – Jean Blaute

Recorded at I.C.P. Studio, Brussels, Belgium 
Mastering done at Translab, Paris, France 
LP cover : Ever Meulen 



  2. hmmm. seems diverse, if not eclectic
    re-up anyone?