In the lobby of the hotel where we stayed during the recording sessions, there was this big wooden elephant. This elephant became a kind of symbolic for how it felt like to be reunited and playing together again as a band after almost 14 years.
People say that an elephant never forgets. And like the proverbial elephant our band discovered its own collective memory during the two days of our stay in Antwerp. We didn't need a single sheet of music. Right from the first note it popped back into our heads and we played the tunes as if it was only yesterday! The recording sessions took place in a big old house in the middle of Antwerp. A wooden floor, beautiful chandeliers and ornamental plaster work on the ceiling. A Steinway grand, a refrigerator, the members of the Phonebone Quintet and recording engineer Jos Boerland. Those were the new ingredients. But the foundation was our good memories of what we created 14 years ago.
We started The Phonebone Quintet in 1994. The concept was simple. We thought, ‘We all love to play jazz originals. Let's play around with the melody, harmony and structure of the tunes, but without losing the strength of them.' We then added a few of our own compositions, and that was it: a swinging new band called The Phonebone Quintet.
The Phonebone Quintet existed for only a short period, from 1994 until 1996. But what a great time we had playing together! We played everything by heart and the energy during the concerts was fantastic. For us it was just a big musical playground.
The Phonebone Quintet stopped playing partly as a result of the members' busy individual gigging schedules, combined with the huge amount of time needed to book concerts. We discovered that planning and booking concerts is an extremely time-consuming activity. Unfortunately, no skilled organizer crossed our path to take up that task. And so it slowly faded out.
In 2007, when Jos Boerland came to us with the idea of making a jazz recording, we immediately thought of the PBQ. It was a great opportunity for us to breathe new life into the band and to share our music with hopefully an even bigger audience. We weren't disappointed. Playing together again was like a flashback to 14 years ago: everything was still there. The music, the energy, the joy of playing, even the bad jokes. On this CD we've left out the bad jokes, but hopefully you'll find yourself in the same ‘feel good' mood as we did while we were making it.