After the third window, LP
Rene van Helsdingen orchestra
Progressive Review blogspot

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Netherlandish pianist Rene Van Helsdingen's
After The Third Window,1980


OK, let's go back to covering stuff in the unexpected masterpieces domain, and abandon the old former soviet union to its dictatorial regimes.  I'm talkin' about the 'outta left field,' 'outta the ballpark' type of vinyl; the kind that will make you fall off your chair, even if it's a wheelchair and you're quadriplegic or comatose, type of vinyl.  Notice that if you found the listing in the discography as it appears here you'd probably not make any special sort of effort to secure a copy of this.  Nor would I, but luckily I have so many friends who are willing to take the plunge and buy stuff sight unseen ear unheard and bring us such surprises, so thanks to them... 

And so it's without a doubt in the hidden gem dept.  Notice that Rene's bio appears on his website, self-written presumably, and starts as follows:

Born, 25th of February 1957, Jakarta, Indonesia. Dutch Nationality.
1962-72 Classical studies with Ms. Komter Loeber, The Netherlands.
1979 Jazz studies with Terry Trotter and Lazlo Cser, Los Angeles.
His earliest influences: Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans

With regards to today's record, the website provides the following invaluable information:

 During his 2-year stay in Hollywood, California, René shared a house with several Musicians including Steve Jacobs, Essiet Okon Essiet, Brian Batie, John Rigby, John Butler and others. All house members were involved in a recording at the Media Art Studio's in Hermosa beach. (LP: "After the third Window" Munich Records BM250241) featuring: John Bolivar, Obie Jessie, Felix Ramos, Steve Jacobs, Rick Hannah, Essiet Okon Essiet, Clifford Howard, Rodney Mecks, Brian Batie, Edmond Allmond, Wouter Büchner, Mark Wigman, Nicola Paron, Tequila Mockingbird, David Best, Dale Allmond.

He was therefore only 23 years old when this album was released.

So surely you'll fall off your chair and knock that chair right outta the ballpark when you hear this piece, as I did, hitting an old grandma in a wheelchair in the process, who therefore, technically, also fell off her chair because of this music, too bad it was the last thing she heard, and it's called Almost in a Hurry:
Of course one is most reminded of Zappa with the crazy vocals, sung in such a semi-dreadful fashion too, but it's also reminiscent of so much lovely Euro-fusion from the early 80s with the angular dissonances (e.g. Das Pferd, etc., so much else I've posted here in the past).  The whole of the 39 minute duration continues in this miraculously bizarre and progressively jazzy vein full of accidental crazy ideas and the zaniest melodies.

So on the strength of this record, I sought out more from him, expecting more of this delightful proggy fusion, and ... to be continued.
  Helsdingen Music © 2021
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