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Philip Catherine

Philip Catherine has been on the forefront of the European jazz scene since the sixties and worked with great artists like Chet Baker, Stéphane Grappelli, Charlie Mingus and Dexter Gordon. His unique approach and sound, his dedication to music have been important and influential, and today he is a source of inspiration for many artists of the new generation.

Born in London in 1942 and being from a musical family, he developed a musical ear from an early age. When he was 18 he already toured Europe with Lou Bennett. With his recordings "September Man" and "Guitars" in the mid-seventies, jazz amateurs all over the world discovered not only a brilliant guitarist but also a talented composer: themes like "Homecomings" and "Nairam" have become famous.

Philip Catherine has played in the most prestigious concert halls, from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Carnegie Hall, from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to the Olympia and Salle Pleyel in Paris and the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Brussels.

About the solo album “Guitars Two” (2008, Dreyfus Jazz) the magazine Guitarist Acoustic wrote : “simply one of the most beautiful cd’s of this year”. The CD “Concert in CapBreton” (2010, Dreyfus Jazz) is a magic live recording with an all star line up featuring Enrico Pieranunzi, Hein Van de Geyn and Joe LaBarbera. “Philip Catherine plays Cole Porter” - in Quartet with Karel Boehlee (p), Philippe Aerts (b) and Martijn Vink (dr) - was released in 2011 on Challenge Records and received among others the CHOC in JazzMag.

Philip Catherine celebrated his 70th birthday in October 2012 with a memorable anniversary concert at the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts and a new CD. "Coté Jardin" (11/2012, Challenge Records) was recorded with his new quartet : great italian pianist Nicola Andrioli, young drum phenomenon Antoine Pierre and longstanding companion Philippe Aerts on bass, and enchants both jazz fans and classical music lovers.

In january 2014 the album ‘New Folks’ was released on ACT Music, a duo recording with German bassplayer Martin Wind, followed by several tours throughout Europe and the US.

The première of Philip Catherine's 'String project', a selection of his compositions in arrangements with string orchestra, took place on 13.01.2015 at Flagey/Brussels. Philip's quintet, together with the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie conducted by Frank Braley, gave a sublime concert for a full house. The performance was filmed by national TV VRT-Canvas, and a selection was released on CD in September 2015 on ACT Music : "The String Project – Live in Brussels". R.Garszczyński wrote in JazzPress : "This is one of the best jazz recordings with strings of all times."

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Catherine had chosen a very special line-up for his birthday concert, with not only Gerry Brown but also Antoine Pierre (TaxiWars) behind the drums, and with two pianists, Bert Vanden Brink and Nicola Andrioli, who were back to back, complementing each other perfectly and a delightful played duet. The American drummer Gerry Brown had traveled to Brussels especially for the 75th birthday of the guitarist, and that was the reason to take old songs from under the dust. Like 'Nineteen seventy fourths', a piece from September Man from 1974,(...) . With the addition of the trumpet of Bert Joris and the electric bass of Nicolas Fiszman we got to hear an energetic jazz rock à la Miles Davis. Catherine picked some highlights from his first records, which will be released on CD for the first time in a box. The indestructible 'Homecomings' and 'We'll find a way', for example, two songs from the Guitars success album. Catherine played with a youthful flair that made forget his age. ( De Standaard, Peter De Backer - 6.11.2017 )

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