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Musician

Chris Abelen

Born:

Dutch trombonist Chris Abelen (Tilburg, the Netherlands 29 september 1959) started out on trumpet at 11, switching to the bigger horn at 18. He studied classical trombone with Charles Toet and Henri Aarts, and then jazz and improvised music with Willem van Manen, founding member of and first trombonist with the Willem Breuker Kollektief, the band that first called global attention to Dutch improvised music. In 1984, Abelen took over van Manen’s old chair in the Kollektief from short-timer Garrett List, and would tour and record extensively with that band till 1988. But Abelen had the urge to lead his own groups

Album

The audience is growing

Label: Chris Abelen Music Productions
Released: 2020
Track listing: The audience is growing Just 4 inches Walter was right C'est le ton qui fait la musique It was on Christmas Eve 2019

Album

Live at the BIM

Label: CAMP
Released: 2020
Track listing: A day at the office; Prayer to the shareholder; Fix; Off-site weekend; Delay; At home; Nobody told me; Imposter syndrome; Back to work; I hate to let you go; Out of the box; Remembering Willem B.; Honey text me back; The hall; Song on the eve of dismissal

1

Video

The audience is growing

Featuring the music of Chris Abelen
Duration: 00:45

This project comes with a story. (I read somewhere stories are very 2020.)

It’s a story about why someone would pick the slide trombone. It’s a cool instrument, has a great sound, and it looks good on TV with the slide moving back and forth. But it also comes with built-in limitations, compared to, say, trumpet. You’ll never play as fast as a trumpet player can. Trumpet, it takes one push on a valve to change a note; on trombone you have to move the slide about four inches to get the same result, and you’ll still hear a glissando. If your goal is to play at the same speed as a trumpet player, buy a valve trombone, problem solved. Of course you can start to practice slide trombone like an idiot but it will never sound the same; you’ll have to fake the speed with a combination of (doodle) tonguing, ghost notes and playing softly. And when you do reach the point where you can play fast, no one will care except other trombonists: Wow, did you hear how up-tempo they played that? Give them a medal, or send them to a circus. So: either buy a valve trombone, or (better yet) accept the limitations and start making music. Tell a story. Nowadays everybody’s doing that. About the brief program: At first I’d intended to record more sessions, but after some extensive listening to these five tracks I decided that this is it—that more solo trombone would be a (boring) recap of what I’d played already, unless I try to play fast, wrecking my own story. Meanwhile I’ve been working on finishing my Bye bye Bloomingdale project for trombone and electronics. So if The audience is growing leaves you wanting more solo trombone, it’s on the way.

–Chris Abelen / July 2020
1

News: Recording

Trombonist Chris Abelen Releases 'The Audience Is Growing'

Trombonist Chris Abelen Releases 'The Audience Is Growing'

This project comes with a story. (I read somewhere stories are very 2020.) It’s a story about why someone would pick the slide trombone. It’s a cool instrument, has a great sound, and it looks good on TV with the slide moving back and forth. But it also comes with built-in limitations, compared to, say, trumpet. ...

2

Video

The audience is growing

Featuring the music of Chris Abelen
Duration: 0:45

"The audience is growing" is from Chris Abelen's solo trombone album due out in April 2020.
2

News: Recording

Trombonist Chris Abelen releases 'Live At The Bim' Featuring Lorena Del Mar

Trombonist Chris Abelen releases 'Live At The Bim' Featuring Lorena Del Mar

A live recording of the Songs on the eve of dismissal concert on June 23, 2019 at the Bimhuis in jny: Amsterdam. Songs on the eve of dismissal, as the title suggests, is a project about working in an office, and the main emotions involved in present-day office life: fear and loss of individuality. With millions ...

1

Video

I Hate To Let You Go

Featuring the music of Chris Abelen
Duration: 3:12

From the Songs on the eve of dismissal concert at Bimhuis in June 2019; "I hate to let you go" is performed by the Chris Abelen Septet featuring Lorena del Mar. Trumpet solo by Angelo Verploegen.

"The troubling themes and musical expressiveness of Songs on the eve of dismissal are suggestive of a dramatic theater piece or opera, and indeed, Abelen and Geleijnse are finalizing the script for a stage production comprising the Songs. But the wonderful thing about this recording is that you can either get out the Kleenex or enjoy the music the way you would any great jazz vocalist with a terrific band. This dual function of jazz is part of a tradition. You can listen to Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra either way. It’s only possible with a composer, lyricist, singer, band, and arranger like those in this album who know how to make it work."

—Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz (from the Songs on the eve of dismissal liner notes)

Video

Song on the eve of dismissal

Featuring the music of Chris Abelen
Duration: 4:57

The title track from the 2018 album Songs on the eve of dismissal (CAMP 008) featuring Lorena del Mar. Bastiaan Geleijnse (vocals) and Chris Abelen (trombone).
Album

Songs on the eve of dismissal

Label: Chris Abelen Music Productions
Released: 2018
Track listing: Song on the eve of dismissal; Prayer tot the shareholder; Off-site weekend; Imposter syndrome; Out of the box; At home; Nobody told me; Honey text me back; I hate to let you go.


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