Incomplete Discography


This a personal selection of my recordings. If you are interested in a more extensive discography, click here for a slightly less incomplete one in PDF format. Why that discography is incomplete as well? That is because, frankly, I’ve lost track on which recordings I play, and also because there are certain CD’s out there that I definitely don’t want you to go looking for.

Each entry on this page has a few lines of commentary and one or more sound samples. The sound samples are in MP3 format, short and of limited quality because of copyright issues. Not all the CD covers are reproduced; the one from “Daams & De Kort” in particular is not for the weak of heart.

The newer recordings — like everything on the Downtown label — should be readily available, while the older ones might be discontinued.

To inquire about availability or about how to order: try clicking the label information. It might take you to the relevant website.


The Beau Hunks Play The Original Laurel & Hardy Music, Vol. 2 (1993)

(Basta 3099 025)

The Beau Hunks. On To The Show! (1995)

(Koch 3-8705-2)

    This is the first edition of the Beau Hunks, in which I played first trumpet. The world has Gert-Jan Blom to thank for this wonderful band, which he put together to perform the music from the Laurel & Hardy movies.

    Researcher Piet Schreuders spent years splicing together bits and pieces from different Hal Roach movies to get complete versions of Leroy Shields’ beautiful themes which had been used as background music. Gert-Jan had Piet’s efforts transcribed and started organizing a band, something he is very good at.

    At the first rehearsal we quickly found out that the musical transcriptions were inadequate. In fact they were so bad that some of us refused to go into the recording studio unless better ones would be provided for.

    With the studio already booked, poor Gert-Jan had little alternative but to promise to have new transcriptions made, at which point we generously offered to do them ourselves, for extra money of course.

    In the end, Robert Veen, Peter Stöve (who also conducted) and I spent many hours with Piet’s tapes, trying to listen through a deluge of noisy comedy effects to figure out what an unknown studio band had been playing sixty years earlier.

    Since then, Gert-Jan has diverted his attention from the unjustly neglected composers towards the deservedly forgotten ones. Still, without him, this great band would never have been, and I am grateful and proud to have been part of it.

    “If It Were Only True” and “Early Morning” are two of the transcriptions that I did.

Menno Daams. My Choice (1995)

(Challenge CHR 70031)

    The first CD under my own name, produced by Chris Ellis.

    After working for EMI for several decades, Chris started his own label Challenge in the nineties. He is a walking encyclopaedia, knowledgeable about every aspect of the music business and I was very flattered when he offered me the chance to record.

    With my usual thoroughness I started preparations for the recording about two days before it was about to happen, and a lot was put together on the spot

    Most of the tunes are one-take-only. No big surprise with Ronald Jansen Heijtmajer on clarinet and alto sax, Berend van den Berg at the piano, Ton van Bergeijk on guitar, Adrie Braat on bass and Louis Debij on drums, all seasoned professionals and nice guys too.

    The picture on the front was taken shortly before I was abducted by aliens.

Bergzicht Combo. Gordel Van Smaragd (1996)

(GvS 1015 DG)

    This is the music for a Dutch movie called “Gordel Van Smaragd”.

    The story is set in Indonesia in the period leading up to independence of that country, roughly 1930-1950. The female protagonist sings a few songs on screen, and Gert-Jan Blom was asked to provide some period music. He put together the band for which I was to write the arrangements. We had Robert Veen and Ronald Jansen Heijtmajer on reeds, myself on trumpet, Ton van Bergeijk on guitar, Gert-Jan on bass and Louis Debij on drums. Bea van der Poel was the singer.

    The movie director met with me to explain what he had in mind for the music. As it turned out, his knowledge of popular music from the thirties was limited to exactly one record, which he had brought to show me. Judging by the sticker on the cover, he had just borrowed it from the public library.

    The resulting movie was less than convincing. On screen there is this beautiful lady, supposedly the wife of a Dutch planter, doing a great impression of “Billie Holiday. The Complete CBS Recordings Vol. 4”, backed up by a band of “natives” that includes a trumpeter who manages to get a cup-mute sound out of his open horn.

    Well, I did tell them that I should come along with them to Indonesia for the film shooting as a technical consultant, but they didn’t fall for that one.

    The sound recording was expertly done by Sytze Gardenier with a single mono microphone for the band, while Bea was in a separate booth with her own mike.

Menno Daams. Jackpot (1998)

(Basta 30-9095-2)

    Sytze also recorded my second album, Jackpot, with a minimalist approach. Just two overhead microphones were used, one supporting mike for the piano, one for my trumpet when I played muted, and one for guest vocalist Bea van der Poel. David Kweksilber played clarinet, alto and bass clarinet, Sjoerd Dijkhuizen tenor sax and clarinet, Berend van den Berg piano, Ton van Bergeijk guitar, Niels Tausk bass (he is also an excellent trumpet player, see also the Video Clips page) and Hans Dekker was on drums.

    I wrote the arrangements and produced the CD, my wife Ineke took care of the logistics such as contacting the musicians and hiring the BIM-huis where we were to record, Puck Leek provided the vintage Neumann microphones and Piet Schreuders made the gorgeous sleeve design. The finished product was then released through Basta records.

    I love this album.

Daams & De Kort. Bugle Call (1999)

(Go Trad 77002)

    In 1999 Bert de Kort rejoined the Dutch Swing College Band, of which he had been a member from 1967 until the late ’seventies. Bert was and is one of the top European mainstream trumpet players, a great dixie lead and a supreme balladeer.

    Anyway, Bert and the DSC had been riding high, playing to enthusiastic audiences all over the world, selling lots of records. When Bert came up with the idea of doing a record together, he was fully convinced that we would go the same prosperous way as the DSC and, when the royalties failed to pour in, he insisted that the record company open their books for us.

    When the good people at Challenge, after numerous e-mails and phone calls, finally gave Bert the information he wanted, it turned out that twenty-four copies of our masterpiece had been sold.

    To be fair, we did sell more during concerts, but it seems the world was not quite ready for this.

Mike Goetz Quartet. Swingin’ After Midnight (2000)

(Downtown DR 9220)

    One of my collaborations with Swiss pianist and bandleader Mike Goetz.

    My favourite track on this album is “Quel Temps Fait-il À Paris”, a tune from a Jaques Tati movie, here played as a solo by Mike.

Mike Goetz All Star Sextet. Simply Brilliant (2002)

(Downtown DR 9228)

    Dan Barrett is featured on trombone in a lovely composition by Sidney Bechet, “Le Vieux Bateau”; Mike did the fine arrangement.

    My chart on “Someone” had originally been written for my own band, which at the time had a frontline of trumpet, alto and tenor sax. Being rather in a hurry, I hastily transposed the tenor part to trombone before rushing off to Switzerland, not realizing that some bits were now much too high for the trombone and virtually unplayable.

    In the studio, Dan made a brave attempt to hit those ridiculous notes with thirty ledger lines above the staff, but he finally gave up in desperation and did the next logical thing, which was yelling at me.

    After he calmed down, he hit upon the idea of playing the part on cornet — he is not only a first-rate trombonist, but a very good cornetist as well, having no apparent trouble switching between those two instruments. So while Dan went back to the hotel to get his cornet, I sat down to transpose the part once more.

    Somehow I managed to finish before Dan returned and he proceeded to play the new part flawlessly, without having warmed up. God how I hate that man.

Michel Weber / Mike Goetz Swingtet. All We Wanna Do Is Swing (2005)

(Downtown DR 9230)

    Michel Weber, a fine saxophone player, made excellent transcriptions of the Joe Newman Octet recordings of the ’fifties. Of course he only transcribed the arrangements, not the solo’s; when it came to those we just improvised.

    In addition to the transcriptions, Michel, Mike and I each wrote an original in the same style (“Minor Embarrassment” is mine). That great rhythm guitar is Ton van Bergeijk again.

Mike Goetz All Star Sextet. A Talking Picture Of You (2005)

(Downtown DR 9232)

    For this CD Mike asked me, as he usually does, to contribute a few charts. I did some standards like “Blue Lou” and a beautiful piece by Maurice Ravel, originally written for piano four hands, called “Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant”. We called it “Sleeping Beauty”.