Hanging out with Tom Browne in Jazz Festival Delft, NL
Music makes the world go round.
Admit it. You thought it was money all along didn’t you?
It’s taken a decade for me to realize this when Rob Hoogkamer gave me a call a day before Tom’s performance.
Phone rings Friday night at about 9:30pm +2GMT Dutch time. It’s Rob. He always have personal news to tell or ask me. Like the time when he hosted a BBQ in his place, but didn’t have gas to actually light up the Weber. He gave me a call for help. We work our blunders out together well somehow.
“Wassup Hasan! What you doing?” He asked.
I lowered down the TV volume.. Sounded like he’s calling from a very crowded room. Not out of gas again I hope. We were watching Texas Storage War or something brainless on tele. The family cosy together on a weekend night. Pretty rare that I’m seated here with ’em instead of editing or creating something in studio upstairs. But he caught me.
“Just lazin out with the ladies sir. Yourself? What you up to?” I replied.
“Well I’m in JJ Music House watching Tom Browne. Are you coming?” There was excitement in his voice. He should be.
Rob is Artist and Repertoire guy for Jazz Festival Delft. He made the pilgrimage back to NYC with George Onkiehong who spearheads the event. I saw pictures posted on Facebook and Twitter but didn’t realize it was the father of funk they’re after. But now its clear and everyone is excited to have Tom Browne as the event headliner. In the back of my head, I went “Duh!! I should have been there!”
It’s been a while that I met Barry and Aad van Jole, owners of JJ Music House here in Zoetermeer. Last I met them was during the crowd petition to keep JJ Music running due to the Hockey Club expansion into their grounds. That’s a year passed. I have not had the opportunity to see the new venue. Maybe its time I do. But as much as I want to go there right now, I kinda treasure this times doing nothing with the family. Sometimes this nothingness is all that is needed for family time. Anyway I already have my head set for tomorrow’s act in Delft. Thought I’d go there by myself and enjoy some good music with people I’m bound to meet.. but the next thing Rob was about to tell me changed where I would stand on the festival ground.
“I remember you asking about doing the 360 footage for the festival. I think we have enough people doing pictures for the festival.” Now that didn’t sound too good I thought. But he adds, “Would you however be interested to shoot video for the event?”
My head went on a swirl. The reason why I started 360fotoshoot was to get away from the hassle of post production when working with video. For 360 panorama all I need was a Fisheye Lens, a Tripod and Field Recorder with Surround Mic. But video, you need to come prepared with premonitions for the unexpected most of the time. There’s tons of gears that you need to take for a shoot. And it is so easy fuck up and make mistakes both pre-production / on the spot / post. It may sound cool if the tasks were delegated amongst few people; but I work alone most times. If any mistakes were to happen, there’s no one else to blame but myself. Thus I dread to answer the question. But yet I love the challenge and the opportunity with such an event. And c’mon its the funk with Tom Browne! The legend who brought us Funkin’ for Jamaica back in the 80’s. Most importantly, I trust Rob’s instinct for a party. Music experiences with him have always been exceptionally good. It is also with him that I got to meet and know artists like Marcus Miller and Richard Bona. We go way back into NYC days when walking around Bleecker Street and jazz bars was the thing to do on late night weekends.
He paused for a while waiting for my answer. I think he sensed me thinking. Rob knows that I can shoot Live Events from his last project with this band. Then went on to explain, “We asked some people to do it. But they all asked crazy amount for the fee.” Which I’m not surprised about.. “So if you want to do this, it’s open for you to get all access backstage and tap the audio from the PA.”
I imagine myself flying around the event. Me alone. Which remotely is not possible. I need extra hands to take care of audio and a 2nd camera or maybe a 3rd. To cover the event I need at least two person, an additional camera guy and somebody to take care of audio and logistics. And Rob somehow know I wouldn’t say no.
I have 2 people in mind to help get this done. Rang up my trustable work buds Kenneth for 2nd camera work and Davin to help with logistics. We’re working together on some other projects so I really hope they’d wanna come and have fun with this one. Pro bono. I’ve less than 24 hours to plan this. Not sure about the scale of things; thus we’re working blind. But acknowledging that it’s the headline act, Tom’s bound to be on a big stage in the middle of the square in Delft known as Markt. Thanks to Google Maps and Wikipedia!
As sudden as that phone call, we gathered and met on site the next day. With my perception proven right, the crowd and the response to the whole event made it even more exciting than what I’ve thought it to be. Understanding that our main purpose was to cover an interview; and granted access on stage means its a no brainer to cover the main act itself. And so we did.
I had a great time shooting the event. Quite a bit of a rush here and there setting things up based on instinct
on what’s to come. Thus I think we did a pretty good job. We had enough resources to capture both the gigs that Tom Browne played in. One with the Dutch Music Conservatorium students and the other with an incredible band which is cheekily called What The Fonk which energy fits perfectly for Tom’s performance. There’s a lot of work to be done but the interview got a quick release before the final edit. The other clip is a teaser on raw footage captured from on stage. I think it’ll give you a good idea what the final edit would look like. The finale was incredible I thought. Heck it literally blew my ears off on stage! But you’ll have to decide on that for yourself with the exclusive shoots we did on and off stage. So mark this page for the final output!
I’d like to say thanks to Rob Hoogkamer for giving this opportunity to meet and work with such a legend. To partners of Jazz Fest Delft Mirjan and George Ongkiehong who organized this amazing event, I tip off my hat to them both for the success. I had a good oportunty interacting with old friends that was there supporting local music industry. Hope we’ll have the opportunity to work together again in future events. FYI Clint Marana (drummer from WTF) and me go almost a decade back since my SAE Amsterdam days. Met him via Rob after I came to Netherlands.
So why did I start this blog saying that Music makes the world go round? Only coz it literally did here. You see, Tom have a friend that he hasn’t seen from Queens for half their lifetime. And of all places, we learn that she now lives in Zoetermeer. Which happen to be at one of the music venue he’s due to play named JJ Music House. What’s the chance you’d bump into an American friend in Sweet Lake City you’d say… in our case, I’d say very likely. Rob and myself met in NYC back in 2000 and it’s due to this friendship and music did I end up in Zoetermeer too. Thus its no surprise, but a vicious circle that hangs between Zoetermeer and NYC for some bizarre reason. But its a beautiful one none the less.
Complete video edit of John Browne’s performance would be posted on Vimeo on rastAsia’s channel soon. Give us a couple more days to surprise you. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with our next postings. Thanks for visiting my blog! Keep jazzin’ it up people!!
I’ll leave you with the featurette from Dutch website about Tom Browne.
From Delft Jazz Fest website itself (in Dutch) :
17 augustus 22:00 uur
Locatie: De MARKT
FUNKIN’ FOR JAMAICA! Jazz en funklegende Tom Browne laat oude tijden herleven! Met een unieke crowdfunding-actie van JazzFestival Delft hebben de fans van het festival zelf hun JazzDream laten uitkomen.
Tom Browne (Queens, 30 oktober 1954) is een jazztrompettist die bekendheid verwierf door zijn vroege werk met Sonny Fortune en zijn twee grote hits in 1980 en 1981, “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)” en “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move)”.
Browne speelde oorspronkelijk alleen piano, waarop hij al vanaf 11-jarige leeftijd lessen volgde. Later leerde hij ook omgaan met de trompet. Op 21-jarige leeftijd speelde Browne zijn eerste officiële concert, van de Amerikaanse componist Weldon Irvine. Rond die tijd leerde hij Sonny Fortune en Lonnie Smith kennen, waar hij mee ging samenspelen. Later ontmoette hij Dave Grusin en Larry Rosen bij GRP Records. Via Arista Records werd Browne gecontracteerd bij GRP Records door Grusin en Rosen en in 1979 bracht hij zijn instrumentale jazzalbum uit, “Browne Sugar”. Zijn echte doorbraak kwam echter twee jaar later met zijn zelfgeschreven nummer “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)”, dat verscheen op zijn tweede album, “Love Approach”. De single stond vier weken lang op nummer 1 bij de Billboard-lijst en was ook een hit in het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Brownes volgende album, “Yours Truly”, verscheen in 1981, nog steeds in samenwerking met Grusin en Rosen. Hierna verscheen al snel, in hetzelfde jaar, zijn volgende album genaamd “Magic”. Dit album bevatte het nummer “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips And Move)”, dat #4 bij Billboard bereikte. Met zijn volgende album ging Browne iets verder en maakte hij een nummer in electro-jazzstijl, “Rockin’ Radio”. Dit (gelijknamige) album bevatte tevens het laatste nummer dat Browne zou maken in samenwerking met GRP Records. In 1984 maakte hij het laatste album in samenwerking met Arista Records, “Tommy Gun”, waarbij Siedah Garrett optrad als leadzangeres. Ook nam hij met Fuse One, een band met jazzmusici, het album “Ice” op.