songs : Kiss My Jazz
Produced : KMJ
Record co. : Heaven Hotel
Key figure of Kiss My Jazz was certainly Rudy Trouvé (who
got his reputation from the three years he plays guitar with dEUS
and from the high number of bands which he has founded or plays in, such as Dead
Man Ray, Lionell Horowitz, Gore Slut ...). The group originated from the same
"scene" and in the same period as dEUS and Moondog Jr, but with a very
different goal : "We started out with the intention to make a naïve
and punky version of Chet Baker. Something Nat King Cole-ish, or even better,
the atmosphere of The Singing Detective with influences of Captain Beefheart,
James White, Rip Rig & Panic and Pavement".
The jazz-aspect of the band is certainly not prominent. Rudy Trouvé
said to Humo in response to the question : "KMJ is to be situated in the
twilight zone between rock and jazz : dire straits" : "Yes indeed,
there has been enough really bad jazz-rock already. But jazz for me is more of
an attitude, a way of handling music. It is a feeling, the feeling that anything
goes, that improvisation is allowed. You could call it the Beat Generation feeling
: being on stage, drinking a glass, and see what happens next."
The origin of the band can be traced to somewhere in the beginning
of 1992, with Trouvé, Heyme Langbroek, Elko Blyweert and Jacki Billet,
and soon afterwards Aarich Jespers & Stef Kamil Carlens of Moondog Jr (later
Zita Swoon). Shotsman Craig Ward (later with dEUS)
and Marc Meyers (earlier with dEUS) joined the gang in 1994. Also Mauro
Pawlowski of the Evil Superstars sometimes
came playing a few chords. The presentation of the group was theatrical at first
(with transvestites and projected movies) but later on a more quiet & modest
approach was chosen.
After a few demo's, Kiss My Jazz found a record company with Knitting
Factory Works (also the home of jazz-scatterbrains X-legged
Sally) and presented "Doc's place Friday Evening" early 1996. Just
as the cd's that would follow later, this was more or less a loose collection
of songs in different recording qualities (from 4 to 24-track and in the strangest
locations) from the past period (from 1992 to 1995). Or as Jacky Huys said "the
best description for this is probably Evil X-Legged dEUS Jr : rock with a twist
here and there, anarchistic and Zappa-like jazz. ... An absorbing auditive adventure".
That Kiss my Jazz never found a way to the general public, has
been a conscient choice from the beginning : Rudy in Humo in January '98 : "Kiss
My Jazz is a combination of ignorance and jazz. We are a mix of good and less
good musicians. That's even necessary, because without good musician you wouldn't
be able to play jazz, and without the bad ones you wouldn't be able to play punk".
Also, most member were not prepared to devote a lot of time to this band : "Things
start to bore me quite fast. I want it to keep a fresh and spontaneous feeling.
A group that is perfectly practiced can sound fab, but naivety, candor and freshness
are also very important. The others also all have their own activities. Even if
we wanted to, we couldn't possibly devote full time to KMJ."
On "In the Lost Souls Convention" of 1997 there were
guest-appearances of Simon & Buni Lenski of DAAU
and the first appearance of another Scotsman called "Viking" Dave Robertson.
In the liner-notes the band gave the songs little comments such as "Sounds
like a late 50's French film noir soundtrack", "Basic chords and lyrics
by Rudy and Stef in a Dutch hotel room during a tour depression", "Sort
of a blues thing, but only half of the band likes blues, some hate it", "Most
people will hate this one", "Started with a sax riff from Dirk and sort
of turned into a cheap soundtrack from God knows what", "Their adoration
of "The popgroup" & "The gang of four" brought them this
song", "James White-esque, written during recording", "Used
to be an instrumental but they always wanted to make sort of a bad standup comedy
soundtrack out of it".
The third album "In A Service Station" (including the
hidden track maxi "In a Ghosttruck") was launched in 1999 as "A
collection of truckdriving songs" based on the atmosphere in highway restaurants
to & from gigs. On this cd it became clear that the group had evolved from
jazzy improvisations to a more poppy approach with country & bossanova.
In 1999, the group announced that the tour early 2000 would be
the last one for Kiss My Jazz. "We have explored all styles we wanted
to explore. A fourth CD would mean we would repeat ourselves. More of the same,
but not so good. This annoys me about other bands, so I don't want to commit the
same mistake myself. I would rather miss it that be stuck with it ..."
was the explanation that Rudy Trouvé gave for shutting down the band. But
in the same interview, he said "it is not at all to be excluded I will put
together an improvisational group with one or more of these musicians. I'm certain
that KMJ will blend into a number of new groups. Our music spreads like a disease".
In March 2000, Kiss My Jazz did a last appearance by their contribution
to the "Glittering 2000"
project, on which belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock era, with a version
of Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize".
Band members :
- Rudy Trouvé (vocal, guitar)
- Marc Meyers (vocal, organ)
- Elko Blijweert (guitar)
- Jacki Billet (bass)
- Heyme Langbroek (trumpet, sax)
- Aarich Jespers (drums)
- Dirk de Hooghe (percussion)
And most of the time :
- Stef Kamil Carlens (vocal, keyboards, percussion)
- Mauro Pawlowski (voacl, guitar)
- Craig Ward (guitar)
- Piet Jorens (percussion)
- Buni & Simon Lenski (strings)
- "Viking" Dave Robertson (vocals, ac. guitar)
- Mathias Broekaert (sax, melodica)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Doc's Place, Friday Evening (CD, Knitting Factory Works, 1996)
- In Coffee We Trust (10", Knitting Factory, 1996)
- The Lost Souls Convention (CD, Heaven Hotel, 1997)
- In a Service Station (CD, Heaven Hotel, 1999)
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