Bram De Looze sets the bar high for expressive interpretation and inventive creativity through his solo performance, as leader of his international project ‘Septych’ and in dialogue with Robin Verheyen & Joey Baron in MiXMONK. Recently De Looze felt the urge for a new collaboration with two great artists who are natural extensions of his world of sound: New York master drummer Eric Mcpherson (Jackie Mclean, Andrew Hill, Pharaoh Sanders, Fred Hersch) and Berlin bassist Felix Henkelhausen (Jim Black, Nate Wooley, Lotte Anker).
Both are compositional masterminds with exceptionally boundless rhythmic inventiveness. De Looze composed a new trio repertoire that enables spontaneous musical invention. As a versatile and exploratory trio, they traverse between different approaches in which musical rules change without losing momentum. The choice of McPherson and Henkelhausen will lead to an interesting musical synthesis where the spirit of traditional jazz language emerges during intuitive musical excursions within free improvisation and contemporary music.
“Intelligent, virtuoso and perfectionistic” – Klara, Radio
Born and raised in New York, Eric McPherson was immersed in music from birth on: Richard Davis, his godfather and an icon among jazz bassists, was present at his birth. It was Richard who suggested he be named after Eric Dolphy. Before Eric was three months old, his mother – a superb dancer-choreographer deep in the jazz scene – was taking him, strapped to her back, to rehearsals and performances. Her wide orbit of friends included many drummers, major jazz artists like Max Roach, Michael Carvin, Charles Moffett and Freddie Waits. Small wonder that Eric was beating on pots and pans before he could walk. At three, he told Elvin Jones, another household friend, that he was definitely going to be a drummer.
By the time Eric was eight, he was teaching himself to play on a drum set borrowed from Charles Moffett. At twelve, he started seven years of formal drum studies under Michael Carvin, a master drummer and a brilliant teacher. Within the year, he was jamming with another kid, Abraham Burton (now a major saxophonist). Together, they started doing street performances at anti-apartheid rallies, soon to be joined by young Nasheet Waits (now an up-and-coming drummer). A year later, they were performing on-stage at Barry Harris’ Jazz Cultural Theater.
About the same time, Eric was admitted to New York’s prestigious LaGuardia High School of the Arts, a school for gifted students. Soon he was selected for the New York All City High School Big Band, making his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts with the Big Band and winning several Outstanding Soloist Awards.
Upon graduating, his mentor Michael Carvin recommended Eric to Jackie McLean. That led to a full scholarship for attending the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. While still a student at Hartt, Jackie invited Eric to join the Jackie McLean Quintet along with Rene McLean, Alan Palmer and Nat Reeves. For the next 15 years, until Jackie’s recent death, Eric was his drummer, following in the distinguished footsteps of drummers Michael Carvin, Billy Higgins, Jack DeJohnette and Tony Williams. Over those years, Eric recorded two CDs with Jackie and performed with him at major venues and festivals all over the Far East, Middle East, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, and the U.S.
In addition to his touring and recording with Jackie McLean, Eric has also performed with a wide range of major jazz figures, including Pharaoh Sanders, Andrew Hill, Richard Davies, Claudia Acuña, Jason Moran, Greg Osby and Avishai Cohen.
Felix Henkelhausen was born 1995 in Oldenburg (DE) and started taking classical piano and cello lessons at an early age. Later he became interested in the double bass and started his Pre-Studies at the HfK Bremn with Prof. Detlev Beier at the age of 16.
Since 2014, Felix has been studying at the Jazz-Institut Berlin with Prof. Greg Cohen and Marc Muellbauer. Other mentors have been Robert Landfermann, Jim Black and Drew Gress.
He has performed in Germany, France, Island, Belgium, Poland, Ukraine, China, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Lithuania and the UK. Despite his young age, Felix has played with national and international renowned musicians such as Nate Wooley, Toby Delius, Eric Mcpherson, Marc Copland, Jochen Rueckert, Lotte Anker, Andrea Parkins, Achim Kaufmann, Philipp Gropper´s Philm, Oli Steidle, Jim Black, Pablo Held, Gebhard Ullmann, Wanja Slavin, Peter Schlamb and many others.
Their debut album “Vice Versa” came out in 2023 on DOX Records.
Bram De Looze (BE) – piano
Eric McPherson (US) – drums
Felix Henkelhausen (DE) – double bass