Steve Davis-Jeanfrançois Prins | Light

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Post-Bop Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Steve Davis-Jeanfrançois Prins

Guitarist Jeanfrançois Prins and drummer Steve Davis, here in trio with bassist Larry Kohut, are at the forefront of the new generation of Jazzmen. "Light" is a good example of their organic and interactive playing of standards as well as modern Jazz com
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Someday My Prince Will Come
6:28 album only
2. I Hear a Rhapsody
5:17 album only
3. Leaving
5:44 album only
4. It Ain't Necessarily So
7:02 album only
5. Iris
3:16 album only
6. How Deep Is the Ocean?
5:03 album only
7. My Main Man
5:34 album only
8. The Peacocks
9:43 album only
9. Footprints
8:36 album only


Album Notes
Jeanfrançois Prins
Jazz Guitarist Composer Arranger Educator

" A real voice on the guitar with a warmth that's all his own"
Joe Lovano
"...there can be no doubt that this truly creative and musical young man will continue to be heard from. But don't wait for his next record -
catch him live!"
Dan Morgenstern

Belgian Jazz guitarist Jeanfrançois Prins was born in Brussels on February 18th, 1967. He has spent most of his adult life as a professional musician; performing, recording and collaborating with many of today's Jazz giants, he has also been teaching private instrument lessons and classes in Berlin's Music Universities, communicating with enthusiasm his passion for this expansive music to the next generations of players.

At age 17, Prins started playing music as a self-taught improviser.

At age 19, Prins was already leading his own professional band, performing his original tunes and arrangements. In 1991, he graduated as a Sound Engineer from the world famous I.N.S.A.S. School for Performing Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The same year, he was awarded the First Prize for Instrumental Performance at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles, as well as the "Golden Sax", awarded by both the French- and Dutch- speaking Jazz journalists in Belgium.

As a guitarist, Jeanfrançois Prins has performed as a leader and/or as a sideman with Toots Thielemans, Lee Konitz, Judy Niemack, Kenny Wheeler, Bud Shank, Lew Tabackin, Gary Foster, Jim Mc Neely, Dan Haerle, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Michel Herr, Adam Nussbaum, Mike Richmond, Eddie Gomez, Putter Smith, John Betsch, Al "Tootie" Heath, Jay Clayton, Steve Houben, Jacques Pelzer, Janice Borla, John Ruocco, Uli Beckerhoff, David Friedman, Tim Hagans, Café, Peter Herbolzheimer, Ricardo del Fra, Kirk Nurock, Hein Van de Geyn, Bruno Castellucci, Joe La Barbera, Jerry Granelli, Jay Anderson, Scott Colley, Mal Waldron, Quincy Jones, Theo Bleckmann, ... in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Estonia, Corsica,...) and in the U.S. (New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Stanford,...)

Several musicians have played Jeanfrançois Prins' compositions :
"New York Stories" was recorded by his own quintet, Toots Thielemans, Judy Niemack, Kenny Werner, Michel Herr & Jack Van Poll, the WDR Big Band, and has been used for several years as the title song of the Radio Judaïca Jazz Program in Belgium. It was also used in a TV commercial for the Belgian Postal Service, which was aired on four different channels in Belgium for six months.
"Cat's Eyes" was recorded and performed by his own quintet, by singer Mary Kay, then featured in Belgian TV game show "Génies en Herbe", which was aired five times world-wide on the international TV5 channel.
"What" was recorded and performed by his own quartet, trumpeter Richard Rousselet's quintet, and by Lee Konitz.

Always very involved in the groups that he decides to play with, Jeanfrançois Prins has written arrangements and originals for them (Richard Rousselet, Lee Konitz, Mary Kay, Judy Niemack, Toots Thielemans, ...).

Jeanfrançois Prins has been featured on TV in Belgium, France, Holland, Estonia, and on the satellite channel Muzzik, both in interviews and performing. In 1994, he was an actor and musician in the Belgian movie "Just Friends", which won several prizes and was nominated for an Oscar in the United States as "Best Foreign Film". In early 1999, the Belgian television (RTBF) produced a special documentary feature about his international career, both as a musician and an educator. "Brussels - Berlin - New York - Jeanfrançois Prins" was also aired on the worldwide French language channel TV5 in the summer of 1999.

Being a sound engineer and knowledgeable about the record industry, Jeanfrançois Prins has always had a producer's approach to his projects. He produced and arranged Mary Kay's CD, "Make Someone Happy", featuring Toots Thielemans. He co-produced three CDs for Judy Niemack, Richard Rousselet's CD "Waitin' For You", and Sören Fischer's CD "Don't Change Your Hair For Me". He produced and arranged Judy Niemack's new CD "About Time" (featuring himself on guitar, Eddie Gomez on bass, and Lee Konitz on saxophone among others), which will be released this year on SONY JAZZ. He is also consulted by colleagues on questions of sequencing, editing and choice of "takes".

Jeanfrançois Prins has recorded five CDs as a leader. The fourth one, "All Around Town", was conceived as his own musical photo album of New York City. He recorded it in trio with bassist Mike Richmond and drummer Adam Nussbaum, plus saxophonist Lee Konitz as a guest. His brand new release "Light" (GAM 918), is co-led by drummer Steve Davis, in trio with bassist Larry Kohut. "Light" is a good example of their concepts for organic and interactive trio playing with standards as well as modern Jazz compositions.

In the beginning of the year 2000, he was hired, together with Judy Niemack, to compose and perform all the original music for a documentary-film series to be aired on the Discovery Channel in the U.S..

Discography as a leader

- Jeanfrançois PRINS 5tet "N.Y. Stories" GAM Jam 911

- Jeanfrançois PRINS - Judy NIEMACK "Beauty and the Prince" GAM 916

- Lee KONITZ & Jeanfrançois PRINS Trio "Live" GAM 915

- Jeanfrançois PRINS "All Around Town" TCB 99402

- Steve Davis - Jeanfrançois PRINS "Light" GAM 918

Selected discography as a sideman

- Mary KAY "Make Someone Happy" feat. Toots THIELEMANS GAM Jam 912

- Judy NIEMACK "Straight Up" FREELANCE FRL CD 018

- Richard ROUSSELET 5tet "Waitin' for You" GAM 913

- Lee KONITZ "Rhapsody" vol. 1 Paddle Wheel Records KICJ 174
"Rhapsody" vol. 2 Paddle Wheel Records KICJ 210

- Michel HERR "Just Friends" soundtrack AMC 50047

- Shigeko SUZUKI "Première" NOVUS BVCP-870 BMG JAPAN

- Judy NIEMACK "...Night and the Music..." FREELANCE FRL CD 026

- Sören FISCHER "Don't Change Your Hair For Me" GLM EC 513-2

- R.I.A.S. Big Band + Guest Clark Terry "The Music of Duke Ellington" MONS MR 874-306

- Judy Niemack "About Time" SONY JAZZ 509824-2

As an educator, Jeanfrançois Prins had an early start. Although he started playing music fairly late, he had a wide knowledge of the jazz tradition and the history of music in general because of being brought up in his parents' record store, which specialised in Jazz and Classical music.
As a child, he spent much of his free time listening to records and singing along with them, learning improvised solos by heart. He also started to play them for his friends, and even for adults, quizzing them in "blindfold tests". By the time he reached adolescence, these listening sessions had become a sort of institution, and musicians and non-musicians alike attended them regularly.

When Jeanfrançois began playing guitar, at age 17, many musicians knew him already and they would often drop by and hang out in the back room of the record store, giving him musical advice. There Prins started a Saturday afternoon jam session which quickly became a weekly workshop. Some veterans like Hein van de Geyn, Philip Catherine, and Jean-Louis Rassinfosse were there, but also some new and inexperienced musicians. They worked on new tunes, chord progressions and interplay each week. For the young musicians, the sessions started earlier, just with Jeanfrançois, who taught them how to improvise, phrase with Jazz time feeling, develop a personal tone, listen to the others and react. He wasn't only teaching how to play the guitar, but also taught improvisation for the saxophone, flute, piano, drums, trumpet, ...
Prins' method was always very interactive, and organic. "If you don't hear something, don't play it. Listen to many musicians playing the same compositions and compare. Teach yourself to hear the notes which, at first, sound foreign to you. Once you understand them in a natural, physical way, then you can incorporate them into your own vocabulary".
For several years, he had regular private students at home, both younger and older than him.

In the Winter of 1995, Jeanfrançois Prins was invited by the Jazz Faculty of the H.D.K. Berlin to audition as a guitar teacher. He was then hired as the new Jazz guitar teacher of the H.D.K.. There, he soon began teaching classes (Jazz History Class, Listening & Analysis, Transcription, .... and ensembles (Ellington, Monk, Guitar Ensemble). In all of these classes, some of which were his own creations, he brought a multimedia dimension, showing videos, playing CDs, and interacting directly with the students. Since the Summer semester of 1998, he has had a Guest Professorship at the H.D.K. for a couple of years.
In the meantime, he was asked to audition as a guitar teacher at the HfM Hanns Eisler in Berlin, was accepted, and has been teaching Methodik/Lehrpraxis classes and private guitar lessons there. In 1999, he became the leader of the Jazz Guitar Department at the Hanns Eisler Music Conservatory.

In 2000, he joined the faculty of the BuJazzO (Bundes Jazz Orchester).

Jeanfrançois Prins considers teaching as a natural thing to do for a musician. He wants to share his knowledge and simultaneously learn from his students. That is the way that Jazz has evolved and will continue its evolution from one generation to the next.
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