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CEES SLINGER

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Cees Slinger

Period

19-05-1929 - 29-09-2007

Genre

componist, contrabas, jazz, piano, producer, vocalen

Cees Slinger

Without much ado Cees Slinger (Alkmaar, 19 May 1929 – Den Haag, 29 September 2007) is at the peak of Dutch jazz for over half a century. He is rarely interviewed and is never awarded the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award). Nevertheless he is the leader of ...
Full biography

Instruments

componist, contrabas, piano, producer, vocalen

Mentioned in the biography of

1950   Kid Dynamite
1954   Rita Reys
1956   Rob Pronk (1)
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Biography Cees Slinger

Without much ado Cees Slinger (Alkmaar, 19 May 1929 – Den Haag, 29 September 2007) is at the peak of Dutch jazz for over half a century. He is rarely interviewed and is never awarded the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award). Nevertheless he is the leader of the famous Diamond Five – at the time the foremost bop outfit in the country – and backs many visiting Americans. 'I prefer accompanying to soloing,' he says in an interview (1). But his solos are a force to be reckoned with: well thought-out curving lines, which sometimes take a direction you wouldn't expect them to take. (1) Quotes from an interview with Jeroen de Valk from 1993 for Jazz Nu; later revised and published in the book Go Man, Go! (Van Gennep).

Played in

The Diamond Five   piano

1950 - 1953

Slinger grows up in well-to-do family. His father is the director of a company selling building materials. At home classical music is considered to be holy, and his parents describe jazz as 'caterwauling'. As a child he is given piano lessons, but he isn't really interested in playing from sheet music. He prefers to play everything by ear. Of his own accord he finds the first jazz notes on the piano. During the war years he stays with relatives in the Northern town of Winschoten, where he listens to records with a cousin, and plays along with them. After the liberation he starts playing for the Canadian forces. During his studies at Nijenrode (a business college) he leads a trio after Nat 'King' Cole's example, in which he also sings. Slinger takes up further studies to become an insurance agent and ends up in The Diamonds, a precursor to The Diamond Five.

1954 - 1961

The young pianist becomes a professional musician when he is asked to join singer Rita Reys and drummer Wessel Ilcken's band in the Amsterdam jazzclub Sheherazade. In their group he develops as a bebop pianist. Since Bud Powell is beyond him as an example, he takes on Horace Silver as his role model. 'A modern pianist who didn't play too complicated. Nice and funky, much simpler than Bud Powell.' What follows are engagements with guitarist Eddy Christiani, bassist Ted Powder and trumpeter Rob Pronk. In Pronk's band Slinger switches to double bass when the bassist suddenly leaves. For a year he is a fulltime bass player. During an engagement in Scheveningen The Diamond Five takes shape. In weekends Slinger is allowed to extend his trio with extra musicians. With Harry Verbeke (tenor sax) and Cees Smal (trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone) he has an immediate click. Between 1958 and 1961 the group plays at the Sheherazade for nearly every night. Slinger regularly accompanies visiting American soloists; he invites Stan Getz over for a week and is host to the musicians of the American show Free and Easy.

Rita Reys Rob Pronk (1) Wessel Ilcken

1962 - 1975

The Diamond Five disbands. The musicians get bored with each other and jazz loses its popularity in favor of the new beat music. Slinger decides he only wants to play jazz and takes a daytime job; he ends up as a personnel manager with the Hoogovens steelworks. In the evenings he continues playing the piano, notably as Ben Webster's accompanist, and in Boy Edgar's various big bands. This all goes very well, until his daytime increase. Slinger has a burn-out and gets into a midlife crisis. In 1974, after twelve years, he hands in his resignation with Hoogovens. It gives him some rest, but doesn't provide a real solution.

Boy Edgar

1976 - 1990

Drummer Philly Joe Jones steps in to save the day by asking Slinger to join him on a six week tour. Slinger accepts the offer, and knows that he wants to continue working as a professional musician after this. He is one of the house pianists of the North Sea Jazz Festival and tours with Dexter Gordon and other celebrities. From 1979 to 1991 he teaches at the jazz department of the Rotterdam Conservatory.

1991 - 2007

After his early retirement at the conservatory Slinger is playing more than ever. 'In 1991 I did over a hundred concerts: with my own trio, with Ferdinand Povel, Soesja Citroen, Bart's Bones, Frits Kaatee, Sylvia Droste, foreign soloists like Jimmy Knepper and Scott Hamilton and all kinds of guys who call me for occasional gigs.' During the last years of his life Slinger often performs as a band leader and composer-arranger; with his sextet Just in Case and his two quintets Two Tenor Case (featuring two tenor saxophonists) and Buddies in Soul. He usually surrounds himself with musicians from a younger generation. As a composer he is taken with Cedar Walton's work. 'Beautiful pieces, beautiful lines, and just the right chords. No bullshitting, just swinging like crazy.'

Ferdinand Povel Soesja Citroen

Discography Cees Slinger

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Cees Slinger

Audio/Video Cees Slinger

Video Cees Slinger

Growing Up van Cees Slinger
Growing Up van Cees Slinger
Growing up van Cees Sling...
Growing up van Cees Slinger door Simon Rigter en Ruud Breuls
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Growing up van Cees Slinger door Simon Rigter en Ruud Breuls

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