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29-04-1931 - 06-10-2020


componist, jazz, producer, producers, saxofoon

Tony Vos

Until the early sixties Toon 'Tony' Vos (Eindhoven, 29 April 1931) is a promising alto saxophonist, who doesn't take Charlie Parker, but the introverted altoists of the cool jazz school as his example. His music is preserved in a small recorded oeuvre of high quality. Later he makes a name ...
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componist, producer, saxofoon

Mentioned in the biography of

1955   Børge Ring
1956   Rob Pronk (1)
1958   Greetje Kauffeld
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Biography Tony Vos

Until the early sixties Toon 'Tony' Vos (Eindhoven, 29 April 1931) is a promising alto saxophonist, who doesn't take Charlie Parker, but the introverted altoists of the cool jazz school as his example. His music is preserved in a small recorded oeuvre of high quality. Later he makes a name for himself as a coach for many Dutch pop artists. He is active as a producer (arranger, man of ideas, organizer, musical director) for many decades. His ambitions as a jazz musician are more low profile, although he keeps performing and occasionally even recording. In 2006, at the age of 75, he retires entirely from the music scene.

1931 - 1964

Tony Vos, pianist Henk's younger brother, takes an interest in jazz at an early age, and studies for a number of years at the Tilburg Conservatory. In 1953 he performs with Jazz At The Kurhaus, a Dutch version of Jazz At The Philharmonic. The combination is recorded in Eindhoven. Presenter Pete Felleman announces the 22 year-old talent in this way: 'A young man who doesn't copy and doesn't imitate, but who knows his Konitz very well… May I have your attention for the coming man in the cool idiom: Tony Vos!' In 1954 and 1955 he is the winner of the jazz competition organized by the AVRO broadcasting company. Many sources claim that he played with Chet Baker in Brussels and Antwerp in 1955, but this is not true, says Vos; they performed there on the same night, each with their own band, but never together on stage. In 1955 and 1956 Tony Vos takes part in the three Jazz Behind The Dikes LP's (later reissued on two CDs). On all of these historically important records he performs two pieces with his own quartet. On Jazz Behind The Dikes 2 he can also be heard on two tracks by the Herman Schoonderwalt Septet. From 1960 to 1964 Tony Vos is program director for the sea based radio station Radio Veronica. It is here that he meets the popular DJ Tineke de Nooij, whom he marries.

1965 - 1969

Tony Vos leaves Veronica and becomes staff producer for Phonogram. He is responsible for the extensive jazz catalogue – pianist Pim Jacobs, singer Rita Reys, the Dutch Swing College Band, singer Greetje Kauffeld – but mainly develops into a coach for the latest generation of pop musicians like Boudewijn de Groot, Cuby and the Blizzards, Ekseption and Elly & Rikkert. He is of decisive importance for Boudewijn de Groot's career. When the singer's first few singles have misfired, Vos suggests translating and recording Charles Aznavour's success Une Enfant. The result, Een Meisje Van 16, is De Groot's first hit in October 1965. Vos also brings together singers Elly Nieman and Rikkert Zuiderveld in 1969 for an LP under the name Elly & Rikkert. In 1968 the readers of the music magazine Hitweek vote him best producer in the annual poll. The tune for author Simon Carmiggelt's TV show features Vos's alto saxophone; the song, In A Sentimental Mood, may have been composed and recorded by Duke Ellington, but Vos's recording is considered priceless. In 1969 Vos is involved in a near-fatal car crash, from which he recovers, but which keeps him from playing until 1976.

1970 - 1989

Besides his regular job as a producer Vos keeps playing music: timidly, unspectacular and unbeheld by the national press, but always tasteful and intense. He works with pianist Henk Coolen in his home town Eindhoven, in central Holland with Arie van Wegen's Off Road Trio (which records a CD with singer Sandy Fort, but featuring a different bassist) and with keyboard player Rindert Meijer he founds the A-One quartet.

1990 - 2006

In the early nineties Vos cuts back his studio activities. For three years he works in France with the Cirque du Docteur Paradi as saxophonist, composer and musical director. In his home country he is often accompanied by his son Jai-Jai, who has become a professional drummer. Later his daughter, singer Sara Lee, will also enter the music business. Early 1996 he resettles in his native Eindhoven, where he records the CD The Best Sessions with Henk Coolen. From 1990 to 2006 – albeit intermittently - Vos is a member of the central Dutch big band On The Move. He is featured especially on ballads and other melodious solos. In 2006 Tony Vos receives the Amer Award at Theater De Speeldoos in Baarn. It is an award 'for people who continuously distinguish themselves, but are seldom awarded with distinction'. In the same year Vos retires as an active musician. Since then he has been leading a reclusive life in Eindhoven.

Discography Tony Vos

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.

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