About the album
While living life to the fullest, two happytizers, Grégory Houben and Fabian Fiorini, created "Bees and bumblebees". This ambitious album revisits the codes of jazz traditions through a more modern lens, with a British touch of elegance.
More than anything else, "Bees and Bumblebees" is a joyful celebration of what Fiorini and Houben like to call the “happy culture”, where two vital things in Art meet: the joy of communicating and the demands of creating something that is new. Together with the talents of Hans van Oosterhout and Cédric Raymond, they take a new look at the codes of tradition, while keeping a certain distance. Put simply, they sought new melodic and harmonic paths within a musical space that is close to tradition, largely based on groove and swing.
Their love of music, melodies, the sensuality of sound and the magnetic appeal of rhythms brought them around a piano where they composed "Un serpent dans les framboisiers". This first key composition illustrates their desire to seek new paths and break out of the musical constraints they were brought up in. This led them to co-write a repertoire that reflects their respective influences: the grand tradition of jazz from the 50s to the 70s (Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown…) brilliantly represented by Grégory Houben, mixed with the contemporary influences (Messiaen, Boulez and Ligeti) of Fabian Fiorini. Shared influences as diverse as Brazilian music, Miles Davis or Jean-Sebastien Bach can be heard.
With “Bees and Bumblebees”, Fiorini and Houben sought to step beyond the debate that runs through Belgian jazz opposing partisans of tradition and those of absolute modernism. They brilliantly take up the challenge with an album that is simple, light, unfussy yet engaging and that leaves room enough to dream.
HAPPY-CULTURE: n. (Fr. Lat. Apis Clitoris) A discipline practiced by happytizers, wherein they devote themselves to the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. Happytizers group themselves around broad themes such as friendship, tenderness, sexuality, the pleasures of eating, conversation, science and knowledge in general, reading, the arts and physical exercise as well as social wellbeing.