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Review by Scott Yanow: Rob van Bavel / Vincent Koning / Frans van Geest - The Ghost, The King & I


In 2007, pianist Rob van Bavel formed a trio with fellow Dutchmen guitarist Vincent Koning and bassist Frans van Geest. While the drumless unit sometimes recalls the trios of Oscar Peterson (particularly in the strong hints from the superb pianist such as on “DBC Three”) and Nat King Cole (Vincent Koning’s guitar solos are at times a little influenced by Oscar Moore), the group is also inspired by classical music. Historical predecessors aside, this unit has its own delightful and appealing sound, often swinging hard
Using the name of The Ghost (Geest is “ghost” in Dutch), the King (a nickname for Koning) and I (the “I” is van Bavel), the group plays a particularly colorful set of music on Trilogy. “DBC One,” “DBC Two” and “DBC Three” are each based on melodies by Claude Debussy, arranged, revised and adapted for the trio. Von Bavel wrote the three pieces in “Trilogy” and also “G String.” In addition, the group digs into the lone jazz standard “My Foolish Heart” and stretches out on Gershwin’s “Three Preludes” for over 21 minutes.
The consistently exciting solos of van Bavel and Koning are a joy while van Geest’s solid timekeeping and large sound make the absence of a drum largely unnoticeable.
Trilogy is highly recommended to fans of the classic piano trio and to those who love inventive swinging jazz.
Scott Yanow

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