John Helliwell | Jasper Somsen | Hans Vroomans | Marcel Serierse

Don't Ever Leave Me

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Records
UPC: 0608917353624
Catnr: CR 73536
Release date: 04 November 2022
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Challenge Records
Catalogue number
CR 73536
Release date
04 November 2022

"An album full of restraint and finesse where the saxophonist and clarinetist demonstrates his art to sing the repertoire."

L'avenir, 26-11-2022

About the album

In late 2019, after meeting with Challenge Records in Amersfoort to discuss my album Ever Open Door, they recommended that I should connect with Jasper Somsen. I had dinner in Amsterdam that night with him and Raimondo Meli Lupi, who had mastered my previous recordings and set-up the meetings.

Jasper struck me as an enthusiastic and determined young man and, as I was subsequently to find out after listening to him on several recordings, an excellent and creative bass player — now my friend and colleague.

We agreed to make an album. Jasper chose the other musicians and recording dates at MotorMusic in Belgium were arranged. Then Covid-19 struck! The recording was postponed many times during 2020 and 2021, although during this time we discussed which tunes would be appropriate, with Jasper writing rough arrangements. His selection of Marcel Seriese on drums and Hans Vroomans on piano was inspired — they are inventive, empathetic musicians, and a pleasure to play with!

Our selection of tunes is based on strong melodies from the fields of folk, jazz, rock, pop, and originals by Jasper and me. I suggested that we play three Supertramp tunes, as a lengthy part of my musical life has been centred around the music of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. I first heard Don’t Ever Leave Me played by Keith Jarrett. It’s such a beautiful, short and poignant melody that we decided to play four versions and have them act as “bookends” for our music.

If you enjoy listening to this music half as much as we enjoyed playing it, our labours of love have succeeded!
Ende 2019, nachdem ich mich mit Challenge Records in Amersfoort getroffen hatte, um mein Album Ever Open Door zu besprechen, empfahlen sie mir, mich mit Jasper Somsen in Verbindung zu setzen. Ich aß an diesem Abend in Amsterdam mit ihm und Raimondo Meli Lupi zu Abend, der meine früheren Aufnahmen gemastert und die Treffen arrangiert hatte.

Jasper machte auf mich den Eindruck eines enthusiastischen und entschlossenen jungen Mannes und, wie ich später feststellen sollte, nachdem ich ihn bei mehreren Aufnahmen gehört hatte, eines ausgezeichneten und kreativen Bassisten - jetzt mein Freund und Kollege.

Wir vereinbarten, ein Album aufzunehmen. Jasper wählte die anderen Musiker aus und es wurden Aufnahmetermine bei MotorMusic in Belgien vereinbart. Dann schlug Covid-19 zu! Die Aufnahmen wurden in den Jahren 2020 und 2021 immer wieder verschoben, obwohl wir in dieser Zeit diskutierten, welche Stücke geeignet wären, und Jasper schrieb grobe Arrangements. Seine Wahl von Marcel Seriese am Schlagzeug und Hans Vroomans am Klavier war inspirierend - sie sind einfallsreiche, einfühlsame Musiker und es ist ein Vergnügen, mit ihnen zu spielen!

Unsere Auswahl an Stücken basiert auf starken Melodien aus den Bereichen Folk, Jazz, Rock, Pop und Eigenkompositionen von Jasper und mir. Ich habe vorgeschlagen, drei Supertramp-Stücke zu spielen, da sich ein großer Teil meines musikalischen Lebens um die Musik von Rick Davies und Roger Hodgson dreht. Zum ersten Mal hörte ich Don't Ever Leave Me, gespielt von Keith Jarrett. Es ist eine so schöne, kurze und ergreifende Melodie, dass wir beschlossen, vier Versionen zu spielen und sie als "Buchstützen" für unsere Musik zu verwenden.

Wenn Sie diese Musik nur halb so gern hören, wie wir sie gespielt haben, war unsere Liebeserklärung erfolgreich!


John became interested at age 13 in the clarinet, closely followed by the saxophone. After a spell as a computer programmer he turned professional, playing with various bands in the 60s He was asked to join Supertramp in 1973.They made the album “Crime of the Century” and began the long climb to international success, moving to California in the process. “Breakfast in America” was the biggest selling album in the world in 1979!

During a Supertramp hiatus in the nineties, he moved back to England to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. John now plays music based on his many inspirations - including jazz, funk, blues, soul and rock. He has a jazz group - “Crème Anglaise,” “The Super Big Tramp Band” - an 18 piece big band playing the music of Supertramp instrumentally, and “Ever Open Door” - a sextet playing ballads with a string quartet. and Hammond organ. He has recently teamed-up with three of the finest Dutch musicians — Jasper Somsen, bass, Hans Vroomans, piano, and Marcel Serierse — to create an album “Don’t Ever Leave Me."


An album full of restraint and finesse where the saxophonist and clarinetist demonstrates his art to sing the repertoire.
L'avenir, 26-11-2022

An album full of restraint and finesse where the saxophonist and clarinetist demonstrates their art of making the repertoire sing.
Jazzmania, 18-11-2022

Both Helliwel and Somsen and pianist Hans Vroomans dare to make the melodic lines sound as pure as possible. It could well be that many songs are so moving for that very reason.
Trouw, 18-11-2022

The album closes with “Blue is central“, a blues by Helliwell on clarinet, a great ending to a wonderful album.
Rootstime, 17-11-2022

As on his previous jazz album for Challenge “Ever open door” Helliwell once again proves that he is capable of much more than playing along in the corny music of Supertramp.
Rootstime, 17-11-2022 is a beautifully arranged, melancholic album.
De Volkskrant, 17-11-2022

Helliwell is with a consummately elegant Dutch piano trio - pianist Hans Vroomans is suitably loose when needed; bassist Jasper Somsen tonally pristine and drummer Marcel Serierse exacting and no nonsense.
Marlbank, 14-11-2022

... So "Don't Ever Leave Me" turns out to be a pretty, quite graceful album, where John Helliwell can show that he has more to offer than just blowing hooklines.
Jazzthing, 24-10-2022

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