The Eppinger/Laarakker Quartet is a salute to two musicians that set the standard on their instrument for generations to come: Sam Jones and Wes Montgomery.
Sam Jones was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1924. He is best known as part of the rhythm section of the classic Cannonball Adderley quintet. His playing is characterized by a full sound and a driving, irresistible, funky beat. There isn't a single example of a band with Sam Jones on bass that does not swing... a lot! Later on in his career he joined both Oscar Peterson's and Cedar Walton's groups for several years. Up until today, Jones' way of
starting bass lines up in the high register of the instrument playing all the way down to the bottom of it in an arc of several bars serves as a role
model for young bass players.
Wes Montgomery was born in Indianapolis in 1923, where he lived most of his live. He taught himself to play the guitar, imitating the great Charlie Christian. Wes' virtuosic soloing in octaves and block chords earned him the respect of many of his peers at the time, as well as jazz musicians up until today. The more you listen to Wes though, the more you notice
that his genius wasn't limited to inventing and some effective tricks on guitar. He was a marvelous melodic improviser, who found a completely personal way of expressing both catchy melodic statements as well as longer lines, that are rather different from his peers at the time.
None of the recordings of Wes and Sam Jones together reached the classics status of "Full House" or "Smokin' at the Half Note', although there are quite some hidden gems: The Harold Land record "West Coast Blues!" displays both of them playing at their best on some rather obscure yet great compositions. "Bags meets Wes", Montgomery's iconic collaboration with vibraphonist Milt Jackson has an interestingly mellow, yet very swinging vibe to it and a rhythm section that must be amongst the greatest of all times: Wynton Kelly on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums.
With this group it is our aim to play some of the repertoire that Wes and Sam Jones recorded together, but most of all we want to radiate the irresistible groove and joy of playing that both of them stand for like nobody else. Our group will be completed by German piano talent Nicolai Daneck, who recently moved to Amsterdam, and Peter Primus Frosch, an Austrian drummer who studied in The Hague. Our tour in June/July 2022 will bring us to:
27th June Hat Bar, Berlin
29th June Kiste, Stuttgart
30th June Hotel Syte, Mannheim
1st July Kazzwoo, Mannheim
2nd July Depot K, Freiburg
3rd July Jazzsalon, Mannheim