Karel has always been intrigued by jazz orchestras because they offer the composer an amazing tonal palette: “In order to write for an ensemble such as Jambangle, you need profound insights and a lot of experience, and you also have to know the musicians really well. Because I understood the strong and unique points of each musician, I had the opportunity to form a truly original ensemble.”
The project resulted in a series of concerts in 2001. The success made way for a co-operation with the Jazzlab Series and the release of Jambangle’s debut album for Baltic in 2002: Trinity Song. The record was met with critical acclaim; especially the tribute to Gil Evans and the balanced arrangements were noted. After the release Jambangle did a promotional tour and they worked on the multimedia show ‘De Zotte Koning.’ Jambangle also toured with Tom Van Landuyt and Kyoko Baertsoen (Hooverphonic, Lunascape) for a series of concerts devoted to Frank Zappa and film music from the James Bond series.
In 2003, Jambangle recorded their second CD, Remembrance. The album got excellent reviews again. Karel Van Marcke then started to concentrate on a new project: Chroma.
Picture © Jos L. Knaepen
For the recording of their first album, Chroma’s decision to work with a permanent vocalist evolved into an instrumental quintet surrounded by several guests. Singers David Linx, Geike Arnaert (Hooverphonic) and also Peter Hertmans (guitar), Ingrid Weetjens (vocals), Tuur Florizoone (accordion) and Peter Schneider worked on the album Radea.
After several promotion concerts as a quintet (from May to June 2007), the album was officially presented on the Blue Note Festival 2007, with Geike Arnaert as special guest. Reviewers received ‘Radea’ enthusiastically, with references to the strong compositions and the filmic character of the music. The CD was released worldwide by homerecords.be. The following year, Chroma performed on a regular basis with several special guests and the project ‘Conversations’, an exciting combination of jazz, fusion, accordion and spoken word (Hilde Heijnen).
Picture © Isabelle Pateer