Just heard at my big band rehearsal that Dutch saxophonist Robert Veen died yesterday after a debilitating disease at age 59.
Robert was best known for his work with the "Beau Hunks", an orchestra that played and recaptured (which was mostly Robert's work, transcribing the music from the original recordings by ear, because the scores didn't exist anymore) old film music composed by Leroy Shield for the Laurel and Hardy films, the Suites by Ferde Grofé and the attractively idiosyncratic music of Raymond Scott.
Here is a feature clip of Robert Veen (on sopranino) with the "Beau Hunks":
And here is a short bio of Robert (source: http://www.acesofsyncopation.nl/engl...ert_veen.shtml):Robert Veen and his music will be missed .Robert Veen has made a name for himself in the world of traditional jazz and swing. Robert is a musical multitalent: in great demand as a guest solist, arranger, composer and teacher. At the same time he is always on the look-out for the "ideal" saxophone and mouth-piece.
Robert completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 1985, specialising in alto saxophone; in his everyday musical practice, however, he plays all saxophones, the clarinet and the flute. As a member of the Tribute Big Band, under the leadership of John Clayton, he played with celebrities like Sarah Vaughan, Harry Edison, Snooky Young, Buddy Tate, Monty Alexander, Milt Jakson and Al Cohn. For years he was a permanent member of Harlem Bound, the Down Town Jazz Band and The New Orleans Syncopators. He has given guest appearances with an impressive number of orchestras, bands and well-known Jazz-greats at home and abroad, like Spiegle Wilcox, Bob van Oven (formerly Dutch Swing College Band) and Mike Goetz. Robert can also be heard regularly playing with Joep Peeters and his Gumbo Gabbers. As a tutor/"professor" and as a solist he belongs to the regular team running the annual Traditional Jazz Workshop in Lenk (Switzerland).
Robert is one of the driving forces behind The Beau Hunks, an orchestra which engages a range of changing musicians and is involved both in live performances and recording. Some examples of their CDs are: the film music composed by Leroy Shield for the Laurel and Hardy films, the Suites by Ferde Grofé and the attractively idiosyncratic music of Raymond Scott. The Beau Hunks Saxophone Soctette, an orchestra consisting of 13 musicians, including 9 woodwind instrumentalists, performs regularly in the great concert halls of the Netherlands and Germany. Other projects Robert performs with at this time: The Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Orchestra, Lester Leaps Again, The Beau Hunks Saxophone Quartet, Three for the Road and That’s Jazz.
Several CDs of The Beau Hunks have been produced on the Basta label, some of them with Al Gallodoro and the Metropole Orkest. All in all, Robert has been involved in the production of over 40 LPs and CDs. The Aces of Syncopation is one of the formations Robert belongs to. When playing with them he tends to concentrate on the soprano saxophone and clarinet. This is where his close proximity to and love of Sidney Bechet and the traditional French jazz repertoire really comes into its own.