January 2018, a new album, "Crime", by Penguins Too was released. The duo formerly known as "Two Penguins In The Desert" was founded in 1987 to play at Frank's and Michiel's finals at the conservatory, more specifically to play the Lennie Tristano tune "Wow". The cooperation felt very comfortable and the duo continued to play for 16 years, specializing in cool jazz and the "hotter" bebop tunes, resulting in its first album "Jazzs". After a sabbatical between 2003 and 2017, the duo currently focusses on music written for or associated with crime films and television series, such as the twelve tone music from the 1974 movie "The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three", Ennio Morricone's music from the television series "La Piovra", the main title of "Narcos", Duke Ellington's "Anatomy of a Murder". All these pieces, plus a Chopin prelude, a Misha tune and several duo improvisations will be issued as a suite. Visit our shop page to hear samples of the mentioned tracks.
For the last 25 years the music played by Antillean pianist Edgar Palm on his 2 albums "Otrobanda" and "Music of the Netherlands Antilles" has been something that was never far away.
Until now Michiel has always felt a desire to work on that music, but somehow that had not yet led to the actual playing of it.
This has changed. In 2015, this trio played its first concert.
All the tunes have been transcribed recently and a trio with Antillean bassist Aty de Windt and percussionist André Groen was formed.
Aty de Windt was born on Curacao and member of a large musical family. His wide experience in latin music include playing in Monquito El Unico, the Tony Shearman Band, Edsel Juliet Saljuco, Ensalados, Cita Con El Pasado, Siete Potencia and his own band Perla Negra. In all those projects he is the driving force and the relaxed swing in his bass playing an essential contribution.
André Groen is part of a wide variety of activities. He is playing classical percussion in the leading ensemble for contemporary music ereprijs and the international HOP! trio. He contributed as latin percussionist in Salsaya Big Band, Salsa d’Amsterdam, the Swiss Orquesta Tentación and the European Danzón Orchestra, of which he was also the initiator and band leader and in which he collaborated extensively with Michiel, who played piano in that band. That orchestra focused on the traditional Cuban music and played many major festivals, concerts in Cuba inclusive.
The Antillean waltzes have European harmonies and melodies, with reminiscences of the music of Chopin and middle-American rhythms. Especially the constantly present friction between simultaneously played binary and ternary rhythms make this music so unique.
Edgar Palm is one of the latest and very important members of the Palm dynasty, a family that brought the Antilles pianists, composers and other musicians for about two centuries. The name of the trio (which loosely translates into "Our Other Side") is named after Otrobanda, a historically important part of Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, which is also the quarter that has always been housing musicians and contains cultural venues.
In 2018, Michiel's "Mi Biaha Rond Korsow" (Papiamento for "my trip through Curaçao") will premiere during a concert at Fortkerk, Willemstad, Curaçao. This suite, containing the waltz "Marjan", the mazurka "Sissi" and the tumba "Valencia" can, in a way, as the trio brings it back to the Antilles, be decribed as "Música Antillana de ida y vuelta". It is a reflection of what Michiel has found in Antillean music and a tribute to the Palm dynasty and other Curaçao musicians with respect also for the musical tradition of its composer, a free jazz pianist from Nijmegen.
This trio is really something out of Michiel's ordinary. Music to listen and dance to!
Michiel Braam piano, Aty de Windt bass, André Groen percussion.