Saxophonist and musical omnivore Benjamin Herman has been one of Holland’s most productive musicians of his generation for over three decades. Aside from thousands of gigs, Benjamin has released over 50 albums as a solo artist and as frontman of his groove-orientated ensemble New Cool Collective. His wonderfully diverse musical output includes straight-ahead jazz, Gypsy jazz, punk jazz, film scores, Afrobeat, Latin music and postmodern interpretations of pieces by Dutch composer Misha Mengelberg, as well as collaborations with vocalists, poets, pop stars, hip-hop artists, and instrumentalists from all over the world. The common thread is his quest for a recognizable, personal sound on the alto saxophone. As usual, his latest album finds him exploring new territory.
Having recorded the basic tracks for ‘Nostalgia Blitz’ during the pandemic in 2021, Benjamin and producer Simon Akkermans (C-mon & Kypski) set out to create an album that sounded nothing like anything in Benjamin’s back catalogue. With Simon’s keen ear and well-equipped studio, the music morphed into a mix of mutant disco, death jazz, and nihilistic nu soul. With all the wonderful guest musicians, it fits perfectly in Benjamin’s eclectic discography.
'Nostalgia Blitz' is a record born from a wild collection of ideas and influences drawing on an alternative saxophone universe from Benjamin's formative years. Benjamin Herman explains: "When I picked up the saxophone in 1980, it was the coolest instrument on the planet. Every band had a saxophonist, usually dressed in an oversized pastel-colored power suit with rolled up sleeves. Besides an abundance of sax heroes in pop, fusion and jazz music, the 80s also had individuals who did it all their own way. James Chance, John Lurie, Xero Slingsby, and of course Dutch mover and shaker Hans Dulfer were some of my favorites. Saxophonists with an attitude: supercharged, perky and highly creative. An atonal, arty and conceptual kind of saxophone music that really spoke to me. Besides Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane, they greatly influenced my musical taste. ’Nostalgia Blitz’ is once again an attempt to push the boundaries of my own playing and simultaneously tip my hat to some of my all-time heroes."
‘Nostalgia Blitz’ features:
Benjamin Herman - Saxophones, flute, synths
Shinpei Ruike - Trumpet
Ebba Åsman - Trombone
Mischa Zaat - Guitar
Oscar Jan Hoogland - Keyboards, guitar
Micah Graves, Alexander van Popta - Keyboards
Peter Peskens - Bass
Jimmi Hueting - Drums
And the voice of John Cooper Clarke
Produced by Simon Akkermans, co-produced by Benjamin Herman