The Rhodes-piano is the legendary electro-mechanical instrument invented by Harold Rhodes and made famous by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. Its typical warm bell-like sound is the result of its design: the keys drive wooden hammers to touch thin ‘tines’, which pitch vibrations as a result are being registered by electric pickups. The electric signal is consequently transferred to a pre-amp, allowing it to be sent to an external amp, very much like an electric guitar.
It is that sound that helped shape a lot of evolutions in all sorts of popular music in the ’60 and the ’70, and a sound that still captures the hearts of many.
Pianist Ewout Pierreux has always been fascinated by the instrument, and got his own Rhodes, a late 1981 Mark II 73-model about 20 years ago. He’s always been using it as a replacement in moments when an acoustic piano wasn’t available, as an organic sounding alternative for the (mostly) jazz contexts he’s been finding himself in. When other Rhodes players have heavily experimented with all sorts of sound processing and effects pedals, Ewout mostly stuck to the natural sound of the instrument, and has always enjoyed playing it from an ‘acoustic’ perspective.
It is that sound that drives the main idea of this Rhodes trio: using the instrument as the sound basis for a repertoire that very much stems from the jazz tradition, with bass and drums. Playing groovy originals, swinging standards and personal takes on famous jazz repertoire with all the space and freedom and open-ended arranging that a trio line-up has to offer.
Ewout Pierreux – Rhodes // Jef Manderveld – bass // Jesse Dockx – drums