Here Comes the Crazy Man!
Belgian composer, arranger, pianist, and keyboardist Koen de Bruyne (1946-1977), brother of celebrated singer and songwriter Kris de Bruyne, had his own, unfortunately short, stint in the field of pop, jazz, fusion, and funk in the 1970s. He rose to the scene as an in-demand session and live musician for local heroes such as Johan Verminnen, Will Tura, Ferre Grignard, Mad Unity, Black Blood, and his brother Kris. In 1974, after some years in the trade, Koen de Bruyne debuted as a solo artist. The inspired fusion epic Here Comes the Crazy Man! undeniably proves he was much more than a gifted session musician. He gathered a fabulous line-up for the recording sessions, featuring three members of the legendary Placebo (Marc Moulin's jazz-funk outfit). Recorded in the renowned Studio Madeleine in Brussels with some of the most prolific and inventive of de Bruyne's contemporaries, Here Comes the Crazy Man! is a truly exceptional and imaginative record and has gained the status of sought-after cult classic decades after its release. The exact 1974 line-up consisted of Placebo members Richard Rousselet (trumpet), Yvan de Souter (bass), and Jean Pierre Onraedt (drums), as well as Gérard Sabbe (trumpet), Patricia Maessen (vocals), Adelson Defrise (flute), and Firmin Timmermans (bongos). Built around de Bruyne's omnipresent piano and synth themes, the four lengthy tracks on Here Comes the Crazy Man! float between heavy funk and psychedelic jazz rock, with some strong fusion interactions. Flavored by its distinctive double trumpet lines, de Souter's exceptional bass playing, and Maessen's ethereal vocals, it only takes one close listen to sense that this album is something exceptional; a document of an entire band of musicians performing at the top of their game. Psychedelic, vigorous, and at times quite experimental, Koen de Bruyne's only real album to have seen the light of day is a rare Belgian gem, one that stands the test of time and is waiting to be rediscovered by new generations of listeners. Apart from the four tracks on the original album, reissued here for the first time, this edition features an additional CD of previously unreleased music. The "Games" tracks form a mysterious triptych that was recorded after the album; the masters had to be retrieved from deteriorating reel-to-reel tape. Also included are four majestic solo piano improvisations that were retrieved from another lost studio tape.