"All Ears" was the group in which saxophonist Frans Vermeerssen first worked with trumpet player Herb Robertson. Invited by the 'Jazzmarathon' in Groningen, (1987), Vermeerssen formed a group and invited as guest Herb Robertson, who at the time was little known in the Netherlands. The collaboration turned out to be a success: a record and two tours resulted. Both concerts and LP were very well received by press and audience alike.
The collaboration between Michiel Braam and Frans Vermeerssen dates back to 1989, when they were both invited by the 'Heineken Jazz Festival' to take part in a group that performed music of the Hungarian bass-player Aladar Pege. Braam asked Vermeerssen for his Bik Bent Braam, and Vermeerssen invited Braam's trio (with Wilbert de Joode and Michael Vatcher) for his Frans Vermeerssen quartet. Since the release of the 'One For Rahsaan' CD, and the associated tour in 1995, the quartet has played only sporadically.
Vermeerssen and Braam thought it about time to do something about that, and decided to extend the quartet to a sextet with the name 'All Ears', to tour in 2003.
Frans Vermeerssen and Michiel Braam did compose a totally new program for All Ears. Braam did write a suite: "Foamy Wife Hum", containing the following parts: Tenorman - Offers - All - Burry - Yammerheads - Willy-Nilly - Improved - Bony - Ears - Herbicidally - Up To - Drumming. Vermeerssen wrote the following titles: Cherry Pop, As In, Day See, 18 Rabbit, Break, Line, Petersburg.
This complete program was released on double ceedee summer 2003. Material from the concerts in Grande Theatre Groningen and Bimhuis Amsterdam was presented. See the SHOP page for details. The group will tour again spring 2005.
"Juicy lines in gay peep-oink!" Koen Schouten, VOLKSKRANT
"As in a 45 minutes lasting rollercoaster the sextet rushes along Herb Robertson's snappish trumpet accents, a bowed bassolo which almost fluttering away from Wilbert de Joode and the derailed altosax of Frank Gratkowski, roaringly getting stuck in a fish-trap of pianochords and Michael Vatcher's carpentering on the snaredrum. Outlining guerillajazz, shamattacking and jumping upon the audience at the moment the effect is the most surprising." Edo Dijksterhuis, NRC HANDELSBLAD
"A thrilling musical survival expedition. Indeed with a great number of obstacles, but the disarming charme and the stunning expertise of All Ears leaded us around those easily." Maarten van de Ven, DRAAI OM JE OREN
"An exciting concert, overbubbling with energy and abundance of ideas, a joy for both ears." Kees Stevens, EINDHOVENS DAGBLAD
"All Ears derives power from a large variation of associations and forms of the material. The wide experience of the musicians provides defiant situations for again and again unexpected interactions." Ken Vos, LEIDSCH DAGBLAD
"It was important to keep one's ears and eyes open and to listen, to enjoy, and trying to understand what happened. Terribly much." Hessel Fluitman, FRIES DAGBLAD
"Exciting and manoeuvrable music without cliché's and on the other hand filled with an obstinate kind of connexion." Jacob Haagsma, LEEUWARDER COURANT