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Jef Neve
Jef Neve Trio
Jef Neve

Jef Neve Trio
@ the Pizza Express Jazz Club
Photography 22 November 2008 & 22 November 2007

Click an image to enlarge.


Jef Neve was born in Belgium on March 8, 1977. He studied at the Lemmensinstituut in Louvain, and took master classes with Guy de Mey, Brad Mehldau, Martial Solal, Lew Tabackin, Toots Thielemans, Billy Hart, Bill Carothers, Kenny Werner and Bruce Barth. In 2000 Neve graduated with Master of Music degrees in Jazz and classical piano, both with great distinction. In 2001 he specialised in Chamber Music and was awarded 'cum laude'.

Next to his musical education, Neve started to play in local bands at the age of fourteen. He composed a wide variety of pieces for the most divergent ensembles (from piano solo to symphonic orchestra). From seventeen-twenty he played with the popular funk band Mr. Zebedee.

As a freelance pianist Neve performed with various jazz bands, classical ensembles and pop bands including Belgian boy band f.ex. Get Ready. Neve also performed in theatre productions, studio sessions and solo performances with the Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Michel Tilkin). As a jazz musician he worked with Dré Pallemaerts, Paolo Fresu and Lindsey Horner.

In 2002 Neve worked for a year as a pianist and composer for the Contemporary Dathe Dance Company in London. In 2003 his debut album “Blue Saga” was released on the Contour label to critical acclaim.

Neve’s second album “It’s Gone” (Contour, November 2004) is Belgium’s best selling jazz album to date. “It’s Gone” received the prestigious Radio Klara prize for Best International Jazz Album in 2005. Neve signed with Universal Music Belgium and released his third album; “Nobody is Illegal in November 2006.

In 2005/6 the Jef Neve Trio performed a large number of concerts and several international festivals including Athens International Jazz, Blue Note Festival, Festival van Vlaanderen, Middelheim Jazz, Jazz à Liège, Audi Jazz Festival, Mexico Eurojazz festival and the Wiltz International Festival.

Parallel to his fast growing activity as jazz artist, Jef Neve prepared the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach during the year 2005, which he has performed several times in the spring of 2006 and 2007. Neve also wrote the soundtrack for the movie “Dagen Zonder Lief”, which was released March 2007.

Jef Neve Trio – Nobody is illegal album review

The intriguingly titled “Nobody is illegal” CD dropped on my faded welcome mat during a treasured vinyl listening session. Many of the CD’s I had received in the last few days were now resting precariously on the edge of my ‘soon to be explored pile’. My initial response to this newcomer was to browse the CD cover images, pop it in the player, speed check each track, then resume my vinyl listening session. That was the plan anyway…

Track 1 – “Airplane” is a delicately woven two minute and fifteen second gem. I realised that my initial plan was now no longer a viable option. This album deserved immediate, and closer scrutiny. Skipping tracks prematurely would be a sin.

Track 2 - “Nothing But A Casablanca Turtle Slideshow Dinner” is as dramatic as its title suggests. First impressions from Neve’s opening notes also suggest he is teaching us a unique form of piano scale structure. But just as your fingers begin to tap the air in an attempt to mimic his moves, Neve, trio and friends add to the mix leaving your fingers lost.

Neve and co has it all covered here. Delicate intimacy and warmth, juxtaposed with the urgency of an express train, and all knitted together with the precision of a plastic surgeons knife. The inclusion of wind instruments (horn, trombone, tuba and sax) on many tracks just stop short of transforming this trio project into a big band venture.

Be prepared to ride the many waves of “Nobody is illegal”, and expect the unexpected from the Jef Neve Trio. Future releases from Jef Neve are more than welcome on my mat. (Even during my treasured vinyl listening sessions).

Jef Neve – piano, Piet Verbist - double bass
Teun Verbruggen – drums, Hans Verhulst –horn
Simon Haspeslag – horn, Frederik Heirman – tenor trombone
Nicolas – Kummert – tenor saxophone, Pieter Kindt – bass trombone
Berlinde Deman – tuba

Robin Francis
Album review -14 April 2007
© Michael Valentine Studio

Jef Neve

Piet Verbist

Piet Verbist



Soul in a picture nobody is illegal It's Gone Blue Saga


Further Recommended

Click Pascal Schumacher's image to view his photographs and read his biography,
Click Dave Gordon Trio's "Undiminished" to view photographs and read their biography...

Pascal Schumacher @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club (click to go to his page) David Gordon Trio - Undiminished(click to go to his page)

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2008 home page.

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2007 home page.

 Go back to the jazz gallery.

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