Patricia Maessen en Evert Verhees: Pat & Evert, een bijzonder verhaal en een emotioneel weerzien met een straffe zangeres!

  Van Muylem    17 oktober 2022

Begin jaren '80 namen Pat & Evert enkel vocals en piano op van deze zelfgeschreven songcyclus. Patricia overleed veel te jong in 1996...en het album werd nooit echt afgewerkt. Tot nu dus. De songs werden aangevuld met uitgewerkte arrangementen en de bijdragen van een exclusieve club van absolute topmuzikanten. Het resultaat is een bloedmooie en tijdloze songcyclus ergens tussen jazz en pop. Een emotioneel weerzien met een straffe zangeres.

De Nederlandse Patricia Maessen vormde met haar zussen Stella en Bianca de groep Hearts of Soul waarmee ze in 1970 Nederland vertegenwoordigde op het Eurovisie Songfestival. Begin jaren ’70 vestigden ze zich in Antwerpen en samen met ex-The Pebbles Luc Smets stichtten de zussen Dream Express waarmee ze voor België deelnamen aan het Eurovisie Songfestival in 1977. Patricia werkte later met o.m Toots Thielemans, Kris De Bruyne, Johan Verminnen, Raymond van het Groenewoud, Viktor Lazlo, Henny Vrienten, Salvatore Adamo, The Kids, Will Tura.

Evert Verhees was in de seventies lid van de legendarische symfonische rockband Banzaï en is ondertussen al decennia lang een vaste waarde als studio/live bassist, componist en producer. Hij werkte o.m., Maurane, Toots Thielemans, Alain Bashung, Eddy Mitchell, Alain Chamfort, Arno, Axelle Red, Richard Cocciante, Salvatore Adamo, Philip Catherine, Soulsister, Clouseau, Bart Peeters en Viktor Lazlo. Hij tourde met de Franse superster Renaud en is nog steeds de vaste bassist van Julien Clerc

Muzikanten “Eternal Conversations”:
Patricia Maessen – vocal & lyrics) - Evert Verhees – acoustic piano, bass, ac gtrs (& music) - Marc Bonne – drums, Claude Salmieri – drums, Eric Melaerts – guitars, Kevin Mulligan – guitar, Philip Catherine – guitar (special guest) , Cesar Janssens – percussion, Bart Quartier – vibraphone, Bert Joris – trumpet,  Jeroen D’hoe and the Ataneres String Ensemble.
"When we met in the mid-seventies, Pat could already look back on a successful musical journey as one of the three  singing sisters who formed the Dutch band Hearts of Soul and the Belgian band Dream Express.  In those years we regularly worked together at recording sessions as well as on stage and soon bonded together as  like-minded souls in our musical preferences. In 1978 we officially became a couple.
Living together inspired us to write and compose songs for upcoming, but soon to be well known young artists as well as for ourselves as a team-with-a-plan.
Pat's feeling for poetic lyrics and her ability to sing them in her own specific way led to seven compositions which we recorded at home with an old upright piano on a cassette tape. Our first step to a more ambitious project: a professionally recorded song cycle, steeped in the music we both loved. An open conversation between pop, jazz and classical.
One day, after a session at Morgan studios in Brussels, we talked about our project with house sound engineer Mike  Butcher. He generously offered us a night session to record our songs with access to one of the best Steinway pianos  around. As a result of this offer we couldn't refuse, we left the studio early the following morning with a stereo vocal/piano tape that would be supplemented later with three additional compositions.
Due to an increasingly busy schedule and its impact on our daily life, we unfortunately had to put our ambitions aside.  In the meantime we collected the available recordings of the project on a CD as a tangible reminder.
Then, in 1996, the unthinkable happened. Pat passed away.
It would turn the lives of our son Tim and myself upside down and I would soon realise that our work in progress, as we had imagined it, had become impossible.
Until, a few years ago, a meeting with classical composer Jeroen D’hoe rekindled a new enthusiasm about our project and inspired me to accomplish the mission that Pat and I once had in mind: to develop and enrich the songs by adding full rhythm section and string ensemble arrangements.
Using the original vocal/piano recordings as a starting point and thanks to a close collaboration with top fellow musicians as well as a renewed cooperation with Mike Butcher, the song cycle that Pat and I created together, has now been brought to fruition.
I hope it sounds as timeless as we both wanted from the beginning."
Evert Verhees

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