Five on the Rigter Scale / Vijf op de Schaal van Rigter

Bob Rigter               -   tenor saxophone

Simon Rigter           -   tenor saxophone

Han van der Rhee     -  piano

Simon Planting /
Hanz de Waard         -   bass

Rob Engels               -   drums

The two-tenors combination of father and son Bob and Simon Rigter has, for years now, been a success with jazz audiences. There is no question of a generation gap, but they have different approaches to the instrument. Simon is a technically and harmonically highly accomplished player with great taste and a beautiful tone. Bob, as the American journal Cadence put it, “has a dark, lusty sound, recalling the tone of Dexter Gordon. He also takes his time with a ballad, suggesting Gordon’s habit of privileging tone over line […] His knack for simple melodic detail is admirable.” What Bob and Simon have in common is that they play soulful jazz straight from the heart.

Five on the Rigter Scale plays mainstream, bebop and hardbop, great ballads and the blues, more or less along the lines of Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic.

In January 1996, Five on the Rigter Scale played a live radio-broadcast in the prestigious Dutch jazz program TROS Sesjun. The recordings of this concert were issued on the cd Five on the Rigter Scale – Live in Sesjun (A-Records ARP 73052).

 The musicians:

Bob Rigter (1934) played with Don Byas in ’56. He was asked by Ben Webster to play on Ben’s saxophone at his last concert (6 Sept.’73). His album ‘Touching You’ appeared in ’87 (with Simon Planting on bass). Bob played with Scott Hamilton in ’92 (with Rob Engels on drums). In ’95 he published the novel Jazz in de Oostzee (‘This sure ain’t no novel for no squares, man!’ (Martin Schouten in De Volkskrant)). In ’99 his novel Langarm was nominated for a prestigious Dutch/Belgian literary prize. A new cd of his quartet (The Bob Rigter Quartet – LOVE YOU MADLY) was recently released by Munich Records.

Simon Rigter (1973) is one of the prominent tenor saxophonists of the new generation. Taught by John Ruocco and Ferdinand Povel, he finished his conservatory studies with honours in 1997. He gave concerts in Holland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Israel and Jamaica. Down Beat (Sept.’98) calls him a “strong tenor saxist”. In Holland he was heard five times in the prestigious live radio program TROS Sesjun, and countless times live for Radio West. He played with virtually all prominent jazz musicians in The Netherlands, and is co-leader of the quintet Buddies in Soul with the renowned pianist and jazz veteran Cees Slinger. In 1999 Simon played a live concert with trombonist Curtis Fuller (cf. his discography). He played numerous times at the North Sea Jazz Festival, where in 2000 he gave a concert with saxophonist George Coleman and drummer Alvin Queen.

Han van der Rhee (1946) started out as the pianist of Freek de Jonge, who developed into one of Holland’s great comedians. As a medical student, Han led a trio playing in the style of Oscar Peterson. When he was completing his dissertation in dermatology in '79, he stopped playing gigs, but continued to listen intently to Bill Evans. As soon as he had found the time to play jazz again, he joined the Bob Rigter Quartet frequently from ’82 onwards. He also continued his piano studies under the expert guidance of pianist/arranger/composer Udo van Boven. Since ’92 Han has been the regular pianist in the Bob Rigter Quartet, and in Five on the Rigter Scale.

Simon Planting (1953) was discovered by Bob Rigter, playing a jam session in the Haarlem Jazz Club in ’78. He joined Bob’s quartet for four years, and then moved on. He played his bass all over Europe, toured the USA with Loek Dikker’s band and did a lot of radio and television work. In ’87 he was back in Bob’s quartet. Apart from other commitments, he now divides his time between the Bob Rigter Quartet, Five on the Rigter Scale, and the band of Mathilde Santing, a renowned Dutch singer.
Hanz de Waard
(1966) is the regular stand-in for Simon Planting. In fact, he plays the bass on the cd 'Five on the Rigter Scale – Live in Sesjun'. For a couple of years, he played in weekly broadcasts for Radio West. He is also a member of the trio of the great Dutch jazz pianist Hein van der Gaag.

Rob Engels (1950) is the brother of the famous drummer John Engels, and clearly has the same genetic make up. When things start cooking, he sounds like Elvin Jones. In more relaxed moods he creates a subtle but always powerful groove. His talent for groovin’ was appreciated by the many jazz musicians who played with him. Among those were Scott Hamilton and the Dutch tenorists Harry Verbeke and Ruud Brink. Rob played a number of years with Al Rogers and James Long, and joined the Bob Rigter Quartet in ’89.

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