Artist: Teus Nobel | Liberty Group
Album: Human First
Year Of Release: 2023
Format: FLAC (tracks)
1. Human First (27:11)
2. When Riku Saw The Colors Dancing, Pt. 1 (7:32)
3. When Riku Saw The Colors Dancing, Pt. 2 (8:42)
Teus Nobel – trumpet
Alexander van Popta – piano, Fender Rhodes
Jeroen Vierdag – double bass, electric bass
Tuur Moens – drums
Jasper Blom – tenor sax
Teis Semey – guitar
Not one to sit still creatively, he expands his critically acclaimed Liberty Group (Journey Of Man, 2019, Pleasure is the Measure, 2021) with two featured guests: renowned saxophonist and Boy Edgar Prize-winner Jasper Blom and Dutch-Danish avant-garde guitar prodigy Teis Semey.
With a back catalogue which spans jazz, classical and latin music, the two part composition Human First is accompanied by another original and dedicated to his firstborn son, Bix.
“We are, indeed, human first”, is the message Nobel wants to send with this project, and with this dedication. While reading Herbie Hancock’s biography for the second time, a quote from the legendary jazzman hit him: “I realised that I am human first, musician second.”
After Covid made live performances impossible for two years, the quote resonated with Nobel like never before. “I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother and a friend, first. And then, I’m a musician. This realisation took the edge off my musicianship, and I like that,” he explains.
Cut to fit this vinyl-only release, and commissioned by Buma Cultuur (a foundation aiming at promoting and accelerating Dutch music), Human First marks the trumpeter’s eighth release as a leader.
Alongside the title track, Nobel picked a musical diptych by the hand of his pianist Alexander van Popta who, along with Jeroen Vierdag (bass) and Tuur Moens (drums) make up the core of the group. When Riku Saw The Colors Dancing is inspired by the Finnish photographer and documentary director Riku Karjalainen, whose work on the Northern Lights moved him to his core.
All in all, Human First is a reminder to all of us of exactly that; our humanity. The two elaborate compositions serve to remind us of what really matters, of the beauty that surrounds us in this world, and of our existence among our loved ones.