In February 2021 Eric Van Der Westen invited tenor saxophonist Guido Nijs, trumpettist Koen Smits, pianist Sjoerd van Eijck and drummer Pascal Vermeer to record a number of original tracks for a ballad album. All the material was written by Van Der Westen. Some pieces were new; others were reworked to fit the contemporary demands of the composer. Not rehearsed and thus recorded like a 50’s/60’s jazz album the musicians play extremely fresh and full of inspiration. Only 1st of 2nd takes were used.
Throughout his career Van Der Westen has written a great number of lovely ballads and songs that were sometimes only recorded on albums of groups he was a part of: not his own bands. Being a creative force both in concepting and execution of the music, the depth and intensity of Van Der Westen’s contribution is evident on those recordings. Nevertheless he had intentions to re-record some of his work fully on his own terms.
The period of this particular recording contains some of the darkest moments of Van Der Westen’s life; fighting cancer – a (luckily) treatable form of Leukemia- combined with lockdowns cancelling all concerts which were his livelyhood. Eventually music was the only thing that really provided some rays of light. Music is love and hope; some beauty against all uglyness and deprivation. That spirit is all over this part of the Trilogy. Named The Crown and Lobster after both Corona and Cancer being the main impact at that time.