Ivan Paduart

Time and again, on every single CD, piano player Ivan Paduart displays the timeless combination of melody, rhythm and counterpoint.

15-10: Ancienne Belgique
Ivan Paduart Trio

Who is… Ivan Paduart?

Ivan Paduart made his first appearance on the jazz scene at a time when a certain form of fusion was in full swing. He indulged in the genre with his group Aftertouch and even released two albums.
But Paduart wanted more. A first step in this direction is his collaboration with Brazilian singer Marcia Maria.
Gradually he develops a penchant for more “classical” jazz focusing on swing, melody, harmony and rhythm, which earns him a spot in the group accompanying the great French star-singer Claude Nougaro.
From then onwards he gains international fame. As a consequence, he makes recordings with for instance Richard Galliano (with whom in the meantime he tours on a number of occasions), Tom Harrell, Bob Malach, Charlie Mariano and Philip Catherine.
And of course, he has been Toots Thielemans’ regular pianist for many years.

His favourite jazz formation, and it’s hardly new, is the trio.
Meanwhile, he has released some 28 CDs.
He is currently working on a new international project with none other than Manu Katché, Quentin Dujardin, Richard Bona and Bert Joris.


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

My favourite spot is the Archives of the City of Brussels located rue des Tanneurs/Huidevettersstraat. I am very much into genealogy and the reconstruction of a family tree. History was my favourite subject at school because it allowed me to build up concrete and practical links, like the ones with my own family history. When I am sifting through all these birth certificates, obituaries and marriage contracts from past centuries, I feel directly involved because the blood of all these people is also running through my veins. Above all, it teaches me to be patient. I am usually the type of person who wants things to happen quickly. This research however has the same effect on me as yoga.


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

It is a CD by Argentine composer and guitar player Juan Falù. It is not jazz, but rather a mix of folk and popular Argentine music where he attaches great importance to melody. For me, it remains a sacred leitmotiv in music. Remove melody and to my mind, music degenerates into something inferior. It may sound stupid and obvious at the same time but when you listen to everything that is being released these days, then you probably understand what I mean. Nowadays, they try to trap the audience with effects galore. I do not want to be impressed; music should first and foremost move me. These are two different things, which all too often get confused.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

Fred Hersch at BOZAR. He is a friend and a colleague but above all a consummate artist, the worthy successor of Bill Evans. His innate sense of melody is sensational and as I said before, melody is absolutely the most important aspect in music, as far as I am concerned. Rhythm patterns are okay but they should not be an end in itself. Rhythm should breathe life into the melody. Many composers and musicians sometimes forget it and get lost in purely rhythmic constructions. Fred Hersch is a great “melodist” and most importantly, a true master of counterpoint, as was Bill Evans. With both of them, there is a vertical and horizontal vision. In other words, they have both the ability to create links within chords. Their approach is never static. Another feature of their music is that it can be extremely soft or on the contrary, aggressive.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

“Happiness (or luck) is where opportunity meets preparation”. And I might also add: “There is nobody who was born under a bad star, only people who cannot read the sky”. That is to say that people find thousands of reasons to complain. For them, the glass is always half empty, never half full. You have to learn to live with your frustrations and with what you have got.