Rob Madna was a great Dutch jazz pianist

Rob Madna was a great Dutch jazz pianist

Rob Madna (June 8, 1931 – April 5, 2003) was a great Dutch jazz pianist, composer and arranger. It was my very good friend Jan Dahlstedt who opened my ears to the world of Rob Madnas music.


The first record I listened to was “Broadcast Business 76” with The Rob Madna Trio featuring Ferdinand Povel on tenor saxophone (live at Nick Vollebregt’s Café), highly recommended! The music is very fresh and Ferdinand Povel (born 1947) is a fantastic improviser and musician with a wonderful tone. He is still active today and is a hidden master to many people. Hopefully, some of you will talk about him, and let other know how good he is, after listening to my presented examples on this page.


The text below with the background about Rob Madna, is from a special website dedicated to Rob Madna (thank you Wim for great work!).

“Rob Madna was born in The Hague, the Netherlands. Madna was a complete autodidact, who learned to play by listening to whatever records happened to be around the house: music of Teddy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, or a recording of George Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess.’ Together with neighborhood friends Ack en Jerry van Rooijen, Rob listened as much as he could to jazz and dance orchestras during the Second World War. After the war he heard the latest music from America, including bebop, which was to have a deep impact on his further musical growth. Madna progressed quickly, and from the age of sixteen he regularly played in public, at times substituting for local professionals, such as Rob Pronk. Apart from submerging himself in music, Madna developed a fascination for mathematics, and he decided to pursue a career as a mathematician rather than a musician. Rob always shunned the spotlights and a life on the road didn’t appeal to him. With what he considered his Asian relativism, he did not seek public recognition and much of his musical life would take place in relative invisibility. Nevertheless, Madna did perform with many jazz outfits, and subbed in many orchestras. He was deeply respected by his fellow musicians and those listeners who knew him. In 1985 Rob Madna became involved in music full time, accepting to teach jazz piano at the Hilversum Conservatory. Yet he is regarded as one of the greatest Dutch jazz pianists, who unfortunately showed little interest in recording. The few records he made are very high rated in the jazz world. During the 2003 North Sea Jazz Festival Rob Madna posthumously received the prestigious Bird Award for his Complete Works.”


There are several albums I recommend you to buy  (iTunes, etc.) and some personal suggestions are;

  • “Broadcast Business 76”
  • Rob Madna (solo piano) “Jazz at the Pinehill”
  • “Dutch Jazz Orchestra plays the music of Rob Madna”. This 5-CD set contains 3 new CD recordings and the Rob Madna Trio Update 2-CD 1996 release. This is a must-buy CD box! Disc 5 is in fact the ‘Update: the Rob Madna Trio’ release and is one of the finest jazz releases ever!


Here are some nice videos to enjoy!


Rob Madna piano solo (1962)


Rob Madna with Frans de Kok Orchestra and Joy Marshall on vocals performing “Yesterdays” and “It´s all right with me” (1965)


Rob Madna and Ferdinand Povel with Dutch Jazz Orchestra performing “Spring is here” (1988)


Piet Noordijk (1932 – 2011) (ts), Rob Madna (p), Harry Emmery (b) and Eric Ineke (ds) performing “Loverman”, live from the Bimhuis Amsterdam (1988)


Rob Madna footage


A very nice version of the classic tune “Laura” performed by Ferdinand Povel in a concert with the Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra and John Marshall in Cinemec, Ede,  (2008)


And finally Ruud Jacobs Quintet, feat. Ferdinand Povel performing “Bernie’s Tune” (2011)

Musicians are; Martijn van Iterson (g), Ferdinand Povel (ts), Peter Beets (p), Ruud Jacobs (b), Gijs Dijkhuizen (dr)




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