During the season 1999-2000 and besides his famous ACT BIG BAND (a unique big band in Belgian history that set on fire the Belgian and European stages for two decades), drummer Félix SIMTAINE launched, with the help of his accomplice, pianist and composer/arranger Michel HERR, a new tentet, with the accent on an immediate listening pleasure, a ludic approach and an incredible team of superb soloists.
The name of the band, TEN-TAMARRE, inspired by the French word "tintamarre" (which stands for din or racket !), garantees some extraverted and swinging moments. Some pieces by Charlie MINGUS, some by Duke ELLINGTON, Gerry MULLIGAN, Horace SILVER or Dizzy GILLESPIE, some originals, arranged by Michel HERR, Phil ABRAHAM, Christoph ERBSTÖSSER, François DECAMPS, Paolo RADONI, Peter HERTMANS, etc...
In 2000, the new band appeared at the Liège Festival and at the Gaume Festival (B), with Gustavo BERGALLI (the Argentinian trumpet player) as a special guest. After a first season with violonist Jean-Pierre CATOUL, who died in a tragic car accident in January 2001, Félix SIMTAINE has invited Ben SLUIJS (alto sax) to join the band.
In November 2001, the new band was unanimously acclaimed and made an impressive impact on the public during the JazzLab tour, which brought the tentet to major cities of the Flemish part of Belgium.
The band has been recorded live by RTBF and VRT radios.
Driven at full swing by Félix Simtaine, this tentet plays some swinging jazz with talented soloists such as a.o. Michel Herr, Phil Abraham, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Fabrice Alleman and Jean-Pierre Catoul.(Le Soir, Aug. 2000)
At full power, Félix Simtaine's Ten-Tamarre ... raises swing to the highest level. (Dominique Simonet, La Libre Belgique, Aug. 2000)
Another exciting performance was the concert of Ten-Tamarre, led by drummer Félix Simtaine. Swing and a lot of energy for a jazz that doesn't search for an intellectual approach. Ellington, Mingus and others are revisited with beautiful arrangements, with generous soloists, a.o the spectacular Argentinian trumpet player Gustavo Bergalli.(André Joassin, Le Soir, Aug. 2000)
"Fables of Faubus " by Charlie Mingus was a great moment.(Jean-Luc Gillet, La Meuse, Aug. 2000)
This tentet evolves in a warm jazz, vigourous and full of swing which is the signature of drummer & leader Félix Simtaine (Le Soir, Nov. 2001)
... the combo led by Félix Simtaine was a sensation. "The approach of a band like Ten-Tamarre is nothing but intellectual", comments pianist Michel Herr. "There are moments where you just have to let go", adds tenor saxophonist Fabrice Alleman, after a magnificent concert given by the dynamic Bruges jazz club De Werf. A "tentet" of which the ten members are expressing their personnalities. Like the Act Big Band, Ten-Tamarre is based upon the association Félix Simtaine-Michel Herr, the latter acting as a musical director, arranger, composer. The duo, completed with bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, provides an impressive rhythmic support.
High level horn players...
"Fables of Faubus" offers pretexts for happy collective and individual delirium.
Everything makes sense here, and although the band borrows from the treasures of the past, Ten-Tamarre presents very contemporary arrangements, with ambitious superpositions and multiple rhythmic facets.
And finally one has to add the eleventh element of the band : humor. As pro as they all are, the musicians never don't take themselves too seriously. Added to the rest, this makes Ten-Tamarre one of the most interesting bands of the moment. (Dominique Simonet, La Libre Belgique, Nov. 2001)
Emmené plein swing par Félix Simtaine, ce tentet joue du jazz qui déménage avec quelques solistes de talent comme Michel Herr, Phil Abraham, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Fabrice Alleman et Jean-Pierre Catoul.(Le Soir, 08/2000)