The group emerged during the Brussels Jazz Marathon as a 'carte blanche' given to Louis Favre (Egon, Selah Sue) in May 2010 . This was the perfect reason to invite Alfred Vilayleck (KOA collective, Serge Lazarevitch 5tet, Melquiades 4tet + Julien Lourau) from Montpellier, France and Belgian acclaimed saxophone player Jeroen Van Herzeele (Mik Mâäk, Jeroen Van Herzeele Quartet, Greetings from Mercury). They felt immediately at ease and the chemistry was so intense that Gratitude Trio was born. Why the name Gratitude? Because the musicians are grateful for the music of the great masters, but also their families, friends and the incredible beauty that nature brings.
Gratitude's first release in 2012 consisted of compositions by Jeroen Van Herzeele, Louis Favre and Alfred Vilayleck and free improvisations. Meanwhile, this dedicated group played many concerts in venues large and small, at home and abroad, and worked on a new material, always evolving, self-searching, while the band kept on maturing through their concerts. Moreover Gratitude Trio was chosen to honor Toots Thielemans together with Aka Moon and Bert Joris at the famous Porgy And Bess Jazz Club of Vienna.
Their second album 'Alive' is a live recording of new songs which alternate between different dynamics and moods; sometimes rather loud, energetic with strong grooves and polyrhythms, other time more fragile and lyrical, like a ballad or charged full of feelings and emotions. As a power trio the music, often by the hand of Jeroen Van Herzeele brings an energy of letting go, not very conceptual or rigid with a hint of Led Zeppelin throughout. And of course the spirit of Coltrane is never far away.
The trio loves to sieze the moment, with their unique interpretation of emotions and feelings. They seek freedom, genuinily and authenticily, to share the joy with the audience.
For me this band represents one form of playing together, interacting, understanding each other in a such beautiful and specific way that music doesn't need to be explained ; we just share it for a given time between three great personalities and with the audience, which is for me the meaning of improvisation.