August 15, 2008

It was great touring with you, and I hope to have another opportunity to tour with you again soon.

Marilyn Saidman
Manager Paul Anka

February 5, 2008

VAN: Sascha van Esdonk Theaterprodukties [Dutch]

March 23, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been my genuine pleasure to know Mr. René Laanen for about fifteen years. I do not exaggerate when I say that I have found him to be a rarity in the music business, as well as in the rest of the professional world. His honesty, generosity, and integrity, as well as his dependability, common sense and intelligence are unmatched by anyone I have been associated with in my professional life. He has impeccable manners and taste, and all of the foregoing qualities are reflected in his immaculate playing, regardless of the type of music he encounters, and in his personality, which is always an asset to any organization, large or small.

Although I am now retired, my experience in positions of authority, both in the music business and later, in Las Vegas casinos, has made me acutely aware of just how valuable a person René Laanen would be to any prospective employer. He is also multi-lingual, which adds to his adaptability to unique situations, and is easily able to fit in to any organization, musical or otherwise.

Mr. Laanen also has extensive computer skills, as demonstrated in his operation of a comprehensive array of musically informative web sites that are highly superior to what one generally encounters on the Internet. Anyone looking for a versatile employee with superb qualifications has found the right person in Mr. René Laanen.

If I can be of any further assistance, please contact me.


Cliff Stark

Former Lead Trombonist Orchestra Frank Sinatra, Las Vegas
6112 Cromwell Circle
Las Vegas, Nevada 89107-2513
(702) 878-6065

February 7, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

I have known René Laanen for about 15 years.

In this time he has shown me through constantly working in his profession, and performing with me, that he has a beautifully big dark and centered sound, and fine sense of rhythm.

He is a marvelous colleague to have around, and is a totally a positive force. He started his international reputation with performing and contracting musicians for Shirley Bassey, Madeline Bell, and Rita Coolidge.

His international reputation has continued through associations with trombonists around the world.

If you need any other information about René, please contact me:


David Taylor

212 595 9204

February 8, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been my privilege to know René Laanen for thirteen years.

René is a consummate professional musician, embodying an excellent work ethic as well as a great sense of humor and patience. He has demonstrated incredible energy towards the fine art of trombone musicianship. He has been selfless and proactive in promoting the careers of others around him as well, and he is very well known, and highly respected amongst a worldwide fraternity of trombonists.

Recently, I had the good fortune of sitting alongside René during a rehearsal I attended with a big band. I was thoroughly impressed listening to his accuracy of pitch, and the beautiful tonal quality of his playing.
He certainly can give the "big sound" when it calls for it, and the elegance of simple, pure tone when required.

René brings to the music not only his personal musical excellence, but he is always "on time, ready to play" before anyone else, demonstrating a quiet, quality leadership.

From this trombonist, I can only think of one word to describe René Laanen; "AWESOME".

If you have any questions, please feel encouraged to call or write to me at any time.


Gary Platt

Founder & Former President
Ex'pression College for Digital Arts
Emeryville, California (San Francisco)

Gary is an audio expert who has engineered recordings by Bon Jovi, Cheap Trick, The Ohio Players, Bootsy Collins, New Edition, and Prince, in addition to doing mixing and mastering for CBS Television at his own enterprise, Happy Note Studio in Berkeley, California. Gary is also the Vice President of Full Sail University.

February 11, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

René Laanen is a trombonist of the highest international standard.

I have known him for many years and first met him (1980) in South Africa where in my capacity as musical director, I was lucky to be able to book him for my recordings with The South African Broadcasting Corporation and live performances at the Pretoria State Theater.

His intonation and technique are impeccable, his sound warm and supportive as is his personality and attitude towards his work. Rene` was always an absolutely vital player to my orchestras due to his exceptional talent and command of his instrument and also his concentration, thorough professionalism and dedication to the job in hand.

If you need any other information about René, please contact me:


Howard Wilkinson (AKA Howard Morgan)
22 Beaulieu Close
Watford WD19 4BJ
United Kingdom
01923 218 607

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"...Very nice !!"
I enjoyed it very much.
Bart Van Lier sounds GREAT and the Highlight Jazz Orchestra is really playing well.

Ed Neumeister

(Trombonist & Leader The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra)

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"This has to rank with my all time favorite recordings."

Using superlatives too freely sometimes leaves you nowhere to go when the exceptional happens. Well, I am in trouble!
As a collector I go to some length to acquire new recordings.

Well I found the HJO, I paid my money and waited, expecting something that was O.K., play it once and file it!
That is not how it happened. I lost a morning's work, I took half an hour off a car journey, playing the CD put 10 miles an hour on my top speed.

The music is taken from a well recorded radio broadcast, it is live. There are sudden cutoffs at the ends of some tracks, they don't intrude on the music, remember this is a demo' CD! Bob Florence once told me that there must be joy in the music.

This CD overdoses on joy, on talent on excitement. The arrangement selection is wonderful.

The staff arranger is Rob Pronk for heaven's sake. Peter Herbolzheimer chips in with SILHOUETTE and a version of CHEROKEE that should have a government health warning. The soloists are breath-taking. I should have been there.
This has to rank with my all time favorite recordings. I know I will play it again and again."

John Killoch, United Kingdom

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"...The CD sounds fantastic !!"

I have already passed it around to several people.
Bart sounds incredible. The charts are great. I loved Cherokee!

High Light Jazz Orchestra
Alan Kaplan

(Trombonist, Los Angeles)

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"Your CD is WONDERFUL !!"

I can't thank you enough René !!

Your bass trombone playing sounds great. Love your sound at the end of "Spring is a Little Late" (Actually, the more I am able to hear a bass trombone in a song, the more I like the song. You can never have enough of that low sound!)
And Bart's not too shabby a player either. The band sounds very tight and I think your song selections and arrangements are excellent. You were right, this does not sound like a demo CD!! Please keep me informed of any future work of you and your band.

Again, thanks so much. Take care and best wishes!

Mike Schmidt

(Trombonist, Trombone Choir - Atlanta, Georgia)

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"Very excellent CD - I'm very impressed !!"

The ensemble parts are crisp, clear and perfectly in tune. You guys must rehearse and perform a great deal.

The jazz playing by Bart van Lier is superb!
His originality, technique, ideas and command of the trombone are very refreshing in this age of so many pretenders
especially here in The States.
All of the jazz is wonderful as is the orchestra all together.
It doesn't sound like a demo at all. If it were for sale here, I would buy it just as is.
The CD will be #1 in my CD holder where everyone can see it and ask about it. I will always treasure it.

Congratulations René to you, and all of the members of the Highlight Jazz Orchestra for a very musical and interesting CD.

Cliff Stark

(former lead trombonist, Las Vegas, USA)

High Light Jazz Orchestra

The Highlight Jazz Orchestra CD with Bart Van Lier (tb) and Leo Janssen (sax)

"This Demo CD is a real BLAST"

Great arrangements ! Outstanding ensemble sync ! Brilliant feature Trombone solos !

In the last few days I have listened to this great CD. Very innovative arrangements.
Inspired Big Band performances, with excellent Big Band "sync".

The Featured trombone soloist Bart van Lier performs with sure- footed authority.
Very impressive! Chops galore. The High "G" at the end of cut #3 screams, and blew my mind.

Congratulations to you René, you should be proud of this very successful project.

Many thanks for sharing this experience with me.

J.J. Johnson

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