Nice to Have Met You - 1977
The album cover featured a pastiche based on the work of Belgian artist Magritte which was organised by Paula Scheer and painted by Richard Hess.
Thijs also shortened his name to Tys to make it more "friendly" to US-based audiences, and the album also featured Eef Albers (ex-Focus) on guitars and Hans Cleuver (ex-Focus) who was Thijs van Leerís manager at the time. Other top notch musicians included guitarists Eric Gale and Steve Khan, Randy and Michael Brecker, Tom Scott, and Gene Orloff (who had worked with Jan Akkerman on his Tabernacle album in 1974).
Tys van Leer is a household word throughout his native Holland and other parts of Europe. His classical roots as a flautist and composer, showcased in the CBS albums "Introspection 1, 2 and 3", have earned him superstar status abroad. From these classical seeds, carefully cultivated since childhood, Tys branches out into other musical genres.
The rest of the world sampled Tysí artistry when he toured with his trend setting band Focus in the early 1970s. Their single, "Hocus Pocus", was an international success, memorable not only for its musical composition but for one of Tysí additional talents - yodelling. Turning to yet another musical form, he captivated the audience at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival. While the flute remains Tysí featured instrument, he is also accomplished on the piano, organ, oberheim, harmonium and mellotron.
Everywhere Tys travels, people accept his music with admiration and appreciation. When Tys arrived in the United States in November 1977, to make plans for his album, he was overwhelmed by the sincerity and friendliness of those he encountered. And, at the end of every conversation, a phrase which struck him as being typically American, recurred, "nice to have met you"
The sessions began on a high note. Two of his new friends, Ralph MacDonald and Tom Scott, collaborated their production talents with the brilliance of Tysí music. The joy and intensity that characterised Tysí meetings with artists heís long admired evident in the music that resulted. And, at the end of each session, many musicians would approach Tys with compliments to his music and the ever-familiar phrase, "..nice to have met you".
With this album, the world will be able to savour the genius of this multi-talented Dutch musician.
It is, indeed, nice to have met you, Tys van Leer.
Written by B. Lynn Micale - Images sent by Tim.