It started somewhere in 1991, in the cellar of ‘Heaven Hotel’, a former brothel in Antwerp. At that time Rudy Trouvé was living there together with Dirk Belmans(Bassie) and Jacki Billet. They used to be students together on the art academy, doing animation and painting. And now they jammed in the cellar a lot. People passed by and jammed along, and so Kiss My Jazz came to live. The name came from a painting from Jacki. The first gigs were purely improvisations, the very first gig was on the opening of a mutual exhibition of Jacki, Rudy and Bassie, in a bar next to the red-light district in Antwerp.
The main object of Kiss My Jazz was to make “jazz-crooners” in the style of Chet Baker and Nat King Cole. Soon the music became more experimental and rough with lots of improvisations, and influences from bands like Rip Rag & Panic, Marc Ribot, Louis Neefs, James White, Pavement and Chet Baker became more obvious.
The charm about KMJ in those days was that the musicians were a mix of good and bad musician. This resulted in distorted jazz, or punk-songs with a jazz feel. They copied the behavior of the jazz musicians, doing many impro’s on stage, drink wine and smoke cigarettes in between songs, and discuss which song to play next.
Two demo’s were made: “Sammy’s bad day” and “In coffee and telephone calls”. After experimenting with transvestite outfits, film projects and kitsch KMJ adapted a more sober approach, in which the music was placed on the foreground again.
In January 1995 several songs were recorded, mixed in July, and released in 1996. The first Heaven Hotel presents was born with Doc’s place, friday evening, which was released with New York’s “Knitting factory works”.(who still owe them money) All songs are about girls, life and fear.
Sort of a core of musicians were formed which were crucial for the development and live-perfomings of the band, with many guests showing up when available. The first gigs were done, and demo made by Rudy Trouvé (voice and guitar), Jacki Billet (Bass), Aarich Jepers (drums), Heyme Langbroek (trumpet), Elko Blijweert (guitar) and Stef Kamil Carlens (keyboard, percsussion, voice).. Many guests were involved in the making of the CD’s and appeared regularly on stage at live-gigs, among who David Robertson (voice), Mark Meyers (voice & guitar), Mauro Pawlowski, Buni & Lenski, Dirk D’Hooghe, Sheneik, Matthias Broeckaerts and more. On their legendary gig in the ballroom of the vooruit in Gent also Mark Ribot played along.
By the end of 1999 KMJ ceased to exist. A last album was made, In a service station, and a cover of Slades’ “C’mon feel the noise” appeared on a collective CD dedicated to the glam-rock era. In January 2000 a last tour followed. An appointment was made to have a reünion 20 years from then.