A thrilling afternoon and evening of incredible sounds, graced a room tucked away in Newcastle’s Lit & Phil. In partnership with Dutch Performing Arts and the Jazz Promotion Network, Jazz North East sourced an array of musicians, who came together to celebrate the novel character of the Dutch experimental jazz scene.
The sessions were dispersed throughout the day, and each began with musical collaborations created especially for the event, before evolving into established groups that play together regularly. The experimental nature of the sound is as intentional an art as there could ever be; in fact, it almost exceeds the limits of comprehension. Incredible formal training fused with innovative distinctive techniques and improvisation; changing bow pressure and fluted notes versus striking created by Wilbert de Joode on the double bass, and Onno Govaert’s tapping of crossed drumsticks rhythmically breaking up an engagement with the kit, Jasper Stadhouders’ use of bottleneck and spoon; that form some of the many unusual instrumental displays.
The Ab Baars Trio exuded effortless unity, where improvisation from Baars, Wilbert de Joode and Martin van Duynhoven seamlessly blended into the overall structure without skipping a beat, where the points of departure and disjuncture were terrifyingly coordinated. Then there was the wondrous Kaja Draksler, creating a hypnotic display as the inside of the piano was played in conjunction with the piano keys. Onno Govaert extended the use of the body as the drum kit became an extension of limbs. Then came the classical/jazz blend on the viola from Ig Henneman, that also became the Baars-Henneman Duo, where Ab Baars interweaved the saxophone and clarinet. Similarly, Newcastle’s own, Faye MacCalman, demonstrated what incredible collaborations are possible within the genre in such short spaces of time, as she played clarinet and saxophone alongside Olie Brice and Wilbert de Joode, and later contrasting with Ig Henneman and Reinier Baas. The transcendence of guitarist Reiner Baas, particularly in his solo piece, created a distinctive style all of his own. Captivating too was the shock and humour of Cactus Truck, as Jasper Stadhouders demonstrated complete immersion in the pursuit of sound, and where John Dikeman on saxophone created incredible jazz runs, that played off Govaert’s rhythms. These were all pairings and partnerships, brought together (featuring celebrated musicians) to create a truly unique experience.