Tag Archives: Raphael Vanoli

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

Jorrit Dijkstra – Pillow Circles (CF 166)

Jorrit Dijkstra, um holandês emigrado nos EUA, já aqui tinha sido elogiado a propósito de Maatjes, editado sob o nome The Flatlands Collective. Dijkstra manteve alguns dos membros deste sexteto e juntou-lhe novos elementos, obtendo um octeto de luxo cujos nomes mais sonantes são Tony Malaby e Jeb Bishop.

Com gente deste gabarito e uma instrumentação original que, além de Dijkstra (sax alto, sintetizador e electrónica), Malaby (sax tenor e soprano) e Bishop (trombone), inclui uma viola de arco (um instrumento raro no jazz), duas guitarras eléctricas (uma delas alternando com banjo), contrabaixo e bateria, obtém-se uma paleta tímbrica que faz envergonhar muitas big bands. Sobretudo porque as composições e arranjos de Dijkstra sabem tirar o máximo deste ramalhete de instrumentos.

No jazz acontece que alguns discos apresentam line-ups respeitáveis mas depois acabam poor dar a impressão de se estar a ouvir sempre o mesmo tema. Pillow Circles tem nove temas apenas identificados por números, mas nenhum corre o risco de anonimato e em todos há marcas distintivas: exuberância de sopros sobre tapete rítmico ondulante (nº34), solo de viola a tocar as estrelas (nº65), clima elegíaco, onírico e planante que deixa subentender inquietações e dissonâncias subterrâneas (nº18). Por vezes, dentro do próprio tema há mais variedade que nalguns discos inteiros: na peça nº88, viaja-se, imperceptivelmente, da serenidade à apoplexia e depois regressa-se à serenidade, e a nº19 é um caleidoscópio que passa pelos mais diversos registos.

A fechar o CD, a peça nº23, é dedicada a Jonny Greenwood, guitarrista dos Radiohead, e é difícil não ver na proeminência dada às guitarras e ao ambiente épico e denso, um aceno à banda britânica.

All About Jazz Italy review by Luca Canini

Jorrit Dijkstra –   Pillow Circles (CF 166)
Rotterdam, Lisbona, New York, Chicago. Come nella settimana enigmistica, unite i puntini e comparirà la scritta Pillow Circles.

Il percorso immaginario lungo il quale si muove il disco inizia da Rotterdam, la città del North Sea Jazz Festival, che nel 2009 ha commissionato il qui presente lavoro al sassofonista Jorrit Dijkstra. Olandese lui, olandesi altri tre membri della band: il violista Oene Van Geel e i chitarristi Raphael Vanoli e Paul Pallesen. Seconda tappa Lisbona, dove ha sede la benemerita Clean Feed, la Black Saint del nuovo millennio, sempre pronta a captare i segnali di vita provenienti dal pianeta “jazz dei giorni nostri”. Una capatina a Brooklyn, New York, per raccattare Tony Malaby, e poi via verso Chicago, per affidare le chiavi del gruppo alla sezione ritmica composta da Jason Roebke e Frank Rosaly, e per imbarcare un autentico fuoriclasse come il trombonista Jeb Bishop.

Messo insieme un ottetto del genere, ci vuole una scaletta all’altezza della situazione. E le nove composizioni scelte per la track list finale, distinguibili soltanto dal numero di serie, lo sono, eccome. La firma è quella di Dijkstra, così come le dediche alla Vandermark che accompagnano ciascuno dei brani. La prima freccia va subito a bersaglio: “Pillow Circle 34,” non a caso dedicata a Henry Threadgill, coglie nel segno grazie a una progressione armonica che sembra presa da un disco dei Very Very Circus.

Più astratta e scomposta la successiva “Pillow Circle 41,” marchiata a fuoco dal banjo di Paul Pallesen. La dedica a Fred Frith dice tutto di “Pillow Circle 18,” mentre “Pillow Circle 55,” composta pensando a George Lewis, offre al trombone di Jeb Bishop una splendida ribalta. Il meglio arriva però in chiusura, con la romantica “Pillow Circle 23,” dedicata a Jonny Greenwood, chitarrista dei Radiohead, brano dagli equilibri timbrico-armonici praticamente perfetti, che sa tanto di dolce inquietudine.

Rotterdam, Lisbona, New York, Chicago. Il viaggio è lungo, ma ne vale la pena.

Paris Transatlantic review by Jason Bivins

Jorrit Dijkstra – Pillow Circles (CF 166)
Pillow Circles features nine compositions from the leader’s “Pillow Circle” series, vividly recorded in Amsterdam by a vibrant group of Chicagoans and Europeans, and one New Yorker: Dijkstra (alto sax, lyricon, analog synth, crackle box), Tony Malaby (tenor and soprano), trombonist Jeb Bishop, violist Oene Van Geel, guitarist Raphael Vanoli, Paul Pallesen (guitar, banjo), Jason Roebke (bass, crackle box), and Frank Rosaly (drums, percussion, crackle box). They have an absolutely fantastic group sound, riotous, joyful, and tight as hell. Resourceful and imaginative, they bring to life Dijkstra’s ambitious, complex charts with tons of character and energy. Something about the taut rhythms and urgent chord changes on the opening “Pillow Circle 34” recall Marty Ehrlich’s or Tom Varner’s writing: there are graceful unisons and counterpoint from the horns, some gruff funk (chank-chank guitars and all) and delicious breakdowns. It’s a rousing start, but from there the group moves onto the tiny squiggles and round-the-circle statements of “Pillow Circle 41,” which vividly recalls Braxton’s early Creative Orchestra pieces. One of the things I really love about Dijkstra’s approach to pieces like this is his ear for the deft arrangement or sub-grouping, musical details that completely enliven things: here, as the music verges on a groove, Bishop comes up with low weeping noises as Pallesen’s banjo fusses. Dijkstra gets deeper into the sound of the strings – both woody plucks and electric swells – on “Pillow Circle 18,” which after a fanfare comes to settle into a gently rippling country lament. “Pillow Circle 65” has a lovely circuitous theme for high horns and guitars, with a more chugging riff for lower register instruments wending its way underneath, all clearing the way for a really gorgeous Malaby solo. There’s an interesting dedication to Robert Ashley on “Pillow Circle 88,” which is filled with percolations, repetitions, and beeping or crashing guitars. “Pillow Circle 10” withdraws even more intensely into abstraction, with groans, creaks, and whooshes of air. As impressive as these pieces are, I found myself stirred by the gorgeous anthem “Pillow Circle 19” and “Pillow Circle 23,” a dedication to Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, which is shot through with deep Mingus sensibilities. Top shelf!

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Jorrit Dijkstra with Some Brilliant Ensemble Music

Jorrit Dijkstra – Pillow Circles (CF 166)
There’s a new spirit in the ensemble avant jazz being created lately in some circles. At least I think so. Jorrit Dijkstra is a part of it, at least in his recent Pillow Circles (Clean Feed). Jorrit has assembled a mid-sized, eight-member group, including two reeds (Jorrit and Tony Malaby), trombone (Jeb Bishop), viola, two guitars, one doubling on banjo, acoustic bass and drums (Frank Rosaly).

This is through-composed, through-freed in form. Ensemble composition, free collective soloing and individual moments alternate and are thoroughly integrated. Rhythmic freedom and rhythmic groove alternate, sometimes within a single movement. Multi-instrumental counterpoint often prevails in written and improvised parts, rather than homeophonic blocks that relate to basic song form.

This of course is not entirely unprecedented, but there seems to be a more of it than there used to be and when it’s very good, like on Pillow Circles, there is a consistency and unity of purpose that in part comes out of having hammered out a musical syntax that now seems fully mature.

Jorrit Djikstra’s compositional, directional ensemble leadership takes the front stage on this set. He has created an excellent vehicle for a talented and inspired group of musicians and the results are striking. Many stylistic elements combine in ways that do not seem patched together. Jorrit integrates the free, the electric, the advanced melodic approach and the textural colorfield perspective in a seamless whole. This is extraordinarily interesting music, played by some extraordinarily open and articulate musicians.

All About Jazz review by Troy Collins

Jorrit Dijkstra – Pillow Circles (CF 166)
An international summit meeting, Pillow Circles joins four American jazz musicians with four Dutch improvisers. Similar in feel to his Flatlands Collective, this effort finds Dutch expatriate and multi-instrumentalist Jorrit Dijkstra paying homage to a handful of artists who have inspired him, with each piece dedicated to an individual.

Bringing an empathetic familiarity to the octet are three members of the Chicago- based Flatlands Collective—the veteran rhythm section of bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Frank Rosaly, as well as trombonist Jeb Bishop, who are in turn joined by New York-based saxophonist Tony Malaby. The Dutch contingent includes violist Oene van Geel and guitarists Paul Pallesen and Raphael Vanoli. Together, the electro-acoustic unit explores Dijkstra’s wide-ranging suite with palpable enthusiasm, shifting from hypnotic minimalism and cinematic post-rock to aleatoric abstraction and pithy free jazz.

Originally commissioned for the 2009 North Sea Jazz Festival, the album-length suite reveals a multifaceted blend of dynamics and moods, inspired by past and present traditions. Pallesen’s folksy banjo lends a touch of surreal Americana to “Pillow Circle 41 (for Benoit Delbecq),” while Dijkstra’s analog synth conjures experimental futurism on “Pillow Circle 88 (for Robert Ashley).” The three horn front-line of Dijkstra, Malaby, and Bishop is formidable, ranging through intricate counterpoint, raucous collective blowing, and serene unison harmonies with ease, sometimes all in the same tune. The string section unveils a kaleidoscopic array of textures, from Geel’s sinewy double stops to the guitarists’ prismatic fretwork, which veers from impressionistic finger-picking on the lyrical “Pillow Circle 18 (for Fred Frith),” to the scorching feedback that concludes “Pillow Circle 88 (for Robert Ashley).” Roebke and Rosaly’s longstanding rapport carries them through endless shifts in tempo and rhythm, keeping the octet focused through a variety of approaches.

An expansive, episodic suite, Pillow Circles pays homage to everyone from AACM stalwarts Henry Threadgill and George Lewis to modernists like Fred Frith and Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead fame). Endlessly captivating, these splendidly executed multi-layered compositions reveal new facets with each listen, criss-crossing genres as easily as international boundary lines.

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

Jorrit Dijkstra – Pillow Circles (CF 166)
De homenajes en esencia sin perder la identidad. De clásicos del jazz, compositores contemporáneos, grupos de pop o músicos de vanguardia. Esos son algunos de los homenajeados por Jorrit Dijkstra con sus “Pillow Circle”. Compuestas por encargo del North Sea Jazz Festival y el Muziek Centrum Nederland, Pillow Circles se estrenó en la edición de 2009 del festival holandés. Su música se mueve por los terrenos de ese jazz contemporáneo que no echa demasiado la vista atrás, que se abre a inspiraciones ajenas al jazz, y en el que son tan importantes las composiciones (que se inspiran magníficamente en la obra de los homenajeados), como los solos. A lo largo del disco no sorprenden las participaciones de Tony Malaby o Jeb Bishop, que están en un momento magnífico. No se puede decir lo mismo (en cuanto a la falta de sorpresa, no de la calidad), de Oene van Geel con la viola. Un instrumento no demasiado habitual en el jazz, y que aporta una sonoridad magnífica.

Escuchando obras como ésta surgen varias preguntas. La primera de todas es por qué las creaciones por encargo de los festivales no son algo más frecuente en nuestro país. La segunda, por qué es tan difícil encontrar a músicos nacionales que se atrevan a realizar su trabajo partiendo de tradiciones como las que utiliza Jorrit Dijkstra. Y para finalizar, si sería posible que las discográficas nacionales hiciesen un hueco a propuestas como ésta o similares.