Tag Archives: Wilbert de Joode

Jazzreview review by Glenn Astarita

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song For Tracy – Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
Cornetist Eric Boeren leads his Dutch quartet with a crisp, compact and expressive sound through a program that toggles between inventive bop, free-bop and avant expressionism on this live date recorded in 2004. With legendary British drummer Paul Lovens garnering the most out of his sparse kit and generating a sparky underpinning, the program is underscored by contrasting tones and a vibrant stance.  Lovens and superfine bassist Wilbert de Joode literally have the beat on dynamics throughout the oscillating ebbs and flows.

Boeren steers an exploration mission, yet the differentiator is that the musicians align and take full control along the way with a stylistic flair that yields the winning formula.  The quartet works through unorthodox time signatures and elicits imagery of a bustling metropolis on Coleman’s “Moon Inhabitants.”  And Moore tempers the flow via his buttery sax parts.  Yet on other pieces such as Boeren’s spicy bop gala “Fuzzaphony,” the musicians render a jubilant mid-tempo groove, tinged with a touch of Coleman’s harmolodic sensibilities. Therefore, Boeren leads a world-class ensemble as the end results prove to be quite rewarding.

Jazzword review by Ken Waxman

Eric Boeren Quartet – Song for Tracy the Turtle – Live in Brugge 2004 (CF 186)Translating a profound appreciation for alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s 1960s quartet music into something more, Dutch cornetist Eric Boeren expands the structures so the performances reflect the Zunder Zee as much as the Texas Panhandle. Playing both his own tunes and Coleman’s, the brass man also calls on his sidemen’s skills to create more than a Coleman ghost band.

In actuality, since Michael Moore’s clarinet playing seems more personal than his alto saxophone solos, blending the straight horn with Boeren’s cornet produces a sound closer to that of two other Texans – reedist John Carter and cornetist Bobby Bradford – then that of the legendary Coleman Four.

Of course Carter was a long-time friend of Coleman’s and Bradford was part of the alto saxophonist’s band in the early 1970s. Furthermore, over the years, Coleman has adapted his quirky compositions to varied situations, and Ulicoten-born Boeren follows this lead. Each quartet members is sympathetically cooperative as well as suffiently virtuosic. Bassist Wilbert de Joode, for instance, has worked with players as different as pianist Michel Braam and saxophonist Frank Gratkowski. Californian-turned Amsterdamer Moore leads Available Jelly and is in the ICP Orchestra. Boeren gigs with Jelly and Braam’s large groups among many others; and drummer Paul Lovens – pinch-hitting for Han Bennink – has been a Free Music activist since the 1970s playing with everyone from bassist Joëlle Léandre to saxophonist Evan Parker.

Prime example of this skill-blending occurs on the final “Squirrel Feet/The Legend of Bebop” which blends a Coleman and a Boeren tune. Balanced on de Joode’s methodically bowed then plucked strings, the vamping horns recall Bop as much as the New Thing. Following an interlude with Moore expanding the jerky theme with air rasps, the transition section is subtly harmonized. Fluttering contralto saxophone and plunger brass triplets are backed by rattles, pops and jumps from Lovens, plus snaps and dips from the bassist. Finally the child-like Coleman line is smeared away with closely-paced snaps and dips from de Joode and an off-kilter call-and-response horn part.

Instructively enough, the most Coleman-like piece is “Free”, which is ostensibly a free improv but replicates the 1961 Coleman Quartet sound to a T. Boeren plays what could a bugle call charge; Moore offers up multiphonic flutter-tonguing; de Joode picks and plucks and Lovens smacks, ruffs and flams. The tune directly follows Boeren’s own “Charmes” which also has Calvary charge brass inferences as well as tongue-fluttering. Any turns towards legato are nipped later as Moore squeaks stridently and extends slurs while the cornetist bubbles and blasts.

This lyrical vs. atonal tension is maintained throughout the CD. Even the title tune meanders from an uncomplicated muted intermezzo with melodic cornet lines and Moore sounding as if he’s playing a variant on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” to tauter passages. Here the diminishing wispy timbres from Boeren and Moore’s tremolo wiggles are kept afloat by Lovens’ rolls and de Joode’s walking to link with the backbeat-driven tune, “A Fuzzphony”.

Overall the quartet members pull off the difficult task of honoring a revered elder’s music without losing track of their own identities that have been assiduously honed over the years.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song for Tracy the Turtle, Live In Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
Eric Boeren plays a nice cornet. He is in the free zone but looks backward to bop and what came after as much as he looks ahead. His compadres for Song for Tracy the Turtle (Clean Feed 186) are well chosen and certainly well-known in free improv circles. There’s Michael Moore on alto and clarinet, Wilbert de Joode on contrabass, and Paul Lovens on drums. The date was well-recorded, live at Jazz Brugge 2004.

They have an early-Ornette Coleman quartet sound about them, tempered by where they have been and what they are as players. And they do three of Ornette’s numbers, as well as one by Eubie Blake. The rest are Eric’s pleasing originals. It’s delightful music. Now it may not set the world on fire, but it shows all concerned in a good place, playing well. It is good to hear this group! Check them out.

Chicago Reader review by Peter Margasak

Eric Boeren Quartet – Song for tracy the Turtle Live in Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
The music of Ornette Coleman occupies a special place in the imagination of Eric Boeren. The dynamic Dutch cornetist writes original tunes that share the puckish melodic sensibility and uncontained joy of Coleman’s music, and he often covers Coleman outright—there are two of the master’s songs, for instance, on the excellent new Song for Tracy the Turtle—Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (Clean Feed). But Boeren is no mere copycat or tribute artist. A key fixture on the Amsterdam scene, he brings elements of Coleman’s aesthetic to the loosey-goosey, quick-change approach pioneered by Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in the ICP Orchestra. His terrific quartet, which released its first album in ’97, uses set lists that are really more like clusters of tunes—the musicians decide which number to play when (and at what point to jump to the next one) on the fly. Boeren has a seemingly telepathic connection with his brilliant front-line partner, reedist Michael Moore, and the rhythm section—muscular bassist Wilbert de Joode and, on Song for Tracy the Turtle, German free-jazz drummer Paul Lovens—goes from cushioning the horns with a spry bounce to blowing open the sonic space with an eruption of clatter. (Lovens, who in the early 70s helped define the noisy, gestural, unmetered style that’s now common in free improvisation, proves here that the roots of his radical technique lie in his understanding of the ebb and flow of swing.) The horn players tangle and untangle, sometimes sliding into new song by teasing bits of its melody out of the sweet-and-sour harmonies and jagged counterpoint of their ongoing improvisation. Other times the transitions are sudden—the segue from the title track into “A Fuzzphony” is a single graceful leap—but their logic feels totally natural even when it’s impossible to see them coming. For these rare Chicago shows the quartet will play not with Lovens but with its regular drummer, the inimitable Han Bennink. See also Sunday at Hungry Brain.

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song For Tracy The Turtle (CF 186)
Mark and his large dog Louie endeavor daily to find and listen to new and interesting sounds.

When Eric Boeren’s 4tet isn’t playing the music of Ornette Coleman, they are playing the music of Ornette Coleman. That is to say, with a Dutch swing.

The leader and cornetist began playing covers in the early 1990s, releasing several quartet recordings of Coleman’s music with Cross Breeding (BVHaast, 1997), Joy Of A Toy (BVHaast, 2001), and Soft Nose (BVHaast, 2001).

And while this album Song For Tracey The Turtle only refers to two Coleman tracks directly, the influence is quite palpable. Without direct allusion to the original Coleman quartet or the later Old And New Dreams band of Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Ed Blackwell, and Charlie Haden, Boeren along with saxophonist Michael Moore, bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Paul Lovens present music that Ornette Coleman circa 1960 would easily recognize and the 2010 Ornette might love.

This disc was taken from a 2004 concert broadcast by Belgian radio and not heard by Boeren until 2008. His quartet is in fine form, frolickingly playing with extended technique to broaden the seemingly simple music Boeren wrote with Coleman in mind.

The music is arranged to allow each player plenty of space. Michael Moore and Wilbert de Joode are featured on “Charmes,” speaking hushed lines to each other. It’s almost as if they’re aside, especially when Boeren takes off with some licks and Lovens whips up the energy. The 4tet seems to have a sense of how to shred a composition, only to reassemble it without a mark. Even their “Free” piece maintains the quartet’s logic. The gentle “Memo” at barely over a minute segues into Eubie Blake’s “Memories Of You,” played straight by Moore’s clarinet and Boeren’s muted cornet with all the sentiment and attitude the song deserves.

The disc ends with the 10-minute “Squirrel Feet/The Legend Of Bebop,” a part Coleman/part Boeren creation which pulls music from Coleman’s The Art of the Improvisers (Atlantic, 1961) recording, but builds upon a 21st century band concept with 20 years of experience. The quartet is unflappable, assembling the melody before breaking it into several pieces to be reconfigured into a blues swing. Smile, Ornette, smile.