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«When Night Falls»

The new album of Dutch trumpeter Angelo Verploegen is an intimate and chamber ode to the night in all its forms; from dusk until dawn, as told by iconic jazz standards. This album also reunites Verploegen with old comrades, guitarist Ed Verhoeff and double bass player Eric van der Westen (aka The Amsterdam Jazz Trio), who share a history of more than twenty years of playing together. The first album of this trio also addressed the night, «The Night and The Daydreamer» (A-Records, 2003) and since then the night became a recurring theme in their repertoire, as night was always the domain of the jazz musicians. But now this trio is equipped with more experience and deep attention, all leading to a twilight conversation between three old friends, talking deep into the night.

This trio renewed its collaboration during the Covid-19 pandemic and recorded «When Night Falls» at Studio150 Bethlehemkerk, a former Lutheran Church in Amsterdam, on May 2021, when the trio played live in the same room, sitting close to each other like in a jam session before an audience. Verploegen selected eleven vocal jazz standards, where melody and lyrics were conceived at the same time, guiding and informing each other. These lyrics affected his phrasing, and Verploegen believes that «it is not in new compositions but within the boundaries of the known, in your own variations and improvisations on familiar themes, that you can show your own identity to the fullest».

All standards tell distinct stories about different stages of the night, and the intimate setting encouraged subtle, conversational dynamics, or as Verploegen says: «The smaller the line-up, the stronger the dialogue». The trio begins its nocturnal program by asking the listeners to «Close Your Eyes» and join the trio’s adventures with «Dancing In The Dark» and «Makin Whoopee». The trio solidifies its elegant, reserved and poetic interplay with more lyrical standards like «It’s a Pity to Say Goodnight», «Stardust», «Stella by Starlight» and «Moon River». Symbolically, the album ends with the dawn and the beautiful cover of «Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise».

Eyal Hareuveni

Angelo Verploegen (tp, flh), Ed Verhoeff (g), Eric van der Westen (b)

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