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På skive


«These Things Happen»

These Things Happen documents the long-running quartet between Amsterdam-based pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland and Chicago-based sax player Keefe Jackson, double bass player Joshua Abrams and drummer Mikel Patrick Avery (Abrams and Avery are the rhythm section of Abram’s Natural Information Society). The album was recorded at the Bimhuis club in Amsterdam on April 2016, and it is, unfortunately, the only album of this fine band, and a very short one.

The quartet was formed with the intent to bridge the rich legacies of the improvised music scenes in Amsterdam and Chicago and successfully blend Chicagoan jazz with the Dutch tendency for game and play. You can hear the echoes and the seminal influence and affection for the work of the Instant Composers Pool and Misha Mengelberg, with its Thelonious Monk-inspired musical languages and conceptions of their own, and joyful and uplifting approach to the music at al.

The cover photo by Arie Kievit, with a train, stuck in nowhere, a jungle and a whale’s tail rising from the ground, informs the spirit of These Things Happen. It’s hard to believe that what we see is real, but this quartet assures you: These Things Happen. Likewise, the music is well-versed with classic Jazz thematics and features concise covers of iconic pieces by Monk and less so by Dewey Redman and Herbie Nichols plus two originals by Hoogland, but its swinging spirit feels free, often risk-taking and full of surprises. The deconstruction of Monk’s iconic «Bemsha Swing», in which the improvisation actually happens during the head of the piece rather than in solos, captures best this quartet’s clever and bold aesthetics.

Eyal Hareuveni

Keefe Jackson (ts, sopranino s), Oscar Jan Hoogland (p), Joshua Abrams (b), Mikel Patrick Avery (dr)

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