How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With Express Yourself, pianist Erik Van Der Luijt has released an independent, self-produced piano trio album. And it's a very good one, rich with interplay and swing. These musicians are as good as anybody out there, and they're Dutch.
Van Der Luijt reflects a bit of a Keith Jarrett influence, particularly when he reaches for some wide gospel chord voicings. Essentially, however, he's his own man, with a muscular, surging swing and a powerful left hand. Sometimes he'll improvise a single-note line with his left hand while he comps with his right, creating a startling but pleasing effect. Van Der Luijt doesn't quite sound like anyone else out there, which is certainly an asset. He's also an engaging, witty composer. All the tunes here are his, including an odd time signature excursion and a hip blues.
Throughout Express Yourself, the musicians offer exemplary support. Because the trio members listen so closely, even Van Der Luijt's most daring flights sound like logical extensions of his lines. This isn't just a star soloist with solid accompaniment, it's a band, a fully engaged band. Hear how hard they swing, for example, during the aptly-named "Keep On Walking." If you're into piano trios, you'll want to check this one out.
This recording is available from CD Baby on the web.
Track Listing: Corleone, Keep On Walking, Havana Blue, Minor Changes, Mucho Macho, Nostalgia, Me And My Guitar, Theo & Ellen, Land Of The Triplets, Skyscape, No Guts No Glory.
Personnel: Erik Van Der Luijt, grand piano; Branko Teuwen, bass; Victor De Boo, drums.