Driving with plenty of contemporary excitement all around her, Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma provides the kind of tension and release that makes modern jazz swing. Not quite thirty, but experienced through rigorous educational programs in both the United States and Holland, she has combined a strong foundation with her natural inclination for jazz's mainstream. Eight of the eleven pieces on this, her second album as leader, come from her composing pen.
Saxophone influences such as Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane show up in each of the selections, as well as evidence of Postma's mentorships with Chris Potter, Dick Oatts, and Dave Liebman. Look at the common denominator: it all comes from the heart.
A dreamy piece written for her mother, "Song for Sea-Tea features alto and guitar in a comfortable unison that floats melody upon melody, while Terri Lyne Carrington's drum set swirls surround them with a rhythmic stutter. Pump it Up! features a similar formula, but with Fender Rhodes in a contemporary adventure that sizzles with dramatic fire. The blues is built in, giving Postma a free-flowing dialog that speaks to a broad audience.
Dialog, on the other hand, eschews the blues and goes for the jugular. Here, Postma and guitarist Edoardo Righini bring their fire to a boil gradually, giving it plenty of time to age. Her soprano saxophone "dialog reaches far and wide. Additionally, pianist Rob van Bavel turns in a superb solo section on this one that builds from the ground up, unleashing the passion through finely articulated phrases. Carrington ties it all together with her swarming rain of percussive torrents.
Goodbye comes at us on slow feetrubato, legato, and reeling like the bartender at 3 am. This tender alto saxophone intimacy works its magic on this standard theme, which is interpreted alone with piano. If the album weren't so darn good to begin with, this piece could be called her best shot. Another intimate arrangement brings us the "Love Theme from Spartacus through the voices of bass, drums, and alto. Pared down for a lyrical affair, Postma's ensemble stretches out with pride. The song itself brings majesty, while the trio adds a warm overcoat to its soul.
Closing out with the title track, the full ensemble swings hard in a fresh adventure that smokes behind the leader's blazing alto. The new year has only just begun, and already we're faced with a candidate for our 2006 top ten lists. For the Rhythm comes highly recommended; it reveals a powerful new voice on the mainstream jazz scene that makes the new year look pretty bright.
Personnel: Tineke Postma: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Rob van Bavel: piano, electric piano; Edoardo Righini: guitars; Darryl Hall, Jeroen Vierdag: double bass; Terri Lyne Carrington: drums.