Amazon.com Widgets

Peter van Huffel Quartet: Like The Rusted Key (2010)

By Published: | 4,103 views
Peter van Huffel Quartet: Like The Rusted Key How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The Berlin-based Canadian alto saxophonist, Peter van Huffel may be one of the most intense performers on this instrument. He creates sharp images with his playing, is exceedingly energetic—in sections of music that demand quieter moments his calmness is most elastic and taut—and although he has a tendency to play with broad glissandi almost throughout Like The Rusted Key, he has an inventive sense of rhythm. In this respect he is like Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
1928 - 1964
reeds
, who played with a pulse that originated from the inventions of Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, but carried the ideas of that genius into a wholly different sphere of consciousness. While Van Huffel may have some ground to cover before he hits the markers that Dolphy did in his lifetime, he may be half way there already.

Like The Rusted Key, the seventh album by Van Huffel, is extremely intelligent, with a repertoire comprising composed themes and a great deal of wonderfully improvised pieces by a quartet that includes saxophonist and pianist, Jesse Stacken
Jesse Stacken
Jesse Stacken
b.1978
piano
, bassist Miles Perkin, and drummer Samuel Rohrer; musicians who seem up to the challenge of Van Huffel's complex musical structures. The saxophonist has a chameleon-like nature when it comes to stretching with his sinewy musical ideas. "Drift," which starts sotto voce, almost hesitatingly develops a strong theme about 3 minutes into the song and features some memorable improvisations from everyone. "Tangent" is characterized by its rhythmic propulsion and a unique modular theme, and even though it stops suddenly en route to its climax for a kind of alto intermezzo that deconstructs the theme completely, the musicians find reserves to regroup and rebuild the momentum of the piece once again.

"Enghavevej" is a joyful piece, full of vim and vigor, especially from Stacken's piano improvisations, while "Excerpt Two" is of a minimalist nature. "Backward Momentum" features some of the finest interplay possible within an environment that is composed. The long and brooding "Melancholic" is centered on slow, almost interminable piano progressions that are both sensitive and light-hearted. "Beast II" is a dark piece full of atmosphere and menace, with a beautifully laid out architecture. Van Huffel's work on this album is startlingly attractive because his compositions are muscular and tough. Moreover, he is a fine stylist when it comes to arranging, always employing voices that are strong and rich, culled from a broad, deep palette of sound. Despite the fact that the music almost always transcends the mainstream with often raw and extravagant improvisations, the close attention that the composer pays to themes and song structures makes it always accessible and easy to fall in with.

Perhaps the only thing missing may be the woody shades and earthy tones of the clarinet, an instrument that Van Huffel also plays exceedingly well. But that may grist for the musician's grinding on another day. And who knows, that may well be the day when this talented artist returns from the rarefied musical regions that this fine album inhabits.

Track Listing: Drift; Intro To Beast; Tangent; Enghavevej; Excerpt Two; Beast I; Backward Momentum; Melancholic; Beast II; Atonement.

Personnel: Peter van Huffel: alto saxophone; Jesse Stacken: piano; Miles Perkin: acoustic bass, toys; Samuel Rohrer: drums, percussion.

Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search