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Michael Moore/Achim Kaufmann/Dylan Van Der Schyff
The particular beauty of what Kevin Whitehead termed "New Dutch Swing lies in an embracing of tradition with a heartfelt push forward. It's a tradition that California-born ex-pat Michael Moore has clearly embraced as a longtime member of Misha Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra (and as the second non-Dutch musician to receive the country's prestigious Boy Edgar Prijs award, the hug was clearly returned).
On his quintet recording Osiris, Moore unabashedly embraces melody and mood as well with a set of ten of his own compositions that are almost surprising in their straight ahead delivery and deceptively ornamented scoring. Lovely playing is to be found especially from pianist Marc van Roon and bassist Paul Berner. It's a disc that may surprise dedicated ICP followers, however. More challenging, chaotic instant composing is to be found on Moore's trio disc Kamosc with pianist Achim Kaufmann and drummer Dylan van der Schyff. While eight of the 13 pieces are credited to the German-born pianist (who has lived in Amsterdam for the last ten years), it has much more of a group-improv feel than Osiris and ICP trombonist Wolter Wierbos' presence on two tracks further ups the Dutch Swing ante. The trio is ever inventive and intuitive, following sudden turns with perception and finesse.
Taken together, the two present a challenge to the listener: is splendoring in jazzy familiarity old hat, or have the scattershot sounds of extended playing become the cliché and beauty the new edge? Among Moore's listeners, the majority may still fall on the avant side; it's a shame that more of those who want sweetness and harmony won't end up with their hands on Osiris.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Osiris; Playboy (for Jorge Guinle); Culture Warriors; Ishi - the 5 Bows incident; Movement Specialists; RUADJ; Tailwind to Kyele; North Star; It's a Long Road; Here, Right Now.
Personnel: Michael Moore: reeds; Eric Vloeimans: trumpet; Marc van Roon: piano; Paul Berner: bass; Owen Hart, Jr.: drums.
Tracks: Sole To Soul; Kopfspinnenntz; Skimble-Skamble; Notre-Dame de paris; Ideogram; Roadside; Ghosts at the Foot; Scaremongers (Meandering); Cuk; Corybant; The Cyans; Blue-Brailled; Bouche Perdue.
Personnel: Achim Kaufmann: piano; Michael Moore: clarinet, alto saxophone; melodica; elk calls; Dylan van der Schyff: drums; Wolter Wierbos: trombone (3, 11).