Daniele D'Agaro/Ernst Glerum/Han Bennink: Strandjutters (2003)
Roll up for an entertaining shot of jazz brought in by a trio that creates interesting edifices on the expansive field of improvisation through moves that startle and delight. It all holds together, which in the end is what counts.
The prime factor is the interplay. The three read each other so seamlessly that the flow seems magical. Ideas jump out, are picked up and developed. Reedist Daniele D’Agaro can spin a phrase, take it into an angular trajectory out of the blue, drummer Han Bennink and bassist Ernst Glerum following his every move and fleshing it out. If there is telepathy, it is strongly pronounced here. And it matters not whether they are playing originals, all of which were written by D’Agaro, or dip into standards and pump them with new blood.
The standards first. A warm, tender exposition of “Old Folks” on tenor, a reading filtered with wisps of breathiness, a few cries of passion to heat and swell the line. Glerum’s solo on the bass brings melodic goodness and adds a rejuvenating spark. D’Agaro takes a different path on “I Wish You Sunshine.” Curling his notes, investing squiggles, sidling in with straight lines on the melody, he is in constant flux. Bennink uses percussion to add to the resonance, free jazz and structure making for compact bedfellows.
Intuition plays a strong role on D’Agaro’s compositions. The abstract can lead the players in, as it does on “Strandjutters,” where the concept takes form gradually building on the clarinet, the space that Glerum lets evolve before bowing in with deep tones, the exchange in the void of silence between him and D’Agaro scuttled as they clasp in unison. The two set up a symphony on clarinet and arco bass as they open “En Plain Air,” another quiet tune, the mood relaxed and sublime. “Divi-Divi” is a bright spark. Glerum takes a walking bass line as D’Agaro flutters and flies into the upper registers, swooping down in fell moves, Bennink revolves the rhythm in a crish of cymbals, the snap of the snares, constantly keeping that firm tick on the pulse which is his trademark. Moods switch and change, but the lure remains.
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Track Listing: Divi-Divi; Old Folks; En Plein Air; I Wish You Sunshine; The Prisoner; Talm; Sempre Libero; Strandjutters; The Girl In My Dreams Tries To Look Like You
Personnel: Daniele D