Luc Houtkamp: In Chicago
Then Luc Houtkamp visited Chicago and the circle seemed complete. This recording from 1997 finds him in company of long time DKV, NRG and Vandermark 5 bassist Kent Kessler and Chicago drummer Michael Zerang (Brötzmann Tentet). Houtkamp, a largely self-taught saxophone practitioner, is also a composer of electronic and computer interfacing for improvisers. His records are available on his own Dutch X-OR label.
Here he sticks to an all-acoustic attack by tenor saxophone. I’d describe his playing as a kinder, gentler Brötzmann blended with a more imaginative James Carter. His extended saxophone techniques of squawking, slap tongue, and multi-phonics are metered out in a patient almost relaxed manner. The trio shows their Chicago influences with the rolling “State Street Blues” and the romping “Pershing Ballroom Jump” both taking a page from Fred Anderson’s book. Houtkamp can be muscular when it’s called for and quietly pensive at times. You have to like the way this trio mixes the two. On “Jug (Without Dodo)” they move away from a defined pulse yet make a coherent highly interactive statement. Houtkamp throughout paces his performance with perfect timing and restrained outrageousness.
Finding this voice might be the highlight of my year. I’m sure I would have got here sooner or later as America’s creative musicians reach out further for allies and more importantly new influences.
Entropy Stereo Recordings can be reached here: email@example.com
Pershing Ballroom Jump; Jug (Without Dodo); Flow Chart; New Wabash; Who Is Claude McLin?; Richard Davis At DuSable; State Street Blues.
Luc Houtkamp - Tenor Saxophone; Kent Kessler - Bass; Michael Zerang - Drums.
Record Label: Entropy Stereo
Style: Modern Jazz