ICP Orchestra's recordings echo the dynamics and ingenuity of European progressive-jazz improvisation. The largely Dutch band, featuring co-founders, pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, instituted the ICP Orchestra in parallel with the ICP record label in the late 1960s. The critically heralded 1999 Hat Art album, Jubilee Variance, enjoys renewed life via this 2010 reissue. The band and respective musicians' legacy is well-documented, spanning several decades. Nonetheless, ICP's creative sparks reside within asynchronous projections of improvisation and structure. And it's quite an uncanny listening experience at that. Branded by a group-centric signature sound, the band affords its ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11
In 2005, TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival Executive Director Catherine O'Grady introduced the Improv Invitational series, intended to bring a diversity of groups whose focus was on collective improvisation to the festival lineup. It's been a successful series and, while some past performances have been of the completely free variety, bassist John Geggie's show this year on Day 5 demonstrated that even so-called free ...read more
ICP Orchestra A Film by Guy Girard La Huit 2006
For this film, Guy Girard recorded the ICP Orchestra's performance at Noisy-Le-Sac in France in 2003. Much like the nonet's anarchic free improvisational music, the visual document moves from orderly to chaotic without warning. Psychedelic and kaleidoscopic, the film sets out to investigate the metamorphoses of the concert. The film starts with Dutch drummer and co-founder of ICP, Han Bennink, putting on his blue bandana while the other musicians tune up. By using low angle shots exclusively on Bennink, ...read more
ICP Orchestra Seattle, WA March 25, 2006
New Dutch Swing is the phrase coined by critic Kevin Whitehead - who wrote a book of the same name - to describe the music of the ICP (Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra, the Willem Breuker Kollektief, Bik Bent Braam and other members of the vital improvised music scene in Holland. Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink and Breuker were co-founders of ICP in 1967. In Seattle as part of a rare U.S. tour, long-time ICP compatriots Mengelberg and Bennink were ceaselessly creative and irreverent (as always).
The group consists of ...read more
The Instant Composers Pool, or ICP Orchestra, is a Dutch collective that, after emerging in the ‘70s with a number of albums over a ten-year period only to then more or less disappear, has re-emerged over the past five years with a number of recordings for its own ICP label. Schizophrenic at the best of times, the ensemble’s early history was characterized by a deep rift between originating members pianist Misha Mengelberg, who wanted to explore the concept of “instant composing,” and reed player Willem Breuker, who was more disposed to extended and structured composition, with third founding member, drummer ...read more
The Amsterdam based ICP Orchestra (meaning improvisation defined as an “instant composing pool”) can best be described to Americans as Carl Stalling directs the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing chamber music. Pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink lead their brand of instant composing. Mengelberg, a master of the music of both Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk, is the poster-child for the Dutch creative scene. He prefers odd angular melodies and playing spin-the-dial for differing styles. Drummer Han Bennink seems to never repeat himself, swinging an eccentric beat and landing a roundhouse punch from the listeners proverbial blind side.
The ICP’s ...read more
Individually these gentlemen have had more than a hand or two in redefining modern jazz, yet as a unit and under the auspices of the “Instant Composers Pool Orchestra” – this band has been knocking them dead during live gigs over the years while remaining criminally under recorded. Jubilee Varia is the new “ICP Orchestra” release recorded live in Zurich, Switzerland 1997.
Primarily a Dutch outfit featuring pianist Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink, cellist Ernst Reijseger, California born woodwind specialist Michael Moore and others, the “ICP Orchestra” present two multi-part suites as they offer the listener a hodgepodge of textures, ...read more
Misha Mengelberg has never gotten the recognition he deserves; this new release from his ICP (Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra is yet another indication of how much recognition he does indeed deserve.
Mengelberg is a premier pianist with a superb skill for instant composition. He manages to create coherent wholes out of the sounds of utter surprise. Here and there in the Jubilee Varia," which is a feature for several soloists that forms the first half of this disc, he'll tinkle around with apparent aimlessness, falling into a playful line with a naïve melody, edging it over into the prickly sonorousness ...read more
Join our growing community ofwriters, musicians, visual artists and advocates.