Misha Mengelberg's legacy, through his ICP Orchestra, will be as a pianist who is a unique jazz interpreter and bandleader with a devotion to Herbie Nichols, Monk and Ellington. And while he's made his own mark, it's only part of the story. At the helm of the ICP, Mengelberg leads jaunty, jazzy ditties, loaded with melody and humor. But on occasion, other sides of him seep out. Mengelberg, the son of a symphony conductor, was classically trained in his native Netherlands and while that background shows through at times with the ICP--he seems happiest when the group ...read more
Pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, two father figures of Dutch jazz and free improvisation, appeared for a duo concert at Festsaal Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany on April 23, 2006.
Both have played together in different contexts for decades, most famously with the Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra, a large ensemble of Dutch improvisers they co-founded with clarinetist Willem Breuker in 1967, which recently toured Europe and the United States this March and April.
Their duo set in Berlin was the opening act for The Ex, a group of Dutch avant-garde punk rockers. Thus, the audience was ...read more
If one takes a swath of the most influential and valuable jazz composers and bandleaders of the last 50 years, one gets one (or both) of two things: a handful of pianists and more questions and inconsistencies than clear lineage. However, just as Steve Lacy found in both Monk's music and free jazz a door to the other side , so the riddles and puzzles of composition in an idiom that has increasingly seen organization yield to freedom are a similar nest of doors and passageways. The music of Dutch pianist-composer and Instant Composers Pool (ICP) ringleader Misha Mengelberg fits ...read more
Most outings between drummer Han Bennink and pianist Misha Mengelberg leave listeners wondering just when the proverbial 'kitchen sink' will be tossed-in. Together, the pair are anything but conservative in their approach to music. Beginning with Eric Dolphy's Last Date in 1964 and continuing for the next four decades, they have carried the Dutch jazz scene with their work in the ICP Orchestra and various collaborations. Mengelberg is a true champion of the music of both Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. Bennink is equally comfortable in free jazz as he is in straighter settings. Try and name another drummer that ...read more
The intimacy of jazz has always been its most powerful draw. The listener, somewhat of a voyeur to the musician’s inner soul, is positioned either at a live concert, or in the case of a quality recording, at a comfortable (or uncomfortable) distance. Here the listener catches the creative act at its fountainhead.
Misha Mengelberg’s music has always been an endless source of creative vigor. The 65 year-old pianist made his first recording with the traveling Eric Dolphy in 1964 and began a long-standing association with drummer Han Bennink. Mengelberg has woven a career and life around jazz and classical ...read more
Like Jubilee Varia (hatOLOGY 528), this 2CD-set illustrates the dangerous, death-defying, life-enhancing pianistic and compositional talents of Misha Mengelberg, the world's challenging Dutch leader of these ever-memorable Two Days in Chicago. Also like Jubilee Varia, this disc features some of the foremost improvisers on the scene today, all stoked to new heights by the combustible talents of Mengelberg. Here the standouts are tenor saxophonists Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark and Ab Baars (who doubles on clarinet), plus cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Hamid Drake. (Not to slight the other heavyweights, including bassists Kent Kessler and Wilbert de Joode, plus drummer Martin ...read more