Ab Baars has come to be one of the deans of Dutch jazz, which of course is mostly centered around Amsterdam. He can be heard in large settings such as the Instant Composers Pool, in duo with his partner Ig Henneman, or performing with the anarcho-punk band The Ex. Trombonist Joost Buis joined Baar's quartet for the Duke Ellington tribute Kinda Dukish (Wig, 2005) and later in duo for Moods For Roswell (wig, 2020), a salute to the trombonist Roswell Rudd.
On Cecil's Dance, with the addition of Berlinde Deman's tuba, Baars and Buis become a trio. Deman is probably best known as a member of the big band, Flat Earth Society. She also performs here on the serpent, a 16th-century precursor of the tuba. It looks very much like a sinuous snake and sounds like a cross between a bassoon and a euphonium.
The byproduct of the Baars Buis Deman collaboration presents us with a chamber jazz ensemble with a compact marching band attitude, sprinkled with free improvisation magic dust. The music can be the soundtrack to an animated cartoon, such as "For John" which could easily be the surreal action soundtrack where Bugs Bunny is being stalked by Elmer Fudd. "Faintly White," with Baars swapping his clarinet for shakuhachi, mimics a forest of birds with their varied call-and-response songs. The approach here is variable and Baars Buis Deman find a comfortable balance throughout the ten tracks. The trio ranges from the clarinet exorcism of Baars "Jackdaw" to the lamentations of "Lounge des dames." Deman's tuba compliments both Buis' trombone and Baar's clarinet on Rodgers & Hammerstein's "This Nearly Was Mine," which is presented with a small group Ellington sound. The versatility of this trio gives ithe breath to the track "Shuffle For Tristan" and the presentation of Dutch poet Johnny van Doom's (Johan van Doorn) futurist-sounding poem "Portret van de Selfkicker." Just when you think Baars Buis Deman will zig, they zag.
For John; The Sky and the Sea; Kikiriki; This Nearly Was Mine; Shuffle for Tristan; Jackdaw;
Portret van de Selfkicker; Faintly White; Cecil's Dance; Louange des dames.
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