302

The Jasper Blom Quartet: Dexterity

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
The Jasper Blom Quartet: Dexterity With the impossible volume of music released each and every week, there's always that sinking feeling that something's being missed. When saxophonist Jasper Blom and his quartet delivered their showcase performance at Dutch Jazz & World Meeting 2010, it became immediately clear that this was a contemporary group well worth investigating. Blom is a part of the second generation of Dutch musicians, following the emergence of now iconic countrymen like drummer Han Bennink and pianist Misha Mengelberg in the 1960s, that also includes pianist Michiel Borstlap, trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, guitarist Anton Goudsmit, and saxophonist Benjamin Herman. Jesse van Ruller is also part of this select circle that is, in turn, is influencing younger musicians like guitarist Marzio Scholten and pianist Harmen Fraanje; the guitarist is also a member of Blom's quartet and Dexterity , the thoroughly compelling follow-up to an equally impressive debut, Statue of Liberty (Mainland, 2008).

Rounded out by two other active players on the Dutch scene and beyond—bassist Frans van der Hoeven and drummer Martjn Vink (also a member of The Ploctones, another impressive DJ&WM showcase group)—Blom's quartet is another modern group bringing technology into the mix, but more as an adjunct that an equal partner. Blom's use effects on his three horns is rather unusual, sometimes using a pitch shifter, other times odd alterations that expand his timbres into the otherworldly, as he does on "White Stripes," Dexterity's longest track at eight minutes, which begins with a spare, two-chord bass vamp with barely a pulse. Vink's light-touched but busy playing and van Ruller's gritty-toned, delayed exchanges between harmonics and slowly evolving voicings, build beneath Blom's effected horns, to a thundering mid-song climax, with van Ruller's jagged chords and Blom's serpentine, overdubbed theme leading to a solo from van Ruller that's refreshing in its confident navigation and avoidance of common stylistic references points; instead, van Ruller is a player with a distinct sound and approach, well-deserving of greater recognition beyond his neck of the woods.

As is true with Blom, whose closing solo on "White Stripes" sears without excess—a common denominator, throughout this set of largely original compositions. The sole exception is his balladic adaptation of 13th French composer Solage's lyrical "En L'Amoureux Vergier," a soft feature where van Ruller's tart tone and gentle weaving through its pastoral changes is equally matched by Blom's thoughtfully thematic solo.

Blom's music bears some superficial reference to drummer Brian Blade's Fellowship Band and saxophonist David Binney's recent projects; there's even a hint of expansive Midwestern vistas on "Waltz for Magnus" where, driven by van der Hoeven and VInk, both van Ruller and Blom solo at length, but never without purpose. There's a lot to love about Dexterity, a thoroughly modern recording that refuses to be insulated and, instead, spreads out with lyrical fire when required, but proves equally capable of gentler climes, and even a hint of swing. An exhilarating discovery, and one that demands far greater attention in future.

Track Listing: Knor; Homecoming; White Stripes; Waltz for Magnus; Tasmania; En L'Amoureux Vergier; Running Gag; The Roundtrip; Candy.

Personnel: Jasper Blom: tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, effects; Jesse van Ruller: guitars; Frans van der Hoeven: bass; Martijn Vink: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Mainland Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Glare of the Tiger CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read From Two Balconies CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "All Hot Bodies Radiate" CD/LP/Track Review All Hot Bodies Radiate
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: May 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!