8

Anne Vanschothorst: EK IS EIK

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Anne Vanschothorst: EK IS EIK Dutch harpist Anne Vanschothorst is pretty clear about her omnivorous attitude toward composition. Her interest is using the harp to provide texture as well and harmony and melody to her compositions. She excels as a solo performer and one in concert with other instruments, for example, her opening composition "Where's Mo?" is a tacit duet with trumpeter Saskia Laroo, who plays muted and closely miked (not unlike Miles Davis to whom she is compared). The two produce a moody scene where Laroo's muted brass perfumes Vanschothorst's air conditioned-cool underpinnings with a mixture of unfiltered cigarette smoke and lavender.

The harp makes for an interesting anchor. In a jazz neighborhood, it is like a strange combination of vibraphone, guitar and piano. As such, it easily replaces the piano as the harmony instrument in the carefully considered duets inhabiting this collection. Ek is Eik (I am Oak) is structured approximating an imperfect palindrome based on format. The disc opens and closes with Laroo's trumpet, the coda, "And the Willow Tree Smiled" taking a hard left from the impressionistic muted improvisation to a minimalistic open- bell performance of delicacy and beauty.

Continuing inward are two solo pieces by Vanschothorst, "Wandering" and "The Caged Owl," The former possessing the anxiety and grace of Schumann while the latter is Lisztian by way of John Cage, dissonant and disconcerting. Perhaps Vanschothorst's most successful pairing (and most inspired) with gambaist Ernst Stolz, whose viola da gamba approximates a tightly-focused cello. The title piece is a gossamer conversation that sometimes meets and other times passes itself. "Raven's Departure" again opts for a touch of minimalism in the harp figures with Stolz full throated throughout. "Let Her Go" is a plaintively laid landscape with both harp and viola da gamba resonating together.

There is a stunning soundtrack quality to Vanschothorst's music, but that should be no surprise as she has been called upon to provide such to the visual arts. The fun and gift of this music is the imagination of what life scene this music would accompany and enhance. Something like "Songs Without Words" but rather "Scenes Without Stories." It is up to the listener to complete the experience.


Track Listing: Where’s Mo?; Wandering; EK is EIK; When We Were Trees; Here Once Stood Elms; Let Her Go; I Know My Way; Strange Bird; Raven’s Departure; The Caged Owl; And the Willow Tree Smiled.

Personnel: Anne Vanschothorst: harp; Saskia Laroo: trumpet; Ernst Stolz: viola da gamba; Arthur Bont: durms and percussion; Bob van Luijt: bass.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Big Round Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Brel" CD/LP/Track Review Brel
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Rumba Con Flores" CD/LP/Track Review Rumba Con Flores
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!