174

Misha Mengelberg Quartet: Four In One

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
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 can move between the two worlds with a similar ease.

Mengelberg's newest quartet is half-American, with the inclusion of New York bassist Brad Jones and trumpeter Dave Douglas. The Downtown musicians and the Dutch find common ground in a mostly post-boppish-modern sound. Douglas' trumpet work shines as Mengelberg puts him through his paces. This record is built around a core of three Thelonious Monk tunes, "Four In One," Monk's Mood," and Criss Cross" as if to demonstrate the logic of Mengelberg's compositions. The disc opens with the up-tempo "Hypochristmutreefuzz" (from Dolphy's Last Date ), and bookends the Monk music with a march "Die Berge Schuetzen Die Heimat " and some island music, "Kwela P'Kwana." Bennink's tendency towards deconstruction is held in check by Douglas' orderly sound. The two have met before, on the duet record Serpentine (Songlines 1996). Where that outing entertained, it contained blanks that are nicely filled by the bass of Brad Jones and the compositions and piano of Mengelberg.

This session is a joyful combination of skillful musicianship and pixilated compositions. Mengelberg is heir to the Monk charm and perhaps Charles Mingus' wit. His playing straddles Monk with his eclectic-European timing. Fans of both the ICP Orchestra and Douglas's work will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.


Track Listing: Hypochristmutreefuzz; Reef; Kneebus; Die Berge Schuetzen Die Heimat; Four In One; Monk's Mood; Criss Cross; Blues After Piet; Kwela P'Kwana; We're Going Out For Italian; Poor Wheel.

Personnel: Misha Mengelberg - Piano; Dave Douglas - Trumpet; Brad Jones - Bass; Han Bennink - Percussion.

Title: Four In One | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.