Dutch reeds master Ab Baars and German double bassist Meinard Kneer began to work as a duo and recorded an acclaimed album, Windfall (Evil Rabbit, 2010). While playing a gig in 2010 at the Bimhuis Club in Amsterdam, the duo hosted veteran American drummer Bill Elgart, known for his collaborations with Paul Bley and Lee Konitz, and since then the duo became a trio. Give No Quarter, the debut album of the trio, was recorded in 2012 after a European tour.
As can be expected from these three experienced and resourceful improvisers this album features a powerful demonstration of true masters at work. The intimate interplay enables the trio to explore varied approaches and dynamics to improvisation. The trio moves organically between structured forms and abstract textures, alternating between consensus and dissent, dissonance and echo, physical, intense, transparent and fragile. Together they explore the timbre qualities of their instruments and these sound- oriented articulations blossom into inspired, poetic dialogues.
All thirteen pieces are credited to the trio, all feature the breadth of its vocabulary and the highly personal sound of each of the three. The trio plays spare blues ("Anacrusis"), intense fiery free jazz ("Give No Quarter," "Specific Gravity"), meditative textures to uncompromising investigations of raw sounds ("Notus"), all performed with natural ease and playful, creative joy. The beautiful, contemplative "Eurus" stresses the trio typical, emphatic interplay. Baars poetic clarinet lines are answered by imaginative arco playing of Kneer and punctuated briefly with gentle touches of Elgart. Baars unconventional exploration of the timbre spectrum of the Japanese shakuhachi flute on the meditative "Zephyrus" and "Borea" challenges Kneer and Elgart to deepen the serene atmosphere.
Beautiful, arresting music.
Anacrusis; Eurus; Give no quarter; Zephyrus; Late preamble; Song for our
predecessors; Specific gravity; Notus; Logical consistency; Tale of the
bewildered bee; Complementary progress; Fundamental ambush; Boreas.
Ab Baars: tenor saxophone, clarinet, shakuhachi; Meinrad Kneer: double
bass; Bill Elgart: drums.