Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

397

The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam: Go Between

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Those who think of Bill Bruford only as art rock drummer for groups including Yes and King Crimson, fusion drummer with his late-1970s group Bruford, or even (finally, after all these years) a jazz drummer with his ongoing Earthworks projects and improvisation-heavy duets with Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap, still don't know the whole story. Those familiar with his work in the collective World Drummers Ensemble know that this iconic British percussionist has a pervasive and encyclopedic interest in anything that can be hit with a stick, something made crystal clear on this reissue of The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam's 1986 release, Go Between.



Bruford only plays on one track, the fourteen-minute title composition by Group member Rudd Wiener that, alongside Bruford's acoustic kit and percussion, features xylophone, vibraphone, marimba and bass marimba. It's a complex and episodic piece that shifts from a rhythm-heavy art rock intro to a gentler, minimalist-informed middle section, propelled forward with multiple repetitive patterns that gradually shift, Steve Reich-like, giving the piece an evocative sense of forward motion. Bolstered occasionally by Bruford's more powerful tom-toms and tympani, the two concepts come together as the tuned percussion builds into a harmonic foundation for Bruford's mathematically precise kit work, only to drop into quiet once again before the piece's conclusion—a polyrhythmic and contrapuntal tour-de-force from everyone involved.



"Redbone" is more primal; five percussionists working only with log drums ("the modern equivalent of an ancient hollow tree trunk," says the liners) and three Chinese peacock gongs, which add simple melody periodically throughout this piece by Niels Le Large who, along with Jan Pustjens, co-founded the Group, although neither of them perform on the album.



Pustjens does, however, conduct Japanese composer Minoru Miki's "Marimba Spiritual," which features guest marimba player Keiko Abe and is the closest thing to classical writing on the disc. Instead of repetitive patterns or easily discernible motifs, this complex fourteen-minute piece possesses a larger arc, with Abe's surprisingly expressive marimba supported by a variety of percussion instruments, including temple bells, temple blocks, the small but distinctive shimi-daiko and larger o-daiko drums.



The album closes with Group member Peter Prommel's "Maenaden," another long-form, through-composed piece featuring two marimbas, one bass marimba and a wealth of other percussion instruments. At various points marimba figures trade-off against untuned percussion, creating a wide array of textures while bringing sharp focus to the individual roles of the various instruments.



A remarkably compelling album that demonstrates just how musical an all-percussion album can be, Go Between sits comfortably alongside Pierre Favre's Singing Drums (ECM, 1984) and contemporary groups including the World Drummers Ensemble and So Percussion. Thanks to Bruford, then, for bringing Go Between back into print after a fifteen year absence.


Track Listing: Go Between; Redbone; Marimba Spiritual; Maenaden.

Personnel: Bill Bruford: acoustic drums and percussion (1); Rudd Weiner: xylophone (1), vibraphone (1), marimba (1), bass marimba (1), percussion (3); Peter Prommel: xylophone (1), vibraphone (1), marimba (1, 4), bass marimba (1), log drum (2), peacock gongs (2), o-daiko (3), percussion (3); Herman Rieken: xylophone (1), vibraphone (1), marimba (1), bass marimba (1, 4), log drum (2), peacock gongs (2), shimi-daiko (3), percussion (3, 4); Steef van Oosterhout: log drum (2), percussion (2, 4), marimba (4); Johan Faber: log drum (2), peacock gongs (2), percussion (4); Toon Oomen: log drum (2), percussion (2); Keiko Abe: marimba (3); Jan Pustjens: conductor (3).

Title: Go Between | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Summerfold Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Without You CD/LP/Track Review
Without You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Internal Combustion CD/LP/Track Review
Internal Combustion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Chant Triptych II CD/LP/Track Review
Chant Triptych II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Oasis CD/LP/Track Review
Oasis
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Les Oiseaux de Matisse CD/LP/Track Review
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read "Volume 3" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 3
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 23, 2018
Read "Hiromi & Edmar Castaneda Live In Montreal" CD/LP/Track Review Hiromi & Edmar Castaneda Live In Montreal
by Jeff Winbush
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "Early to Late" CD/LP/Track Review Early to Late
by John Eyles
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Half Light" CD/LP/Track Review Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections" CD/LP/Track Review Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "YUL" CD/LP/Track Review YUL
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 8, 2018