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Sander Baan Quartet: Heartscape

Marithe Van der Aa By

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Unpretentious and unassuming—The Sander Baan Quartet's second album, Heartscape, is everything you might expect from a group of well-seasoned musicians with a clear artistic vision. Their music is simple, nonchalant and free from the fetters of the widespread jazz ego.

Featuring both compositions of the bandleader, Dutch saxophonist Sander Baan, and the quartet's bassist, Jonathan Nagel, the album opens with "Emotional Landscapes," promptly laying down the band's signature recipe: a solid groove, a dash of effortlessly uncomplicated harmonies and a pinch of repetitious (yet sincere) melodies. This combination results in a heartfelt and relatable record, that explores the depth of human emotions without excessively intimidating the jazz novice. Throughout the album, the musicians make no secret of their pop culture influences, perhaps most notably so in "Space Invaders"—a tune that sounds like it could be the alternate theme song of the original Scooby-Doo series—and in the pop-flavoured harmonies of "Never Goodbye" and "Unchained." With the dreamily serene "Northern Sun," the band wraps up—or rather lays down—their euphonic heartscape.

All in all, Sander Baan and his quartet have created a highly enjoyable record that neither repels nor obtrudes. Their European release tour will continue in the second half of October.

Track Listing: Emotional landscapes; Space Invaders; I Didn't Expect To Like You; Never Goodbye; Unchained; Can I Go Home Now?; Casual Superhero; Northern Sun.

Personnel: Sander Baan: saxophone; Sander Thijsen: piano; Jonathan Nagel; double bass; Wieland Möller: drums.

Title: Heartscape | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Timezone Records

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