168

Ab Baars & Terrie Ex: Hef

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Hef offers something truly special for fans of the nettlier side of modern jazz. Ab Baars and Terrie Ex, two stars of the Dutch underground, meet here for the kind of interplay that revives one's faith in free improvisation. Their natural yet sophisticated conversation makes this set work in an unusually fine fashion.

Certainly neither saxophonist/clarinetist Baars nor guitarist Ex believes in holding back. The opener, "Oud Over," makes this point abundantly clear with bright, searing attacks from both players. But rather than charging rampantly into the abyss, Ab & Terrie seem to have reached a sort of mutual understanding verging on detente. There are no rules here: each player remains free to offer whatever commentary he deems natural in the moment. At times (eg. "Kryzeltanden II") they reach points of outright confrontation, but then there are also sweet moments ("M. Ali I" and "II") where they seem to have jumped in bed together. Mostly it's a game of give and take, with enough of that Dutch sense of the absurd to keep things from getting pretentious. In this sense, Hef strongly resembles Ex's recent duet recording with Han Bennink, The Laughing Owl . Listening and responding play equally important roles as cleverness and idiosyncrasy. In the gap between these two axes lies the fertile ground Baars and Ex tread on Hef.

Most strikingly, much of the music on this disc has a potent vocal quality. Whether whispered or shouted, mumbled or declared, each note seems to represent a natural extension of the human voice. And that is the way in which this disc really breaks through. These are conversations, not shared monologues, and as such they reveal a great deal about both the personalities of these two players and the very open relationship they share.

Visit Atavistic on the web.


Track Listing: Oud Over; De Yzeren Tulp; Stokdutter; Hamergaar; Ysel

Personnel: Ab Baars: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Terrie Ex: guitar.

Title: Hef | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Joey.Monk.Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Joey.Monk.Live!
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "The Hive" CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Dialectrical" CD/LP/Track Review Dialectrical
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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