ICP Orchestra's recordings echo the dynamics and ingenuity of European progressive-jazz improvisation. The largely Dutch band, featuring co-founders, pianist Misha Mengelberg
and drummer Han Bennink
, instituted the ICP Orchestra in parallel with the ICP record label in the late 1960s. The critically heralded 1999 Hat Art album, Jubilee Variance
, enjoys renewed life via this 2010 reissue.
The band and respective musicians' legacy is well-documented, spanning several decades. Nonetheless, ICP's creative sparks reside within asynchronous projections of improvisation and structure. And it's quite an uncanny listening experience at that. Branded by a group-centric signature sound, the band affords its soloists numerous opportunities to stretch as this album is segmented into two suites.
On "Jubilee Varia suite2nd movement," cellists Ernst Reijseger
, Tristan Honsinger
and contrabassist Ernst Glerum
conjure a dark panorama, built on staccato frameworks and linear phrasings. Here, the artists generate a contrasting silhouette, containing notions of grief and merrymaking. It's improvised chamber jazz, brimming with curiously interesting abstracts; one of many flourishing and mind-altering sorties executed throughout this masterfully orchestrated program.