When most couples get together, they play some tennis doubles, maybe card games, or go to dinner. When Ab Baars and Ig Henneman invite Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey over, it's to do some cooking. By that I mean to serve up some improvised musical delights.
As with most busy couples, finding time for a get together must be difficult. Baars can be heard with the ICP Orchestra, in solo or in his trio and with Henneman, who has her own sextet. New York based Rainey and Laubrock produced two amazing duos for Relative Pitch Records, And Other Desert Towns (2014) and Buoyancy (2016), plus each lead several innovative ensembles.
This quartet's first tour together in 2014 yielded this live date from Finland. This intersection of the newer Dutch swing and post-Downtown New York sound evidences a newly refreshed improvised music. Not free jazz, nor exactly free improvisation, the five pieces make mannerly and urbane connections. It's difficult to define a leader for this quartet, maybe because so much is shared. "Brock" opens with Laubrock and Baars trading saxophone notes from the upper and lower registers until Rainey pushes the "go" button with his drumming. After a pause at the midway point, Henneman's viola signals a slower tempo and an abandonment of all aggression. She opens "Rain" with a high-wire performance that calls for the dancing sticks of Rainey, Baars' clarinet, and the bird-like calls of Laubrock's soprano saxophone. The music develops as a piece of chamber music albeit never abandoning the heated flames of improvisation.
Baars' shakuhachi playing is mystical on "Tampere" and "Hen," both pieces that gather momentum as improvised music, but coalesce as seemingly composed music. Such prestidigitation is evidence of music making at the highest levels.
Perch; Hen; Brock; Rain; Tampere.
Ab Baars: tenor saxophone, clarinet , shakuhachi; Ig Henneman: viola; Ingrid
Laubrock: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Tom Rainey: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.