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Wolfert Brederode Quartet: Post Scriptum

Dan McClenaghan By

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ECM Records has a way of offering up music from various artists that seems as if it has existed forever—in nature, in the air—and that they, the label and the artists involved—be it pianists Tord Gustavsen or Bobo Stenson, or saxophonist Jan Garbarek—are simply conduits for grabbing those sounds and bringing them to the listening/CD-buying public. The music of Dutch pianist Wolfert Brederode, on 2008's Currents, and now on Post Scriptum, fits well within this malleable mold.

Employing the same band as he did on Currents—a quartet composed of a traditional piano trio plus clarinetist Claudio Puntin—Brederode takes his explorations of diaphanous, wandering melodies deeper, with perhaps a bit more punch this time around, with ever so slightly more ensemble cohesion and chemistry. Opening with the bright-hued "Meander," the sound has mystic quality. Drummer Samuel Rohrer—who works so ably in pianist Colin Vallon's trio on Rruga (ECM Records, 2011) and on 2010's marvelous The Inward Song (Pirouet Records), led by German saxophonist Christian Weidner—supplies just the right flourishes and understated, declamatory percussion to mold the drifting mood. On "Angelico," bassist Mats Eilertsen follows the leader's shimmering introduction with a bowed segment, wrapping his lines around Brederode's delicacy of touch that punctuates Putin's rich tone on bass clarinet.

"November" has an inward, meditative, somewhat melancholy quality. Like many artists recording for ECM, Brederode's quartet is no stranger to restraint and subtlety, letting melodic ideas unfold at a measured and sometimes meandering pace. Unadulterated beauty, with no fireworks or grandstanding involved, seems always the theme.

The brief title piece is eerie and aimless at first, as Brederode chimes in to the slow moan of Eilertsen's bass. The later variation on the tune has more juice, with a cool and contained trio energy introducing Puntin's deep and ominous warble.

With Post Scriptum, Brederode's second ECM set, the pianist has taken another step forward towards shaping a very distinctive sound, one that is beautifully meditative, often mesmeric and unfailingly melodic.

Track Listing: Meander; Angelico; November; Post Scriptum; Hybrids; Inner Dance; Aceh; Post Scriptum, var.; Brun; Sofja; Augenblick in der Garderobe des Sommers; Silver Cloud; Wall View; Silver Cloud, var.

Personnel: Wolfert Brederode: piano; Claudio Puntin: clarinets; Mats Eilertsen: double-bass; Samuel Rohrer: drums.

Title: Post Scriptum | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records

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