All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Inspiration can come from unexpected sources. For reed player Jan Klare, it sprung from the words of a musician who churned in him the desire to create music that was as palpable as an object made of leather or wood. Palpability can be physical as well as organic and if Klare was looking for the latter, he has accomplished it splendidly on this recording.
In keeping with his desire and his vision, Klare moulds a tangible portrait of a (Shoe). He could have as well done it with just a single stylistic impulse but he imbibes different approaches for an absorbing experience. He wrote all but four tracks, which are improvisations, that this worthy band brings front and center.
Improvisation is the group's strong point and it ramps interest right from the time it starts building "Sole." A communion of ideas bonded by free invention rises over an electrifying undercurrent as brass unfurls in unruly and trenchant waves over skittering drums and rumbling bass. The band certainly does not waste any time grabbing attention.
A melodic and frisky air is set up on "Vamp" by Klare (on saxophone) and Bart Maris before the trumpeter shifts into bop mode as Wilbert de Joode sets up a walking bass line and drummer Michael Vatcher adds a host of colors and consonances. Klare frees the boundaries in a burst of robust ideas before he and Maris come together for a smooth coda.
The creativity of the band continues to be a hallmark as its members play off each other and go out on individual excursions that are shaped by nuggets of surprise. This is not unexpected given the pedigree of the musicians who have long made vital contributions to the cause of jazz and improvised music.
By the time the group wraps things up on "Laces"a relaxed tune that nonetheless has eddying pools of brass that jut out into the open and then scamper back, with some deep-hued bowing and textured accents on the drumsit has made that palpable impact.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.