Fast forward to the 21st century and the scene that is Amsterdam continues to attract creative talent, evidenced by this live recording from the 2020 Doek Festival. The quartet is made up entirely of expatriates. Pianist Marta Warelis (Michael Moore, Ab Baars) is from Poland, double bassist Aaron Lumley (Jasper Stadhouders, Onno Govaert) from Canada, and drummer Frank Rosaly (Dave Rempis, All Ellington) and saxophonist John Dikeman (Cactus Truck, Jaime Branch) are American. All four artists have chosen to make The Netherlands their creative base of operations.
These four leaderless improvisations are packed with accelerants, meaning the music is a kind of touch paper of sonic combustion. The concert begins with the almost benign "Juniper Fields." Bowed bass and twinkling piano are accented by Rosaly's cymbals. Dikeman's saxophone probes and explores avenues of sound, careful not to turn the track into a skirmish. That would come later. Let's credit the environment for the democratization of this meeting. Solos are equally shared. Lumley's broad shouldered bass attack on "Masquerade Charade" on the recordings longest track gives way to a spike of energized free jazz. While this energy path is trodden, the quartet constantly restore the balance, and the dialogue between all four remains polished and civil. Not an easy feat for a free jazz quartet.
Juniper Fields; Masquerade Charade; Lake Perfidy; Post War Fiction.
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