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Tineke Postma: Live In Amsterdam

Nic Jones By

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Tineke Postma
Live In Amsterdam
Munich Records
2006

There's something disturbing about this DVD, at least there is for me. It stems from the fact that if modern mainstream jazz, as on offer here, ever becomes the exclusive preserve of a technocratic elite, then some of its practitioners will only have themselves to blame.

If "the sound of surprise" still has some meaning as a definition of what jazz music's all about, then it's negated here. So too is much of the enriching social history of the places in which the music was performed earlier in its evolution. On the evidence of Live In Amsterdam, the Bimhuis is a venue lacking both the character and the intimacy that can be essential for the music to work.

No band member ever puts a foot wrong, and in a sense this is part of the problem. The programme passes by without leaving any lasting impression, other than that of technical accomplishment and the kind of musical cohesion that only results from a surfeit of polish. Human frailties and the sheer grit of the everyday are conspicuous by their absence.

That said, the level of technical accomplishment is beyond question. But only pianist Rob van Bavel, of all the musicians the most visually responsive to the needs of his band mates, and guest trombonist Ilja Reijngoud, who faintly recalls the individuality of Bill Harris, as on "Firenze," display a level of engagement with the music that transcends the blueprint of the format.

What it comes down to is: for this music to work it has to have some spark in addition to what's on offer here. Anyone with a generic grasp of what the modern mainstream is all about—leaving aside depth of personality, and replacing character with technical facility—will, however, find much to enjoy.


Tracks: Summersong; Comprehension; Joe's Tune; Song For Sea-Tee; Firenze; Goodbye; Ballad For Dado; Pump It Up; For The Rhythm.

Personnel: Tineke Postma: alto and soprano saxophones; Rob Van Bavel: piano, Fender Rhodes; Martijn van Iterson: guitar; Jeroen Vierdag: bass; Marcel Sierese: drums.

Production Notes: 70 minutes approx. BIMHUIS, August 29, 2005, Amsterdam. Bonus Features: Introduction; Other Releases.

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