All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

7

Daan Kleijn: Trio

David Bittinger By

Sign in to view read count
If in the past you'd asked me about jazz guitar, a few words might have been offered about Wes Montgomery, and a few more about a beloved Jazz 'Round Midnight reissue of one of the great records that Django Reinhardt cut with violinist Stephane Grappelli. A vague opinion might then have been tossed off that is admittedly weak: that jazz as a musical form is about as problematic for guitar (even well-played) as it is for electric organ.

In a sense, then, it's a surprise that I was moved to review Dutch guitarist Daan Kleijn's Trio. At the same time, it's a pleasure to note that, apparently, even cool-jazz conservatives can open up and learn. Trio is a rewardingly original and affecting disc. It's a nice mix of up-tempo and ballad work, weaving four of Kleijn's own compositions around four classics.

As the title notes, Kleijn's clean, spare lead guitar has only two backers. Bassist Tobias Nuboer and drummer Joost Van Schalk are perfectly matched to Kleijn's style, a kind of maximized minimalism. They're well stocked in their abilities to take off and riff, but neither ever turns his instrument into virtuosic tedium. Like Kleijn, they understand the importance of melody and the storyline of a song. And they create a contemporary jazz approach that has strong roots yet moves ahead adventurously.

The classics here are nicely chosen. Cole Porter's "So In Love" swings more vividly than the vocal version usually performed. So does the other Porter, "Ev'rything I Love." Porter with some extra push is not an obvious choice, but it's fascinating in Kleijn's slightly brassy arrangements. The Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn "Star Crossed Lovers" is ethereal and spacious, floating somewhere Ellington probably would have loved. The disc closes with the well-known "When It's Sleepy Time Down South." You might wonder how a young, modern Dutch jazz combo could handle a 1931 composition with a mint julep-ish sentimentality. Well, they handle it with a jazz sensibility that migrates gracefully—including a treatment that's unmistakably 21st century.

The four Kleijn originals have a wide range and much originality— especially an aerial adventurism with guitar that was news to me.

Kleijn's liner notes include, ..."I've always been drawn to the openness and freedom indigenous to the guitar trio. There is space to breathe and, to me, music is exactly about that."

One reason this CD is so enjoyable is the clean, open air and aesthetically appealing sanity it provides in a period of general commercial crowding and ax grinding. It's enjoyable first thing in the morning and late at night, and it grows on you in the way any art does when it's thoughtful as well as beautiful.

Track Listing: Drie Kleuren; So In Love; Star Crossed Lovers; Charlie; Here Without; Ev'rything I Love; Willem; When It's Sleepy Time Down South.

Personnel: Daan Kleijn: guitar; Tobias Nuboer: bass; Joost Van Schaik: drums

Title: Trio | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Daan Kleijn

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

So In Love

So In Love

Daan Kleijn
Trio

Star Crossed Lovers

Star Crossed Lovers

Daan Kleijn
Trio

Charlie

Charlie

Daan Kleijn
Trio

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Trio by David Bittinger
Read more articles
Trio

Trio

Daan Kleijn
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Blue Fantasia" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Fantasia
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Into A Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into A Myth
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Lucille" CD/LP/Track Review Lucille
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Terrestrial Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Terrestrial Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2018