7

Daan Kleijn: Trio

David Bittinger By

Sign in to view read count
Daan Kleijn: Trio 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

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Daan Kleijn | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

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

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!