All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Live Recitation" CD/LP/Track Review Live Recitation
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "New Standards Vol. 3" CD/LP/Track Review New Standards Vol. 3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 5, 2018
Read "Parts Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Parts Unknown
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 2, 2017