Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Sebastiaan Cornelissen: U-Turn

464

Sebastiaan Cornelissen: U-Turn

By

Sign in to view read count
Sebastiaan Cornelissen: U-Turn
It's a minute and forty seconds before Sebastiaan Cornelissen's drums ease into the frame on U-Turn. Although he has a lot to say he's clearly not in a rush; this second solo effort has been seven years coming and has taken four years to put together. The fourteen pieces, which could almost be seen as a continuous suite given their stylistic uniformity, are less about his playing and more about his writing. With the aid of no fewer that seventeen heavyweight fusion musicians, Cornelissen's has set out his stall not so much to dazzle, despite some fine playing all round, but rather to seduce, subtly and gradually.

Keyboards play a major role in shaping the tunes and defining atmosphere; to this end much of the music has the feel of '80s John McLaughlin albums, when keyboard sounds dominated the proceedings, providing chordal progressions and a kind of pale melancholy.

Cornelissen employs three keyboard players. Gary Husband's playing exhibits lovely contrasts, from flowing electric piano on the faster paced "Fruits and Fibre" and swirling synth on the title track, to a more lyrical approach on his own "England Green" and fine piano on "Caspar." Scott Kinsey lends a veritable cornucopia of keyboard sounds to "All So Familiar"-; dreamy synth, softly probing piano, vibe and vocorder effects on a tune which fades after a short three minutes, just when it's about to go somewhere really interesting. Steve Hunt has two sinewy keyboard solos, one on "Up There" and a more expansive one on "Bread Maker." Keys elsewhere are handled by Cornelissen.

There is space in these compositions too, and every note feels carefully weighted and strategically placed—perhaps not surprising in a work so long in the making. Harmonic depth and melodic composition are at the heart of this music, and given that there are some great solos from guitarists such as Mike Outram, Leonardo Amuedo, Richard Hallebeek, Susan Weinert and Alex Machacek, the overall effect of the music is strangely soothing.

Gerard Presencer's flugelhorn brings the pensive minimalism of latter-day Miles Davis, particularly at the beginning of "Can Do" and on the ninety second mood-piece "Stello," where he is accompanied sympathetically by Cornelissen and a sprinkling of spacey programming.

No fewer than seven bass players are used, but Frans Vollink is Cornelissen's main partner, appearing on half of the tunes. In truth, though the bass playing throughout is top drawer, it's a challenge to tell the players apart. Cornelissen's drumming, whoever the bassist may be, is impressive—animating the compositions with energy and taste in equal measure. He succeeds in commanding attention without seeking the spotlight in a way similar to Asaf Sirkis.

Cerebral yet melodically appealing, technically impressive yet with plenty of breathing space, Cornelissen has, with U-Turn, joined the front ranks of new fusion artists who are redefining the genre.

Track Listing

Can Do; Fruits and Fibre; U-Turn; Caspar; Hands; Stello; England Green; All so Familiar; Stevenage; Up There; Bread Maker; Squash; Snox; Last One.

Personnel

Sebastiaan Cornelissen: drums, guitar, programming, additional keys; Alex Machacek: guitar (14); Susan Weinert: guitar (13); Mike Outram:guitar (5); Richard Hallebeek: guitar (10, 12); Leonardo Amuedo: guitar (9); Gary Husband: keys (2, 3, 7); Scott Kinsey: keys (8); Steve Hunt: keys (10, 11); Hadrien Feraud: bass (5, 13); Frans Vollink: bass (1-4, 7, 8, 10); Jimmy Earl: bass (12); Tom Kennedy: bass (14); Johnny Copland: bass (12); Gary Willis: bass loops (8); Ruud Cornelissen: bowed acoustic bass (4); Gerard Presencer: flugelhorn (1, 6, 13).

Album information

Title: U-Turn | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Abstract Logix


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

September Night
Tomasz Stańko
A Different Light
Carl Clements
Cubop Lives!
Zaccai Curtis
Beautiful Moons Ago
The Gabrielle Stravelli Trio

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.