Saturday, September 20, 2003

Revisited: Jef Neve - Blue Saga (Contour)

Blue SagaI must admit that I rarely return to records after reviewing them. However, after the terrific concert described two posts ago, I felt the urge to pull out "Blue Saga" once more. I didn't remember hearing the high-energy playing Neve displayed in Pascal Schumacher's group, so I especially wanted to see if I had somehow missed it.

It turns out I hadn't missed anything. "Blue Saga" remains in the running for Belgian album of the year, but it is certainly far more sedate than the Schumacher gig. The set consists essentially of original ballads, interrupted only by the uptempo bop of Charlie Parker's "Segment" and "Pink Coffee" and the dynamic, two-drum back-beat of "When Spring Begins." While this may account for what I perceived as Neve's greater ability to carry a ballad (notably in dynamics and pacing), it offers only a limited view of his formidable capacities.

"Blue Saga" can be ordered from Jef Neve's website. Buy the album and help him pay off his brand-new Citroën Berlingo.