Thursday, October 09, 2003

Chris Mentens Jazz Van - Drivin' (AZ Productions)


Chris Mentens - b
Sam Versweyveld - tp
Joe Higham - ss, ts, cl
Jan Nihoul - vib
Bilou Doneux - d

Koen Nijs - ts (on tracks 5 and 6)
Dree Peremans - tb (on tracks 6 and 8)
Ben Sluijs - as (on track 6)
Pierre Van Dormael - g (on track 6)

I've just received and spun this new release. A groovy, multi-layered and overdubbed bass solo leads the way into a set of Mentens compositions. The instrumentation (vibraphone instead of piano), the sound (clear and polished) and Mentens's melodic sense gives the album a Dave Holland Quintet-ish flavour, minus the tricky meters. Fine solos throughout, an enjoyable listen. Amusingly, the album opens and closes with sounds presumably made by the van on the cover. More details after more listening.

The Jazz Van is playing octber 10th at the Hnita-Hoeve and october 18th at the Sounds, the latter being part of the Audi Jazz Festival.

Check out the website for info and sound clips.