Sunday, April 09, 2006

whaddya mean you ain't gotta website?

My man Teun Verbruggen has set up his website. He told me about this a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot to post about it... Teun is a versatile and busy drummer, but also one of my favourite musicians to chat with: warm, gentle and open-minded. Anyway, wait for the "certified 31% evil" sound clip to load: it's a dark, evil, swampy, updated Miles-circa-Dark-Magus guitar-driven improvised groove, but then midway Jozef inserts these pop-ish clear-as-a-bell Rhodes tones into the maëlstrom... it's awesome. Othin Spake (Teun, Jozef Dumoulin on keyboards and Mauro Pawlowski on guitar) at the Beurs was one of the year's highlights, for me. These excerpts will apparently be remixed and put on the album, so my expectations are very high. Definitely part of the new jazz-rock thing I talked about early this year.

While I'm talking about Teun, I should mention that the VVG Trio he's a part of has released their sophomore CD, a double album called "In Orbit." It (and the title track) was meant to be called "Blues In Orbit," but was changed when they realised they'd be up against Duke Ellington... Not only is the music superb (first CD in the studio, mainly as a trio, second CD live as a quintet, with Jozef on piano and Magic Malik on flute and some characteristically wacky/haunting vocals) and a definite progression over their already-good debut, the packaging is beautiful too. The cover is like a mix between Mondrian (colours) and Han Bennink (line drawing style), to make a Dutch-themed comparaison. Inside, one CD is metallic red, the other metallic yellow. It looks awesome folded out.

The music is free-wheeling-yet-melodic saxophone trio, and the quintet is even more free-wheeling, due partly to not being a regular band (although they're touring soon) and partly to Jozef and Magic Malik making very personal and creative contributions. Also, you get to hear Jozef on acoustic piano, which is rare, since he's almost always heard on Rhodes. He's a monster pianist (despite the, um, lackluster Archiduc piano), but he also imports his fertile Rhodes-based textural ideas (cf. the twinkling at the end of "All Or Nothing At All," which kind of destabilises saxophonist/leader Bruno Vansina, but is beautiful. The concert is full of curveballs like that). Check it out here.