Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fred Delplancq Quartet - 24/03/2007@Jazz Station, Bruxelles

Fred Delplancq - ts (myspace)
Jef Neve - p
Gus Bakker - b
Kris Duerinckx - d

Fred Delplancq is a solid contemporary post-bop player, with an even sound and a predilection for rolling, muscular rhythms. We walked in mid-way through the first set and, maybe I was tired or irritated, but it took me a very long time to get into the music. The last two songs of the second set, in fact. The turning point came with a sublimely slow introduction: Delplancq intoned a plaintive melody, accompanied by droning arco bass and thunder-clap piano string strumming. Kris Duerinckx progressively grew agitated, in complementary contrast to the stretched-out mood. Jef's solo was magnificently spare, with chiming chords left to hang in space.

This was followed by a very different kind of tune, as Delplancq and Gus Bakker exchanged raunchy blues phrases before leading into funky four-to-the-floor hard bop with a tricky, harmonically elaborate tag. Here, the saxophonist started with long, sweeping lines and ended with bluesy wails. On the encore ballad, Jef gave a most intriguing form of accompaniment to the bass solo, finding cristalline resolutions to unexpectedly dissonant chords.

There's currently a Chet Baker exhibit at the Jazz Station, with photography, LPs, newspaper and magazine articles and other memorabilia. Some gig-in-the-basement photos made me think of the difficulty of performance photography, too many of which are just "here is X, playing instrument Y." Including mine, which is why I generally avoid posting concert photos (though I've been indulging recently, human weakness...). I think Jean-Philippe's from the Susie Ibarra concert go beneath the surface and comment on the music itself. I especially love the minimalist Craig Taborn photo.