Reviews that mention Ernst Reijseger

December 11, 2014

Flat Earth Society

Igloo IGL 257

Peter Kowald


Jazz Werksttatt JW 150

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-Tett

Navigation (Possibly Abstracts XI & XIII)

Firehouse 12 FH-12-04-01-019

Hans Lüdemann

Die Kunst des Trio 1-5

BMC Records BMC CD 196

Something In The Air: Outstanding and Unusual Boxed Sets

By Ken Waxman

As the availability of music on different media continues to proliferate, the focus of the durable box set has become equally diverse. No longer does a multi-disc collection have to be definitive or far-ranging. As a matter of fact some of the best, like the ones discussed here, concentrate on certain sequences in an artist’s career. MORE

June 15, 2011

Simon Nabatov

Leo Records CD LR 586

Lucas Niggli Big Zoom


Intakt CD 174

Probably the most interesting younger trombonist in Europe, who is affiliated neither with out-and-out Free Music or the Mainstream, is German-born Nils Wogram. Like most contemporary players he leads his own ensembles while lending his inventiveness to a variety of other groups. Paradoxically though, while his own CDs lean towards the populist, the challenge of sidemen duties often brings out a more adventurous side, as these CDs demonstrate. MORE

March 23, 2009

Earl Howard

New World 80670-2

Making the most of a concert situation at Germany’s Donaueschingen Musiktage 2006, American composer Earl Howard uses real-time processing plus 10 multi-programs on his synthesizer to complement and amplify – metaphorically and literally – sounds created by Georg Graewe’s piano, Gerry Hemingway’s drums and Ernst Reijseger’s cello.

This non-hierarchal texture-manipulation removes the barrier between composer and performer as well as combining background and foreground. Throughout the performance, for example, the pianist’s galloping soundboard echoes are matched by shimmering and ramping synthesizer buzzes, while in other spots a stately low-frequency keyboard line can have its origin in Graewe’s or Howard’s instrument. Rhythmic granulation of the drummer’s irregular flams and cymbal top resolutions by electronics or exposing sequences of spiccato slides and sweeps that may come from either four-strings-and-polished-wood or circuitry extends this strategy. MORE

May 30, 2005

Guus Janssen and his Orchestra

Dancing Series

Leo Cupyers

Zeeland Suite & Johnny Rep Suite


By Ken Waxman

Mythmaking abounds in improvised music – as much in European free sounds as in American jazz – after all, this genre has been the romantic music for more than 100 years.

Sadly, empirical research can reinterpret many of those fables as efficiently as it demythologizes other subjects. This brings up the tales of anarchistic Dutch jazz/free music. Since the majority of jazz fans – i.e. North Americans – didn’t start to pay attention to the Netherlands until late 1980s, it appeared as if the mixture of zany humor and serious musicianship that characterized high-profile aggregations like the ICP Orchestra and Willem Breuker’s Kollektief (WBK) was a universal concept. Later bands lead by composers like pianists Guus Janssen and Michel Braam seemed to confirm this. MORE

May 16, 2005


Autumn Music
Leo Records CD LR 397

No better definition of musical post-modernism exists than hearing the Simon Nabatov trio work out its strategy on “Hardly Obliged”.

While Nabatov, the Russian-American pianist and American percussionist Michael Vatcher caress the smooth melody that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1940s Hollywood extravaganza, anarchistic Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger deconstructs it with harsh cello tones. On top of muted brushwork and piano cadences that lean towards the cocktail hour, Reijseger twists, burrows and squeaks his strings, produces particular staccato runs and whistles while he works. The overall effect is like watching a movie featuring a tuxedo-clad Eddy Duchin expressing a lush melody on the piano while the Marx Brothers destroy the very stage on which he’s playing. MORE

November 17, 2003


Strong Force
Mutable Music 17511-2

STRONG FORCE is a true American mongrel.

A through-composed piece, written by someone very much on the New music side of things, it’s still given a distinct sense of spontaneity through the contributions of improvisers, whose sympathies usually lie on the jazz side of the fence. Commissioned by The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, much of the music bubbles along thanks to the individual players’ skills, as well as its creation by Sunnyside, N.Y.-based composer Earl Howard who sits in on synthesizer. In fact, STRONG FORCE’s main weakness is definitely extra-musical, with some contributions distant or muffled because of the live recording situation at New York’s Merkin Hall. MORE

August 4, 2003


Cryptogramophone CG 118

Il Peso Delle Nuvole
Splasc (h) CDH 852.2

Building an improv band around a cello is no longer the novelty it would have been 10 years ago.

To give some examples: American expatriate Tristan Honsinger is all over European CDs whether they’re by big bands or small combos; Fred Lonberg-Holm seems to turn up on every second session recorded in Chicago; and Vancouver-based Peggy Lee has been a member of different-sized bands throughout North America and Europe. MORE

August 5, 2002


Ere Ibeji
Bvhaast CD 1401

Add the name of Martin Fondse to the short list of composer/arrangers who are able to create a multi-part suite with sections that are melancholy without being mawkish and celebratory without being frivolous.

Written to honor Fondse’s deceased twin sister, ERE IBEJI, is based on the language and rituals of the Yoruba people in Africa, who use the ere ibjeii or carved twin figures to bridge the gap between the living and the dead and the seen and unseen world.

In the 13 compositions here, the Dutch composer uses his 10-year-old, 10-member Oktemble in a similar fashion. The delicacy and voicing of some tunes brings to mind similar low-key work for comparable ensembles led by Northamericans Teddy Charles and Gil Evans. Conversely, the sense of fun that radiates from other pieces relates to the jocund musical expressions of Europeans such as Italian Gianluigi Trovesi or fellow Dutchman Willem Breuker. MORE

September 20, 2000


Buzz ZZ 76012

Jubilee Varia
hatology 528

Comparisons are odious, but if anyone could be characterized as the Thelonious Monk of Europe it would be Dutch pianist/composer Misha Mengelberg. Headman of the little recorded Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, he's also the theoretician behind the creative musical irony which underlines much of what we know as post modern Dutch --and by extension -- European jazz.

Suddenly, though, we have two ways to appreciate Mengelberg's art, discs that could be the 1990s versions of MONK'S MUSIC and THELONIOUS HIMSELF. In fact, on the orchestra CD, you could even say that the pianist has his own Art Blakey in long-time drummer-collaborator Han Bennink and, to stretch the point even further, his own John Coltrane in saxophonist/clarinetist An Baars.