January 1, 2007
Achim Kaufmann/Michael Moore/ Dylan van der Schyff
Red Toucan RT 9329
Flexible and inventive in his playing, Vancouver percussionist Dylan van der Schyff uses his rhythmic muscle to keeps this session properly focused.
Recorded in two Canadian and two American cities during a 2005 tour by this European-North American trio plus guest Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos on two tracks the drummers skill is such that he reins in German pianist Achim Kaufman and American reedist Michael Moore when they seem to become a bit too romantically cloying in their contributions.
Both based in Amsterdam, and veterans of bands like the ICP Orchestra (Moore) and the Astronotes (Kaufmann), these versatile players are as familiar with notated as improvised music. But on pieces like Roadside and Kopfspinnennetz if not for the drummers clinking cymbals and woodblock smacks respectively, the organic keyboard patterning and trilling reed lyricism would push the renditions into mere prettiness. Imagine a combination of Mozart and the Benny Goodman trio.
Luckily, the pianist, who composed most of the tracks here, uses tremolo voicing and resounding string slides to toughen his renditions other places. His spiky runs, key clipping and hesitant chording plus Moores intense, rappelling alto saxophone trills make Corybant sound like a forgotten Monk tune.
Wierbos distinctive triple-tongued runs and elongated slurs back up van der Schyffs blunt flams and marital rolls when he appears. Additionally, the trombonists shapely plunger movements encourage the pianist to batter harpsichord-like on the keys and the alto saxophonist to wiggle out his most atonal split tones.
— Ken Waxman
— CODA Issue 330