Monday, November 17, 2014

Jorrit Dijkstra, New Crosscurrents

We are back today on a rather gloomy November Monday morning with a recording to cheer you up. I speak of a download-only album by saxophonist-composer Jorrit Dijkstra and a fine Dutch sextet from 2003, New Crosscurrents (Driff). The band is Jorrit Dijkstra, alto saxophone, David Kweksilber, tenor and alto saxophone, Wiek Hijmans, guitar, Guus Janssen, piano, Raoul van der Weide, bass, and Wim Janssen, drums. It was a expansion and extension of the quartet "Sound-Lee!" whose purpose was to celebrate the music of Lee Konitz, the Tristano school's most illustrious and celebrated graduate.

The band plays music from Tristano's famed 1949 recording Intuition, George Russell's "Ezz-thetic," plus cool-school influenced works by Guus.

It's a live date with decent sound. The band takes the compositions and opens them up to lively improvised-laden interpretations that make full use of the band's blowing prowess. Much of the improvisations are collective and contrapuntal, which makes perfect sense given the compositional slant of the music.

This one may well be a sleeper but it deserves your attention, especially if you dig the school of music that the band extends. Guus is a new jazz composer for me but he fits in well with Tristano and Russell as a part of what was happening then. The freedom inherent in the music as performed is in keeping with the avant nature of the originals but also updates it into our era. That's an excellent idea and it works very well indeed.

Good one! You can purchase this download by going to Bandcamp.

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