Kees Hazevoet Quartet CD review [Unheard Music/Atavistic]



Music Reviews
Kees Hazevoet Quartet CD review [Unheard Music/Atavistic]
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May 18, 2004, 03:02

KEES HAZEVOET QUARTET Pleasure CD

“Free Jazz”… to a dumb old rock 'n' roller connotes an urge towards iconoclasm: breaking down preconceptions and creative strictures; opening up the potential for innovation; liberation. It also suggests self-indulgently wallowing in demolition for its own sake.

Most recordings of this type that come my way are a mixture of both and Kees Hazevoet's Pleasure is no exception. The three numbers herein comprise a number of operations. All open with, and periodically return to, the ensemble (sax, bass, drums and Hazevoet, trading off between piano, trumpet and clarinet) stating discordant but cogent themes in an orthodox Third Stream vein. These then give way to passages where each group member improvises lucidly, but with little apparent relation to what the others are playing. In other cases they do listen to one another and consciously play off each other's improvisations. At times it melts down into pure formless cacophony.

As process per se, all the above is legitimate and at least intellectually interesting. The finest improvisation involves a leap into the unknown with the understanding that some explorations will end in calamity. Much artistic tension and thrill results from a musician's going into free fall then figuring out how to turn a nosedive into an elegant barrel-roll on the fly. Other times, some just go “splat!”

For my taste, Pleasure boasts a bit too much freefall and a few too many “splats” though it does achieve gorgeous resolution into uncommon beauty here and there. If chaos and iconoclasm is yr thang, then you will doubtless jizz yr jeans o'er this. [Uhneard Music/Atavistic]

-Howard Wuelfing

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