Monday, 12 September 2011

lean left + ab baars @ cafe oto 09/11/2011

Dutch post-punk Terrie Ex and Andy Moor have a long history of meetings on their shoulders. Tom Cora, Gétatchèw Mekuryia, The Instant Composers Pools, but the list is still longer, supposing that enumerating would be of help in that case. The risk of being ceremonial doesn't fit with a band that spent their entire career in making soul music, even if in avant-punk clothes.

During this two-days residency, The Lean Left, a side project in which the Ex guitars are colliding with Ken Vandermark reeds and Paal Nillsen-Love sticks, as on the couple of records issued by Smalltown Superjazz, are meeting with Dutch composer and bandleader Ab Baars on Sept. 11 and, the day after, with Rip Rig + Panic, Derek Bailey, Tristan Honsiger mate and drummer Steve Noble.

Reporting about the first night, the two guitars, saxophone and drums started to play at about 9.00 pm showing an excellent feeling, coherence, magnetism and dynamics grasp, joined by Baars after a small pause for a second set. The only note possible is that what you hear is exactly what you can expect from the guys, if this can be taken as a negative point. 

Multi-reedits Ken Vandermark, since his settling in Chicago in 1989 played in a huge variety of contexts: avant-garde jazz (Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Axel Doerner, Mats Gustafsson, Wolter Wierbos, Joe McPhee, Zu, Peter Brötzmann, Paul Lovens), avant rock (Flying Luttenbachers), tribute projects (Sun Ra, Parliament/Funkadelic), building a unique style in which multilayered structures and free playing find their own balance through the arrangements. 

Ab Baars, member of the ICP collective, clarinetist, tenorist and also a shakuhachi player, started playing at the age 15 in small locals bands in Eindhoven, than he studied saxophone in Rotterdam's conservatory, and finally in Los Angeles with Clarinettist-composer John Carter. Influenced by AACM multi-reedist Roscoe Mitchell, his style was described by fellow pianist Misha Mengelberg as 'ab music'. He's also co-leading with Ig Henneman the WIG Foundation, whose main goal is promoting both improvised and composed music through the Netherlands.

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