Monday, June 22
15 Colbourne St.
$18/15 students, seniors, artists, un(der)employed
ERIC BOEREN 4TET
Four heavy-hitters of the Amsterdam creative music scene and the New Dutch Swing sound… in Hamilton for the very first time! Ebullient cornetist ERIC BOEREN has built this burning group of alchemists, playing music based on the early works and instrumentation of Ornette Coleman’s famous quartet. Featuring veteran improvisers; American ex-pat, all reeds virtuoso MICHAEL MOORE, monster double-bassist WILBERT DE JOODE, and one of the fathers of free-jazz, master drummer HAN BENNINK!
Like Coleman, Boeren’s roots are jazz & blues, strong melodies mixed with unexpected keys to challenge improvisers. Boeren’s linguistic and tonal originality add much to his Dutch-jazz adaptations of Coleman tunes, to compositions by Coleman collaborators like Don Cherry and to Boeren’s own pieces. The 4tet assemble, deconstruct and reassemble with a rare blend of intellect, playfulness and musical virtuosity, a perfect balance of control and serendipity.
Our Artist in Residence, trumpeter ELLWOOD EPPS will open the final night’s festivities with a short solo set (see bio here).
More on Eric Boeren 4tet –> Selected Reviews
Dave Lynch, all music.com
The music of Ornette Coleman occupies a special place in the imagination of Eric Boeren. The dynamic Dutch cornetist writes original tunes that share the puckish melodic sensibility and uncontained joy of Coleman’s music, and he often covers Coleman outright—there are two of the master’s songs, for instance, on the excellent new Song for Tracy the Turtle—Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (Clean Feed). But Boeren is no mere copycat or tribute artist. A key fixture on the Amsterdam scene, he brings elements of Coleman’s aesthetic to the loosey-goosey, quick-change approach pioneered by Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in the ICP Orchestra. His terrific quartet, which released its first album in ’97, uses set lists that are really more like clusters of tunes—the musicians decide which number to play when (and at what point to jump to the next one) on the fly. Boeren has a seemingly telepathic connection with his brilliant front-line partner, reedist Michael Moore, and the rhythm section goes from cushioning the horns with a spry bounce to blowing open the sonic space with an eruption of clatter. The horn players tangle and untangle, sometimes sliding into new song by teasing bits of its melody out of the sweet-and-sour harmonies and jagged counterpoint of their ongoing improvisation. Other times the transitions are sudden—the segue from the title track into “A Fuzzphony” is a single graceful leap—but their logic feels totally natural even when it’s impossible to see them coming.
Peter Margasak: Chicago Reader
Swinging easy is hard.
Swinging easy is the most elusive accomplishment in music.
Swinging easy was a constant at the Hungry Brain this past weekend.
Cornetist Eric Boeren, over two sets, didn’t lead the group so much as rode along with his ensemble. Connected by endless rhythmic variations, supplied by Wilbert de Joode on bass and drummer Han Bennink, the band rambled through a clutch of covers and as many originals.
For the assembled crowd, one of the healthier turnouts for Umbrella Music’s Sunday stand at the Hungry Brain, what passed for interpretations and what was original music became obscured by mid-composition thoughtfulness on the part of the band. Working with the most minimal of drum sets, Bennink and his snare sauntered through songs engaged with De Joode’s expansive concept of what a bowed bass should be capable of. At times, the two were tangled up in hypnotic single note, basic rhythms allowing for Boeren and reedist Michael Moore (not that one) to solo all woozy like. If Elmer J. Fudd demanded theme music while strolling drunk down the street, it would have been this.
During any given number, Boeren’s ensemble didn’t strive to move from a NOLA style group improv towards nascent free jazz sounds first posited during the fifties. It’s just where the music went.
Dave Cantor: Time Out Chicago
This disc was taken from a 2004 concert broadcast by Belgian radio and not heard by Boeren until 2008. His quartet is in fine form, frolickingly playing with extended technique to broaden the seemingly simple music Boeren wrote with Coleman in mind.
The music is arranged to allow each player plenty of space. The 4tet seems to have a sense of how to shred a composition, only to reassemble it without a mark. Even their “Free” piece maintains the quartet’s logic. The gentle “Memo” at barely over a minute segues into Eubie Blake’s “Memories Of You,” played straight by Moore’s clarinet and Boeren’s muted cornet with all the sentiment and attitude the song deserves.
The disc ends with the 10-minute “Squirrel Feet/The Legend Of Bebop,” a part Coleman/part Boeren creation which pulls music from Coleman’s The Art of the Improvisers recording, but builds upon a 21st century band concept with 20 years of experience. The quartet is unflappable, assembling the melody before breaking it into several pieces to be reconfigured into a blues swing. Smile, Ornette, smile.
Mark Corroto: All About Jazz
Eric Boeren’s quartet from Holland played four Ornette Coleman tunes and some by Boeren that just might (but not really), have also been written by Coleman. It swung in the unique Ornette way – one of the great contributions to the rhythmic language of jazz. It broke into joyful collective improvisation – sometimes lightly, sometimes with an explosive starburst effect. Sometimes it achieved real counterpoint, sometimes just startling instants of simultaneous exclamation.
Boeren played a long narrow cornet, rather like the first trumpet that Louis Armstrong played after changing from cornet, and he got an exceptionally clean bright sound – so clean and bright that it sounded silvery, like the plating of his instrument – which was deployed at times in the kind of pond-skipping skittery interval jumps we associate with the late Don Cherry. It jumped at times to impressive heights and seemed to glance down at us from up there for a moment, like a mirror flashed in the sun.
John Clare: Wangaratta Jazz Festival
They whizzed and screeched and buzzed and sawed and thumped and thundered and flew and laughed all through that set with the same manic energy I’ve seem them all display at every single other gig I’ve ever seen most of them play in the days and years prior. They love playing and they love playing with each other. No flagging energy in that room.
Jacquline Ochej: Vancouver Jazz Festival
No slavish repertory music here, no gimmicks, a salvation from the dreary shit promoted by the US American mainstream. A new meaning to the description Hot Jazz. A wonderful version of “Beauty Is A Rare Thing” – Indeed it is. Thank you Eric, Ornette would love this band.
Bill Smith: Vancouver Jazz Festival