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Friday, April 11, 2008

Ad Peijnenburg & William Parker - Brooklyn Calling (Dino CD, 2004) ****½

At times I wonder how it happens that I come across so many "four star CDs" a week, often doubting my own sense of judgment. The fact is that I mostly write about what I like, helping you, reader and listener, to new albums you might like (I hope!). To do that I scan the internet on a daily basis, from allaboutjazz to label sites, etc. Sometimes musicians or labels send me their material, as is the case here with Ad Peijnenburg, and it is truly mind-boggling that I wasn't aware of this CD, which was released in 2004. Either I was asleep at the time, or there wasn't sufficient interest in his music, or the more professional reviewers were also asleep. And that's a shame, because the nice, charming and warm duo-setting of Peijnenburg's baritone sax and William Parker's empathetic bass is truly excellent. Peijnenburg's playing is soft, gentle, hesitant and deeply emotional, and so free. He rarely falls back into musical patterns : what he does is new, created on the spot, and remaining that way, without creating tunes based on repetitions of notes or chordal progressions, yet managing to be melodious throughout. When he does integrate tunes into his improvisations, they are almost humoristic, as in the middle of "Many Things". Parker of course has played in many contexts before, and his adaptability to another musician's musicial vision is as brilliant as always. He sounds like William Parker, but the Peijnenburg William Parker, joining the Dutchman in his journey, in his concept, not afraid to lay accents or even push his partner on, or even shouting at times. The first track is called "Notes From Heaven", and this title fits the whole album. This is true, genuine, authentic music, by a skilled free-spirited instrumentalist who clearly enjoys every note the two of them play : sober and rich at the same time. Try to find it.

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