EWM records. Nr 75356 (www.EWM-MUSIC.com)
Herbert de Jonge Quartet
This excellent Dutch band, based in Amsterdam, plays compositions by Herbert de Jonge as a starting point for in depth improvisations. As a composer, Herbert is inspired by European classical music and the heartbeat of jazz. The structure of the compositions, written for this band, allows for a surprising unity between the composed and the improvised.
The musicians of this versatile band don’t oppose displaying their “chops”, even so, more value is given to listening and fine-tuning. They explore how to give voice to the moment, sensitive and powerful, offering the listener an intense experience of improvised music.
Esmée Olthuis combines a delightfull “esprit” with strength and depth. Her performance is high quality throughout thanks to a crystal clear focus and complete dedication. With impeccable technique she gives wings to her creative expression.
Arjen Gorter maintains a striking naturalness in his play while knowing all the ins and outs of the jazz tradition. His sparkling simplicity and creativity attest to mastery born out of his love for music.
Charles Huffstadt has a strong, innate connection with roots, space and eternity. This nimble giant knows that there is nothing to be gained, unless you surrender totally to your creativity.
Herbert de Jonge plays his music in a lyrical and adventurous way, with a lot of feeling. He succeeds not only in providing the compositions that his band thrives upon, but also creates a space where each individual can improvise with great passion and thorough attentiveness. With Esmée, Arjen and Charles, he finally found the musicians he had been looking for all along. In his own words:
“I am glad that our band goes beyond the routine of first playing a song and then starting to improvise. I feel that the most exciting music comes into being when you don’t hear the difference between the written music and the improvisations. Also, each of us is able to individually fill up the room. Esmée, Arjen and Charles, all three of them are true masters in focused creativity. They challenge me to be steady and daring – they give my music arms and legs.”