Mar 7 2015
On her newest, composer and saxophonist Marike van Dijk offers up another excellent example of the way in which modern jazz and contemporary classical musics can form the most compelling bonds. The Stereography Project projects a simple beauty though constructed from a complex system of crisply moving sections.
The statuesque loveliness of “Jean Jacques” calls strongly upon its classical roots whereas the bubbling exuberance of “Christmas” has got all the heart and soul of straight-ahead jazz tune, and “22e (to everyone I miss)” cuts it straight down the middle. It speaks strongly to the commitment to both music forms that these connective tracks help form a sense of cohesion rather than fracture it.
Furthermore, compositions that transcend both genres for expressions not so easily categorized (“I Am Not a Robot” and the finale “Walsje”) allow for individual traits to coalesce into a distinct, singular personality. This applies, as well, to the rendition of “She’s Leaving Home,” where van Dijk’s ensemble dives into the sweeping elegance only hinted at by the Beatles original.
But perhaps the best moments are represented on a track such as “322423,” where thick, warm harmonies of strings share the same home with a bit of edgy saxophone heat, bringing together the two primary influences into the same expression, and causing them to sound not so different in the first place.
A gorgeous album that strongly engages.
Your album personnel: Marike van Dijk (soprano & alto saxes, compositions), Dan Pratt (conductor), Ben van Gelder (bass clarinet, alto sax), Lucas Pino (clarinet, tenor sax), Anna Webber (flute, tenor sax), Alan Ferber (trombone), Sita Chay (violin), Elinor Speirs (violin), Eric Lemmon (viola), Amanda Gookin (cello), Manuel Schmiedel (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Mark Schilders (drums) and guests: Ruben Samama, Defne Sahin (vocals).
Released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records.
Jazz from the Brooklyn scene.