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Six focused quartet improvisations with complex, independent layers of rich textures. Featuring Dutch vocalist/sound-poet Jaap Blonk and three Texas improvisors: Damon Smith (bass), Sandy Ewen (guitar & objects), Chris Cogburn (percussion).

Blonk, Jaap / Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Chris Cogburn
North of Blanco

Blonk, Jaap / Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Chris Cogburn: North of Blanco (Balance Point Acoustics)
Label: Balance Point Acoustics    
Released in: USA    

"I first worked with Jaap Blonk in 1998 in Palermo, Sicily, in a quartet with the great alto player Gianni Gebbia. It was my first time overseas and my first European festival. In the last few years we have been able to work together again in Houston, TX. This music was recorded on short tour with two of the most important improvisors in Texas.When I started this label in 2001. I decided to use writings by bass players for the liner notes, based on an idea by William Parker (who wrote notes for BPA 015).In this case, my playing at this session was very directly influenced by the extreme prepared bass ideas documented on PascAli's incredible double bass duo album, Suspicious Activity. So it was fortunate that they wrote my first set of notes from a bass duo.The quartet would like to thank Neal D. Retke & Real Ale Brewery in Blanco, Texas."-Damon Smith, December 2013

"Funny that right after I send in the William Hooker review I get another record with Damon Smith on it. Sweet. This is a really cool album with a wide array of diverse sounds and adventurous textures.

Quirky birps and bleeps along with bizarre but somehow welcoming vocalizations characterize the first two songs, "Cueing the Nooks" and "Net Kongo" which isn't surprising consideration Dutch performance artist Jaap Blonk is on this record. It's opens up a bit more atmospherically and dynamically on the next cut, "Winner Kult Song" but the vocalizations remain a constant throughout. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it can wear you down a bit after a while. Fortunately Mr. Blonk gives guitarist Ewen, percussionist Cogburn and double bassist Smith room to breathe on the next cut "Brewing Tools" before dominating the last third. Ewen, Cogburn and Smith are sensitive and intuitive musicians who never overwhelm the proceedings and should be commended highly. With all due respect I'd love to hear them on a record as a trio some time.

"Hebber Took Us In" and "On the Big Wulk" close out the album in the same fashion and credit must be given to all for the cohesiveness of the recording. Mr. Blonk is an acquired taste but to his credit he didn't over dominate this album but I can't help thinking that maybe some folks might be turned off to six cuts lasting almost an hour together of his improvs. Nonetheless this was a cool collection and I'm glad I got to hear it. Add a star if you're a big fan of Mr. Blonk."-Ed Pettersen, Free Jazz Blog

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Related Categories of Interest:

West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Blonk, Jaap
Free Improvisation
Unusual Vocal Forms
Blonk, Jaap
Quartet Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

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Price: $9.60
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

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Product Information:

Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA016
Squidco Product Code: 18919

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Double Dog Studios in Round Rock, Texas, on June 1st, 2013, by Mike Kosacek.


Jaap Blonk-voice, electronics

Sandy Ewen-guitar, objects

Damon Smith-prepared double bass

Chris Cogburn-percussion

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Track Listing:

1. Cueing the Nooks 9:09

2. Net Korgo 3:12

3. Winner Kult Song 7:54

4. Brewing Tools 21:10

5. Hebber Took Us In 9:12

6. On the Big Wulk 5:17