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Smet, Catherine / Dirk Wachtelaer: Improvisations (Creative Sources)

Taking two players from Guy Seger's Eclectic Maybe Band (Discus Records), classically trained Catherine Smet and improvising drummer Dirk Wachtelaer fulfill their album's title with 11 free dialogs, their dexterous mastery evident as they carry on energetic conversations of urgent activity, or lay back in cultivated discourse of sophisticated artistry; engaging.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063405613

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs561
Squidco Product Code: 26708

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Studio Hype, in Mechelen, Belgium, on May 11th, 2018.


Catherine Smet-piano

Dirk Wachtelaer-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Catherine Smet's music is a reflection of her amazing journey made of encounters and shimmering discoveries, carrying the colours and rhythms of the cultures that she loves to dissect not without a certain malice.

Her artistic path reflects her desire to explore the possibilities for integrating the composition and improvisation by componing for various groups, and seeking a common material where classical, contemporary, jazz and tango can meet.

She appeared in different bands of various trends in performance or playing improvised music with musicians such as Michael Moore, Peter Jaqmain or Bart Maris.

In the alternative rockscene she played with Guy Segers and Michel Delville and went on an European tour with the Rythmiss, an Afro-Cuban percussion band.

In 2015 she released her first auto-produced album " IluSioneS" (with the support of Sabam for Culture 2015) with 12 songs solo at the piano.

-Dragonfly Management (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Belgian drummer Dirk Wachtelaer has been playing drums for over 20 years. On the local scene he has been active in many different fields : in regular bands (playing all styles of music), theatre work, education, ...

Internationally he has performed as a member of Paul Schütze's Phantom City (with Bill Laswell and Raul Björkenheim a.o.), as a collaborator with Japanese trumpet player Toshinori Kondo, as a member of Stevie Wishart's Transients band (with Rhodrie Davis ao) and in various ad hoc projects and improvisations (with Trevor Watts, Zeena Parkins, Jim O'Rourke, David Toop, ...)

As a soloist he has been concentrating on the interaction between acoustic drums and electronics (using live electronics, sampling and programming). He has made 3 solo cd's (the last two out on FMR).

In 1999 he founded Vanishing Pictures. Using acoustic instruments and electronics, mixing improvisation with arrangements, and working with ever-changing line-ups this band has been one continuous adventure. The musicians who have participated (and still do) have very different backgrounds and come from all over the world, a.o.: Gerrit Valckenaers (B), Jim Denley (Aus), Luc Mishalle (B), Pierre Bastien (Fr), Paul Lytton (UK), Otomo Yoshihide (Jap), I Made Wardana (Bali), Dj Grazzhoppa (B), Babs Jobo (Ghana), Philipp Wachsmann (UK), Luiz Marquèz (Mex), ... Four cd's have been released, all four on FMR.

In between his solo work and Vanishing Pictures lies his work concentrating on percussion ensembles. He has been working in duo with American percussionist Michael Weilacher and did a project with Steve Hubback and Trevor Taylor (the Kortrijk Percussion Project, also out on FMR)."

-Vanishingpictures (

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track listing:

1. You And Me Together 4:56

2. Looking At The Crossroads 7:52

3. Northern Landscape 9:08

4. Catching The Red Line 5:18

5. Volcano 9:04

6. Another Story 5:43

7. Like A Ghost In Your House 5:50

8. Look At The Right Side 7:03

9. Somewhere You Push The Door 5:44

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Catherine Smet is a classically trained pianist, who studied both at the Conservatory of Brussels and Antwerp. She has been active in many genres, including African and Latin, which she further perfected in Buenos Aires and Cuba. She is a member of the tango band Tango2.

Dirk Wachtelaer has been a drummer for over 30 years, and has played in a variety of experimental settings, including collaborations with Toshinori Kondo, Jim O'Rourke, Paul Lytton, to name just a few.

Even if the album's title is not very original, it says what it is, and you get eleven tracks of improvisations. Smet's harmonic approach is more classical than jazzy, improvising with limited use of dissonance and extended techniques, and very loud and 'busy' in terms of style, as if afraid of silence, playing full chords very often, as if trying to avoid any sentimentality, and very broad in her improvisations, using the full range of her keyboard each time, with a high sense of drama and immediacy, as if what she has to say must be told now, immediately and completely, as if she is running out of time. All this makes for a very nervous and agitated album. Wachtelaer's drumming, which is excellent, luckily matches her style, as he's also hard-hitting and intense, and he often leads the improvisation, or at least he takes the intro for some pieces. Yes, there are more subtle pieces, such as "Look At The Right Side", which is more avant-garde and quiet, and "Improvisation 11", which is calm and gentle, both welcome variations in the avalanche of pounding chords.

Both are also member of the Eclectic Maybe Band, whose "The Blind Night Watcher's Mysterious Landscapes" was released earlier this year on Discus, and which I could unfortunately only listen to for two minutes, despite the presence of Joe Higham, our former colleague in the Free Jazz Collective."-Stef, The Free Jazz Collective

Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective
Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Percussion & Drums
Duo Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Creative Sources.

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