The Squid's Ear Magazine

Jackson, Keefe / Oscar Jan Hoogland / Joshua Abrams / Mikel Patrick Avery: These Things Happen [VINY (Astral Spirits)

Drawing on the traditions of jazz by reference and by covers of "Bemsha Swing" (Monk), "The Happenings" (Nichols) and "Gotta Get Some Sleep" (Redman), this exuberant 2016 concert at Bimhuis in Amsterdam brings together three great Chicago players--Keefe Jackson on sax, Joshua Abrams on bass & Mikel Patrick Avery on drums--with Dutch pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland.

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product information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS173
Squidco Product Code: 32356

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Bimhuis, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on April 29th, 2016, by Marc Shots and Mark Nieuwenhuis.


Keefe Jackson-tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone

Oscar Jan Hoogland-piano

Joshua Abrams-double bass

Mikel Patrick Avery-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This one's going on my list of "joyful" albums of 2022. Saxes, piano, bass, and drums explore the space of the characters of jazz-as in "That guy's really a character!". Monk's "Epistrophy" sets a tone and intention. The quartet plays with downtown eyebrows, arched with (non-ironic) humor and a little swagger. It's a short set, an EP, which is a reason to lament. I want more.

The three other covers are Monk's "Bemsha Swing," "Gotta Get Some Sleep," by Dewey Redman, and "The Happenings," by Herbie Nichols, who doesn't get covered nearly enough. As much as Jackson's sax is the lead voice, this feels sort of like a pianist's album. Oscar Jan Hoogland seems to have the history of jazz piano at his fingers. Yeah, he's building on the magisteria suggested by Monk and Nichols, but he's using it to craft his own vision (he did all the arrangements).

His playing brings out hints of New Orleans and early swing. On his original "Aahanghuis," he leans into Ellingtonian exotica such that I half expect to hear the quivering Cotton Club clarinet section come in. His other piece, "Wimpel," is a lovely ballad with an askew and charming mid-tempo middle section that makes for one of the most satisfying tension/release moments I've had this year. "Bemsha Swing" is a far out deconstruction of the tune that demonstrates how far you can go and still be informed by the post-bop Monk ethic.

Jackson's playing is broad and warm throughout. I've had occasion before to comment on his way with repetition. It brings Mal Waldron to my mind (it's always good when Mal Waldron comes to mind.) Abrams and Avery provide the (intricate and empathic) sets for this theater, and change them in ways that add to the drama, rather than just support it."-Gary Chapin, The Free Jazz Collective

Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"Keefe Jackson, saxophonist/clarinetist/improvisor/composer, arrived in Chicago in 2001 from his native Fayettevile, Arkansas. He performs regularly in the U.S. and in Europe with many musicians including Pandelis Karayorgis, Tomeka Reid, Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Jason Roebke, Jason Adasiewicz, Mike Reed, Jason Stein, Josh Berman, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Frank Rosaly, Oscar Jan Hoogland and Marc Unternaehrer. He has also appeared with Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Michiel Braam, Satoko Fujii, and Anthony Coleman. Bill Meyer (Chicago Reader): "...the impeccable logic of his lines and the richness of his tone leave you wanting more... Jackson's high-register squiggles and coarsely voiced, rippling runs push the limits of the tenor's tonal envelope." Frank van Herk, de Volkskrant (Amsterdam): "[Jackson] has an old-fashioned, warm-woolly sound, and a feeling for melodic lines that take their time in unfolding." He has been mentioned in the DownBeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone category. Recordings are available on Delmark and Clean Feed Records."

-Keefe Jackson Website (

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Oscar Jan Hoogland: Improviser Composer - piano, electric clavichord, synth, guitar, record players, tape players, megaphones, crackle box, amplified slot machine


"The enfant terrible of the new Dutch impro scene, Oscar Jan Hoogland sprung onto the Amsterdam landscape approximately a decade ago, at the forefront of a new group of improvisers to arrive and simultaneously uphold the tradition of New Dutch Swing even while tearing it apart.


Hoogland is possibly most notable for his ability to use any and every influence as stimuli for improvisation and adventure. Piano may be his main instrument but he is often seen performing on a variety of old synths, a highly customized electric clavichord, guitar, turntables, voice, toys, even an amplified slotmachine... His projects show the diversity of his interests: Jazz with the Chicago based quartet These Things Happen, improvisation with Senegalese griot singer Mola Sylla and percussionist Frank Rosaly, cumbia with Superinca and the Galactic Green, sound installation and performance in Practical Music with Jasper Stadhouders and Christian Lillinger and his Phonograph Orchestra. The Bakfietsband performs on an old dutch transport bicycle for his quartet LOOT featuring Ab Baars Onno Govaert and Uldis Vitols he wrote all the repertoire. Ensembles and projects that link him directly to the history of Dutch improvising, are The Ambush Party "Impossible to predict and impossible to resist" featuring Natalio Sued, Harald Austbø and Marcos Baggiani, the Amsterdam Real Book repertoire project, teaming up with the Benjamin Herman trio for a run on Misha Mengelberg's compositions, and his duo with legendary drummer Han Bennink. He works regularly with Zea, from The Ex frontman Arnold de Boer, with whom he toured Ghana to bridge the worlds improvisation and popmusic.


In all these ensembles, one sees a Misha Mengelberg- like intellect which is just as focused on meta-music and discovering and challenging new ideas as it is on simply providing straight forward musical input.


Oscar has also been crucial in helping this music reach new and different audiences, constantly finding unusual settings which draw together young artists, dancers, and hip underground party folk..He has been running many different series and festivals in Amsterdam including, the legendary Eddie and the Eagles evening in collaboration with the Eddie the Eagle museum at OT301, the Amsterdam Real Book bicycle tours, The Impro Train series at Bimhuis and The 2nd Stop is Jupiter at De Ruimte. In 2016 het brought together the scenes of Amsterdam Berlin and Chicago in the ABC Doek Festival..Over the years he has engaged extensively in the world of theater in collaboration with o.a. De Veenfabriek, De Warme Winkel and De Niewe Tijd..Het Gemeente Museum Den Haag hosted his installation 'On The Line': an homage to Piet Mondriaan's Victory Boogie Woogie that consisted of 12 identical alined record players playing 12 copies of Guus Janssens solo piano record On The Line.


As a teacher Oscar Jan Hoogland is currently on faculty for the composition department at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and the Mime department for the Academie voor Theater en Dans in Amsterdam.


Hoogland is co-director of the improvisers collective DOEK and connected to the Amsterdam venue De Ruimte and runs his own record label De Platenbakkerij."

..-Oscar Jan Hoogland Website (

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"Bassist, Composer Joshua Abrams has been in the thick of Chicago's vibrant music scene for fifteen years, playing & recording as leader & sideman in projects across the genres. he co-founded the "back porch minimalist" band town & country (thrill jockey/box media) & with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor the trio sticks & stones (thrill jockety/482 music). He has released four records under his own name as well as two under the moniker "reminder" that navigate the realms of jazz & improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, beatmaking, minimalism and field recordings (eremite/delmark/eastern developments/lucky kitchen). He has appeared on over 50 recordings including records by Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake & Bindu, Bonny "prince" Billy, Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, Sam Prekop, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, Ernest Dawkins Chicago 12, Savath & Savalis, Prefuse 73, Rhys Chatham, Rob Mazurek, Tortoise, the Roots, Edith Frost, Mia Doi Todd, Diverse, Joan of Arc, Lorren Mazzacane Connors, David Grubbs, David Boykin, Chris Conelly, & the Cairo Gang. He has performed with Roscoe Mitchell, Bill Dixon, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson trio, John Tchicai, the Exploding Star Orchestra, Henry Grimes, Axel Dorner, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Peter Evans, Damo Suzuki, Wilbert de Joode, Jandek, Walter Wierbos, Tony Conrad, Bobby Broom, Sean Bergin, Nate Wooley, Craig Taborn, David Stakenas, Fred Hopkins, Rhys Chatham, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Neil Michael Hagerty, Lin Halliday, Raymond Strid, Douglas Ewart, Toumani Diabate, the Chicago Underground Orchestra, Ron Dewar, Baby d, Kevin Drumm, Terry x, Frederick Lvunquist, Jim o'Rourke, Kurt Vonnegut, & Earle Brown. When in chicago he plays weekly with Jeff Parker and John Herndon."

-Nicole Mitchell Website (

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"Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery has been active within the Chicago art scene since moving to the area 8 years ago. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional "non-musical" objects. Mikel is also a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek's Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams's Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates's Black Monks of Mississippi. He also leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*, and a new conceptual dance company co-led with artist Amanda Avery called The Something Beautiful Movement Orchestra. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama.

For the 2015 Festival, Kate Dumbleton, Executive & Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, says that Mikel "is inventing a piece that will open in the form of a parade and likely culminate with a stage performance. . . .What he came up with is exactly why I wanted to pick him [for a commission]. . . .He's going to have this crazy parade - really connected to the neighborhood--a lot of fun."

The commission to Mikel Patrick Avery is a collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation. The project has been developed in conjunction with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival's Story Share Project. For this commission, Mikel has created a new composition in response to stories collected with residents in the neighborhood around the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative on the South Side of Chicago. We are grateful to the Chicago Community Trust for their support of this project."

-Hyde Park Jazz Festival (

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Track Listing:


1. Epistrophy 03:36

2. Gotta Get Some Sleep 03:52

3. Wimpel 03:26


1. The Happenings 04:15

2. Bemsha Swing 02:30

3. Aanhanghuis 04:16

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Quartet Recordings
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
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New in Improvised Music
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