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1972-1992: Andriessen, Mengelberg, Etc
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1. On Jimmy Yancey for jazz ensemble
3. Balada do Amor Militante
8. Dat gebeurt in Vietnam
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At first blush I though this was this groups greatest hits, and they do have many, but here Trajekten is more a memorial,a nostalgia for what was. Orkest de Volharding was born of the turbulence the re-politicized times of the late Sixties,like the Scratch Orchestra in London or MEV in Rome, the inflammatory student rebellions throughout the world is what gave the impetus here. And Volharding had sought the duel liberation regarding art and politics as inseparable. The Dutch within the mileau of new music and the avant-garde always was two steps away from the vigours of jazz, and Volharding's aesthetic constitution was discovering where all roads come together. The Netherlands are at the northern hub of Europe and have always sought the riches of every conduit to itself. Composer Louis Andriessen founded Volharding,he sought composition lessons with Luciano Berio but never succumbed to the heavy laden European serial sensibility. Instead he did find more active,colourful worlds in jazz synthesized with the post-war avant-garde then minimalism. Two items of his are here the initiation piece "On Jimmy Yancey" from 1972 is a White Man's blues like in hommage to him,and then a Mickey Spillaine "It happens in Vietnam". "Dressoir" of Mengelberg has again another European strain of the cabaret with its incessant rhythms, it reminded me of Hanns Eisler. Cees van Zeeland "Lacune" we get to what I consider the highest "ernst musik" of Volharding those commissions from the Eighties,where they really "cooked" and torn off the ruff, but "Lacune" has nice tension but seems to get stuck on itself, it never explodes. All the other works here scour more materials from the avant-garde with freely improvised solos,which I didn't find all that interesting,merely sketch-like music. All the Volharding players are conversant in numerous styles,and you can hear the discipline in their playing. There are no drums, the Volharding are more Big Band augmented with Flute, and sometimes French Horn. The piano functions as the percussion, merely and powerfully punctuating the groups hard edge music. If you are ever in Amsterdam, Volharding plays at De Ijsbreker frequently. They're worth a flatter.