Wig16: Baars/Henneman/Mengelberg: Sliptong

Wig16: Baars/Henneman/Mengelberg: Sliptong
Wig16: Baars/Henneman/Mengelberg: Sliptong
Label: Wig
Catalog Number: Wig16
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Ab Baars  tenor sax  clarinet  shakuhachi
Ig Henneman  viola
Misha Mengelberg  piano


1. Leng 5.57
2. Sliptong 6.04
3. Mizu-iro 3.24
4. Fishwalk 5.10
5. Zee-engel 8.39
6. Is that Solly? 8.53
7. Misha started whistling 1.27
8. Oystercatchers 3.03

total time 43.17

all compositions
Ab Baars Ig Henneman Misha Mengelberg
buma stemra

recording
December 8 2008 Bimhuis Amsterdam 
Micha de Kanter | Mideka Music Recording

mixing & editing
Micha de Kanter Ab Baars Ig Henneman

liner notes
Kevin Whitehead

photos & design
Francesca Patella

produced by
Ig Henneman

+++

It's always a pleasure to hear Misha Mengelberg in small ensembles away from the hustle and bustle of the ICP Orchestra, where he's often better at playing Misha than he is at playing piano. This trio outing with ICP stalwart Ab Baars (tenor sax, clarinet, shakuhachi) and Baars's partner – in life as in music – Ig Henneman (viola) is the best Mengelberg to come my way since 2006's vis-à-vis with Frank Gratkowski (Leo). Sliptong, Kevin Whitehead informs us in his liners, is a Dutch fish dish consisting of baby sole (Kevin's always had a thing about food.. I remember a splendid description of Mengelberg frying pork chops in New Dutch Swing), and that's what Ab, Ig and Misha had for dinner just before they recorded in the Bimhuis – not in front of an audience though – on December 8th last year. Sliptong, the album, is a great example of what Mengelberg does best: find the right notes (or the right wrong notes), put them exactly where they should go and leave the doors open to adjacent musical idioms (jazz, classical, whatever) and plenty of room for his playing partners to move into them. Baars is a thorny player, with a distinctive sound on the tenor that can't always be described as pleasant, a disturbing Ayleresque wide vibrato coupled with a detuned rubbery honk vaguely reminiscent of Von Freeman, and his duo with Henneman, a similarly uncompromising violist, can sometimes be tough going (witness 2006's Stof). But Misha knows just how to soften the blow, adding the odd exquisitely-voiced Monkish bop sequence or delightful flurry of baroque counterpoint just when appropriate. He also resists the temptation to corral the improvisation into one of his own compositions – the title track contemplates "Romantic Jump Of Hares" but thankfully doesn't take the plunge – and when he really pares things down to the basic musical building blocks it's spellbinding: "Zee-engel" explores the possibilities of a single semitone with a rigour Steve Lacy would have been proud of. Baars' control over the usually shrill upper register of the clarinet is impressive, as is Henneman's bowed work (check out the spiccato on "Is that Solly?" too). Can't say the fish and mashed potatoes sounds all that thrilling, but the music is delicious. Bon appétit.–Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

'Sliptong', de nieuwste cd van Ab Baars (tenorsax, klarinet, shakuhachi), Ig Henneman (altviool) en Misha Mengelberg (piano), is volstrekt authenthiek, uniek, onnavolgbaar en van groot belang voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in de ontwikkelingen van jazz anno nu. Naast Baars' prominente bijdrage wil ik in een adem de substantiële en beeldbepalende inbreng noemen van Ig Henneman en de hier uiterst 'spraakzame' Misha Mengelberg. (...) Ongekend en ongehoord is Mengelbergs frisse, avontuurlijke en jeugdige spel hier. Je beluistert de onbevangenheid en onbekommerdheid van het spelen op het podium van een verlaten Bimhuis. Je hoort de rondwarende vibe van deze muziektempel, waar in het nog korte bestaan ervan al zoveel onvergetelijks plaatsvond. Deze opname is een schitterend bewijs van hoe deze avond alles op zijn plek viel. Het resultaat is een hoogtepunt in de categorie hedendaagse jazz in Nederland. -- Cees van de Ven, Draai om je oren 7.6.09