” The Music of Bob Dylan “

wed 1 mar 2023
Theme: Jazz

Saturday March 4th, 2023, 11:00 PM – The Art of the Improvisers.

The trio Jewels and Binoculars by reed player Michael Moore (photo) takes Bob Dylan songs as its starting point. The result has its own signature. The latter also applies to the music of the Fugimundi trio: it cannot be compared to anything else. Not only the players, but also the compositions are of the highest level. And with The Itch by Benjamin Herman we swing this program out.

Jewels and Binoculars plays (with) Bob Dylan (2001) The musicians of this trio, besides Moore, bassist Lindsey Horner and percussionist Michael Vatcher, are fans of Bob Dylan. In the simplicity of his songs they see many opportunities for improvisation. Michael Moore –  “I am someone who occasionally plays well (…) but very often not very well.” – likes music with a lot of space; something that is easier to achieve within a trio or quartet than in the widely used Instant Composers Pool, one of the other formations in which he plays. Space is therefore an important feature of the Dylan interpretations.

Dylan’s sung opening phrases are also played by Moore, sometimes after an extended intro, and are reprized towards the end. During the bass solo in Two Soldiers, blown harmony sounds on the melodica. Improvisations remain within the exhibited atmosphere, although they sometimes seem to wander off. The cheerful Percy’s Song fans out less and remains closer to the original. Percussionist Vatcher mainly limits himself to brushes. Strong role, also rhythmic-metric, from bassist Horner.

Not familiar with Dylan’s repertoire? Not a fan of the singer-songwriter? Does not matter. The attentive listener is naturally drawn in.

Trio Fugimundi–Summersault (2006)

Trumpet (Eric Vloeimans), piano (Harmen Fraanje) and guitar (Anton Goudsmit). No bass, no drums – that’s how it can be. After all, there is also a bass under the left hand of the pianist. And are we missing something? Morimond begins with a slow, repeated chord motif in a low piano register. Long silences, meditative atmosphere. Then a melody sets in above the piano motif. Not making the trumpet sound like a trumpet is one of Vloeimans’ qualities. The tempo remains low, the low register continues. Enter the guitar, with the chord motif. A little later a new voice, this time high and clear… Little material, used effectively, and played sublimely.

Summersault creates a different atmosphere. Higher tempo, energetic figures, ‘mischievous’ twists in the harmony. A little more room for guitarist Goudsmit, who cleverly manages to insert a few Pulp Fiction quotes. Yes, he’s something, that Goudsmit. Fugimundi’s three pieces are tightly composed from start to finish. It is composing at the highest level.

Benjamin Herman – The Itch (2005) We hear Anton Goudsmit soloing more extensively in the quartet of alto player Benjamin Herman, which also includes percussionist Han Bennink and bassist Ernst Glerum. In a previous phase of life, Bennink dragged a truck with percussion instruments with him. At the time, that was something. Later that thinned out more and more, and here one snare drum turns out to be enough. Irresistible swing!

Click for the Guide

The Art of the Improvisers – Bert Broere