The Visible Ones
Matthieu Donarier / Albert van Veenendaal
Albert van Veenendaal (p), Matthieu Donarier (sax),
Also Available on iTunes
Many say there isn’t such a thing as “European jazz”, but this duo encounter between French saxophonist Matthieu Donarier and Dutch pianist Albert van Veenendaal most certainly proves otherwise. “Planetarium” however, a name which is a declaration of intents in itself, is different again, also far from setting out to oppose the European tradition to that occurring on the other side of the Atlantic, which, after all, is the very source of the music played here in “The Visible Ones”: Jazz. Jazz indeed, but with a distinct chamber music format drawing just as deeply on the classical music tradition.
Donarier’s personal style is especially elegant, like Warne Marsh or Mark Turner, but with a colour and feeling all of his own: the concept and vision of the music yet different again. Most of his career was developed in the company of European musicians like Daniel Humair, Gabor Gado, Alban Darche, Sébastien Boisseau and Stephan Oliva, Donarier’s own bands (Kindergarten, Wood, Dragoon, M.D.Trio) exclusively from the Old Continent, but this doesn’t imply a separatist attitude (Donarier has been playing and recording these last years with Tony Malaby or Dave Liebman). Indeed, what you will hear in Planetarium is no “less jazz”, even if it embraces another perception of how to handle sound.
The same goes for van Veenendaal, known for his work with fellow piano players (Cor Fuhler, Sylvie Courvoisier, Jozef Dumoulin), composing for woodwinds (Calefax, Amstel Saxophone Quartet) and applying his “pictorial music” ideas to his own groups Pavlov and Spoon3+1Fork. Inspired by John Cage, he is dedicated to expanding the sound of the piano by preparing it, both in his solo project Minimal Damage and recently in a duo with master percussionist Alan Purves.
So here’s an European jazz that Americans can enjoy: a universal Planetarium which projects its own music way beyond conventional frontiers and perceptions.