April 2000

Willem Breuker Kollektief/Loes Luca
Bvhaast Records

In recent years, Breuker's mix of virtuoso high-jinx and well-starched concert music has tipped perilously to the latter. If anything, Hunger! is a renewal of Breuker's iconoclast credentials. Sequencing a CD so that a zany "Yes, We Have No Bananas," garnished with trumpeter Boy Raaymaker's ukulele and violinist Lorre Lynn Trytten's singing saw (quoting "O Sole Mio!"), leads into the title piece, a five-part suite about Holland's post-war hardships, is cringingly funny. Singer Loes Luca is featured on four tracks, ranging from Rossini's "Cavatina Figaro" to a Claude Bolling ditty, creating a burlesque thread in the program. Still, there is plenty of serious music on Hunger!, and plenty of serious musicianship, as well; WBK griots like bass player Arjen Gorter, junior partners like tenor saxist Alex Coke and newcomers like harmonica ace (and altoist) Hermine Deurloo, pepper the album with meaty solos. Hunger! is a very full platter.

Originally published in April 2000
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