April 2000

Sean Bergin's Mob
Copy Cat
Bvhaast Records

From the opening strains of "Reib Letsma," Bergin adds South African lilt and swing to the humor and idiomatic facility that are central to the Amsterdam sensibility. A tough tenor who also plays a charming pennywhistle, Bergin writes simple, infectious tunes, gives his arrangements just enough muscle and has fine instincts in matching soloists with materials. His MOB (My Own Band, a fitting name for someone who spent years as a sideman for fellow South Africans Harry Miller and Louis Moholo) has a sizeable ICP contingent (Bennink, Glerum, Honsiger and Wierbos), the creme of the newer Dutch players gaining international traction (trumpeter Eric Boeren, tenorist Tobias Delius and violinist Mary Oliver) and a couple of wild cards in guitarist Franky Douglas and pianist Alex Maquire. The band's '87 debut, Kids Mysteries (Nimbus) is considered a classic of Dutch improvised music; most likely, Copy Cat will be, too.

Originally published in April 2000

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