July/August 2002

Eric Boeren Quartet
Soft Nose
Bvhaast Records

Reedist Michael Moore turns up in a crucial supporting role on Soft Nose (Bvhaast), the third album by cornetist Eric Boeren. As on his previous recordings, Boeren is in thrall of the music made by the classic Ornette Coleman Quartet, integrating five of his compositions here, and making strong stylistic connections with his pithy originals. But beyond the catchy melodies and the dazzling interplay, this band speaks its own language. At once telepathic and pleasingly loose, the communication between the horn frontline, drummer Han Bennink and bassist Wilbert de Joode allows the group to employ a playfulness redolent of the ICP; any individual can introduce material from the quartet's book in midstream, sometimes triggering the others to join in, sometimes overlaying a line from another tune for thrilling juxtapositions. Whatever path they take, the players are always in motion, jotting off terse counterpoint, commenting on a particular phrase or jostling for position.

Originally published in July/August 2002

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