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November 2005

The Six Winds
Maihama: Japan Tour 2002 Summer Vol. 2
Ohrai

The Six Winds is actually composed, more specifically, of six saxophones, arrayed from the highest to the lowest: Mariette Rouppe van der Voort, sopranino; Dies le Duc, soprano; Umezu Kazutoki, alto; Andrew White, tenor; Ad Peijnenburg, baritone; and Klaas Hekman, bass. All these players have some tang and smoke in their individual sounds, so that they stack on top of and complement each other, like a really tasty cold-cut sub. Furthermore, all the pieces on the live recording Maihama: Japan Tour 2002 Summer Vol. 2 were written by members of the group, and they all cunningly exploit the resources the six saxes provide.

Le Duc's "Moeder de Zee" uses humid chords to frame bluesy solos before breaking into a tempest driven by obsessive trills, while van der Voort's "Snipper" and Hekman's "Nuages-Segaun" (an arrangement of and an addition to the Django Reinhardt tune) contrast neoclassical melodies with big-band swing.

But the highlights are two Andrew White compositions: Umezu's solo on the '50s-rock tune "Bad Dance" swaggers and leaps, but in between "Cool and Spiffy"'s complex chords and intriguing, halting melodies, White outdoes him with a scorching, extra-long solo that induces midsong applause from the Maihama audience.

In these United States, you can only get this CD via import services or directly from White; call 202-526-3266 for the latter.

Originally published in November 2005
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