Dylan_van_der_schyff-definition_of_a_toy_span3
November 2005

Dylan Van Der Schyff
The Definition of a Toy
Songlines

This CD combines the talents of Vancouver-based drummer Dylan van der Schyff and trumpeter Brad Turner, American saxophonist (and resident of the Netherlands) Michael Moore, German pianist Achim Kaufmann and American bassist Mark Helias. The group's far-flung nature definitely doesn't work against it.

Turner and Moore may live half a world apart, but they play the thorniest unison lines as if they lived next door to one another and rehearsed together every day. Both are rather light-toned abstractionists with a lyrical bent. Moore excels at evading pitch relationships that imply tonal centers-in essence, he's so "out" that he's "in." Kaufmann shares that quality and is a similarly graceful, intelligent presence. Van der Schyff has a gentle touch and a malleable way with time, which makes him a good match for the exacting and hyperagile Helias.

There's a pronounced "cool jazz" sensibility to The Definition of a Toy. It rarely comes to a full boil, yet the conceptual velocity runs at full throttle (and there's enough Tony Williams in van der Schyff's playing to keep things taut). Its strength is an abundance of smarts and a fully developed group identity. This is exceedingly well played and executed-a nearly pristine amalgam of free improvisation and composition, of jazz and contemporary-classical elements.

Originally published in November 2005
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!