The Vandoesburg Suite
This two-CD suite, created by Dutch composer/guitarist Marc van Vugt with input from singer/lyricist Ineke van Doorn, includes names like "The Door," "In Diagonal" and the suite's subtitle, "Different Shades of Gray." But this is not programmatic music; nothing can sound gray or diagonal or doorlike. This is chamber jazz with big-band pretensions in the clever voicings.
Van Vugt is an ingenious weaver of contrapuntal lines, able to coax colors out of five strings, two brass, one doubling-happy reed player, four rhythm players, plus the valuable voice of Ineke van Doorn, whose intonation allows her to blend flawlessly with any instruments, contribute an obbligato or scat like a free soul. Solo credits are rare, but kudos can be given to the whimsical plunger work by trombonist Joost Buis on "Dada Dada," Bert Lochs for his flugelhorn playing on "Theo & Nelly," the soprano sax of Jasper Blom on "De La Porte" and the moody string-sextet writing on "Where Is Home?" where bassist Paul Berner plays arco.