ICP 049
ICP Orchestra

The Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, widely known as the ICP Orchestra, create a complex assortment of exchanges and entanglements on the group’s latest offering ICP 049. The recording contains ten original tracks and one cover of Duke Ellington’s “Sonnet in Search of a Moor” arranged by the group’s saxophonist/clarinet player Ab Baars. ICP 049 is a dynamic repertoire that keeps the musicians engaged as they trot, titter, swing, flare, wiggle, wobble, and waltz while still managing to arrive at the same destination in unison.

Sometimes the musicians sound like they are clowning around and stumbling over each other like in “Wake Up Call”, and other times the group merges into a slow ragtime vamp like in the chord movements of “Niet Zus, Maar Zo”. The cool jazz gait of “Sumptious” juts forth with the frilly swirls of trumpeter Thomas Heberer and the breathy heaves of saxophonists Ab Baars, Michael Moore, and Tobias Delius while the horns mount the pulsating rhythm of bassist Ernst Glerum and drummer Han Bennink. The group sustains a Zen-like groove as they crisscross and stream parallel to each other continually keeping the movements flowing and changing.

The horns radiate a swinging motion along the sailing swells of “The Lepaerd” contrasting the sharp squeals of Mary Oliver’s violin strings tenderizing “Hamami” as Tristan Honsinger’s cello slithers capriciously making soft incisions along the progressions. The repetitive scraping of the strings forms shingles across “Busy Beaver” producing a neurotic shaking which is seamed by the kindling riffs of the saxophones. The light pressure applied by Misha Mengelberg on the piano keys along “Mitrab” is tethered to the abrasive sloshing of the horns projecting an altered pattern strutting against Mengelberg’s piano. The strings carve out odd angles along the crests and falls of “Erma” while the heavy tones of Wolter Wierbos’ trombone infuses a melancholic holler nestled in the drum fills of “Het Zoeman”. The group’s rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Sonnet in Search of a Moor” display a youthful agility as the horns stretch and retract languidly along the periods of soaring notes and reclining ebbs.

Creating a snug fit while conscience of each other’s space, the musicians personalize their adventures as they move alongside one another showing that ICP Orchestra work together even as their lines move tangent to one another and their strides are timed at different rates. Working as a team is approached with an open mind here, and what ICP Orchestra achieve is a complexity that correlates to the bond which holds multi-cultured societies together. It is the impetus for this group’s improvisations.


Misha Mengelberg – piano, Han Bennink – drums, Tristan Honsinger – cello, Ab Baars – saxophones and clarinets, Ernst Glerum – bass, Michael Moore – saxophone and clarinets, Wolter Wierbos – trombone, Thomas Heberer – trumpet, Mary Oliver – violin and viola, and Tobias Delius – tenor saxophone

Niet Zus Maar Zo, Wake Up Call, Sumptious, Hamami, Busy Beaver, Mitrab, The Lepaerd, Het Zoemen, Erma, No Idea, Sonnet In Search of a Moor

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Community Authors

Susan Frances