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Bo’s Art Trio & Simon Vinkenoog: Cobra

Bo van de Graaf and Simon Vinkenoog

Bo van de Graaf (saxophones), Michiel Braam (piano) and Fred van Duijnhoven (drums) are total mofos. Here they play several short, jazz-based, mostly free improvisations, aided and abetted by poet/performer Simon Vinkenoog. Occasionally Vinkenoog slips in a bit of English, but mostly he recites in a language, presumably Dutch, that I don’t understand. But he definitely has a feel for rhythm, which serves him well when he jams with the insanely spontaneous trio.

Braam has ludicrous chops and a wide-ranging sensibility–he can go from stride to bop to a Cecil Taylor-esque free tirade in the span of a couple of seconds. Van de Graaf’s technique is just as jaw-dropping. He’s smooth (not glib), soulful and hysterically imaginative. Van Duijnhoven lays down the rhythms with smarts and spunk. When he’s not tearing things up, he’s gracefully embroidering the silences. The way these Netherlanders work together, you’d think they share the same brain. Even in such a comparatively merit-driven music as jazz, overhyped junk often shouts down quality stuff like this. Not here, not today. Bo’s da bomb.

Originally Published