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Guus Janssen/Han Bennink: Groet

When listening to Dutch free jazz, I often-and by often, I mean almost always-get the feeling that the musicians aren’t playing jazz so much as they’re making fun of themselves playing jazz-as if the idea of Europeans playing a music essentially invented by African-Americans is so unutterably absurd, they have no choice but to do it with their tongues in their cheeks. On the nine tracks that comprise Groet, the piano-and-drums duo of Guus Janssen and Han Bennink exhibit some of that self-mocking, yet the brilliance of their musicianship mostly carries the day.

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