From the opening strains of “Reib Letsma,” Bergin adds South African lilt and swing to the humor and idiomatic facility that are central to the Amsterdam sensibility. A tough tenor who also plays a charming pennywhistle, Bergin writes simple, infectious tunes, gives his arrangements just enough muscle and has fine instincts in matching soloists with materials. His MOB (My Own Band, a fitting name for someone who spent years as a sideman for fellow South Africans Harry Miller and Louis Moholo) has a sizeable ICP contingent (Bennink, Glerum, Honsiger and Wierbos), the creme of the newer Dutch players gaining international traction (trumpeter Eric Boeren, tenorist Tobias Delius and violinist Mary Oliver) and a couple of wild cards in guitarist Franky Douglas and pianist Alex Maquire. The band’s ’87 debut, Kids Mysteries (Nimbus) is considered a classic of Dutch improvised music; most likely, Copy Cat will be, too.
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