Two extraordinary new releases landed on Friday from A New Wave of Jazz, both featuring the great guitarist Dirk Serries. One’s a studio recording; the other a double live album.
Innocent as Virgin Wood features Martina Verhoeven and Serries, collaborating as a duo in a studio setting for the first time. Verhoeven performs on a Steinway grand piano and Serries on acoustic guitar. The interplay between the two sounds nothing like a debut. They play off one another skilfully.
It’s a work in five parts, all improvised. The music is spacious and fitful. You can imagine the two watching one another for cues throughout the 36-plus-minute recording. Pause, followed by a small frenzy of activity, followed by another pause. It’s a compelling effect.
Serries told me the title “refers to the purity of wood in sound, feeling and performance.”
For a frenetic taste of European free jazz at its best, check out Double Vortex. Recorded live at London’s famous Vortex Jazz Club this past Feb. 8, the double disc features both a quartet and quintet set.
Serries launches us into the quartet recording with a jarring electric guitar solo. He’s joined by three long-time mates: John Dikeman on tenor saxophone, Andrew Lisle on drums and Colin Webster on alto and baritone saxophone.
As if the four don’t make enough of a racket, lan Wilkinson joins the quartet – also on alto and baritone saxophone – for the truly jarring five-piece set. The two sax players battle it out like street fighters. This is full-contact jazz.
Reportedly, Vortex Club owner Olivier Weindling said the two sets comprised the “loudest and most powerful” shows his venue had ever presented. No doubt that’s true.
One thought on “A New Wave of Jazz”