It is, perhaps unfair to continue to draw comparisons of Eric Boeren's Quartet to that of Ornette Coleman's circa. 1960. Sure the piano-less quartet, founded in 1979, covered primarily Coleman's music and indeed, Boeren plays a cornet, the same type fancied by Don Cherry. In the years since, their evolution has yielded a distinct musical personality.
Coined by journalist Kevin Whitehead, the term "New Dutch Swing" is a befitting descriptor. The release of Coconut follows Song For Tracy The Turtle (Clean Feed, 2010) another live date with drummer Paul Lovens. Where the latter was recorded in 2004, Coconut was made in the Netherlands in June 2012. And, probably more significant, the heart-and-soul of the band, drummer Han Bennink is back in the drum chair. Rounding out the original line up is American expatriate Michael Moore (saxophones) and bassist Wilbert de Joode. This exceptionally well-recorded live date finds Bennink playing a single snare drum. Which, of course, is more than enough for him to command his brand of mayhem. Boeren penned eight of the eleven tracks, the band covering two Ornette Coleman tunes, "Little Symphony" and "Joy Of A Toy," plus Booker Little's "BeeTee's Minor Plea." Never mind the heady intellectual nature of jazz today, this quartet favors a relaxed swing fueled by Bennink and the ongoing conversation between players. Moore tends to finish Boeren's thoughts and de Joode is spurred by Bennink to change direction and tempo throughout. Their playing calls to mind rapid fire comedians who barely pause to allow their audience to catch the last joke. -Mark Rocotto, All About Jazz, January 2013.
Dutch trumpeter Eric Boeren has never been shy about his love for the music of Ornette Coleman's classic quartet—which featured Don Cherry—and since forming his own quartet in the late 90s he's largely followed Coleman's model in terms of instrumentation, sound, and approach. But as this killer album makes abundantly clear, he's got his own thing going on, combining the wonderful loosey-goosey aesthetic of the Dutch free jazz scene, where the musicians play fast and loose with every possible formal element: a freewheeling approach to set lists, calling new tunes in midperformance, or just bleeding one piece into the next. He, drummer Han Bennink, bassist Wilbert de Joode, and reedist Michael Moore engage in rigorous improvisation and sophisticated group interplay, while transmitting an undeniably joyful sound. -Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
released July 9, 2013
Eric Boeren - cornet
Michael Moore - reeds
Wilbert de Joode - bass
Han Bennink - drums
Recorded live at Serah Artisan, Zaandam NL on Sunday June 3rd 2012, by Marc Schots. Mixing: Marc Schots, Wilbert de Joode and Eric Boeren. Production: Eric Boeren. Design & layout: Emma Fischer. Photos: Anton van Daal. Cover art: Han Bennink. Many thanks to Jan & Corrie de Bruin, Cees Beumer, Yvonne Kelatow, Joos Bunder, Jan Lapere, Winnie de Wit, NFPK, Stichting dOeK, Elizabeth, Cecilia and Lucy for their inspiration. All compositions by Eric Boeren (BUMA/STEMRA), except 5 & 9 written by Ornette Coleman (Phrase Text Music, ASCAP), 11 written by Booker LittleⒸ 1981 (Brainbridge Ent.Co.Inc.)