Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet – True
(Challenge Records CR73336. CD review by Chris Parker)
Oprn-minded, gutsy adventurousness has always been one of the hallmarks of saxophonist/composer Yuri Honing’s music, and this acoustic quartet album, with its wide variety of both tempos and subgenres (from popular-music classics to electronica to relatively straightahead jazz material), can only solidify his reputation.
It begins with the affectingly mournful title-track, in which Honig’s characteristically dry but pure-toned saxophone is driven by a heavy snare backbeat from regular drummer Joost Lijbaart, the lithe bass of Ruben Sanama and the tasteful keyboard contributions of Wolfert Brederode, but thereafter, there is everything from pleasantly nervy pieces (the Will Gregory/Goldfrapp composition ‘Paper Bag’) through free-ish excursions involving judicious use of electronics (‘Yasutani’) and brisk, muscular fare (‘Nobody Knows’), all characterised by the snappy interactiveness and hair-trigger (but frquently downright rambunctious) attention to nuance of a lively, alert band.
Appropriately enough, this album was recorded (in a day) in one of the contemporary homes of such rich artistic eclecticism, Berlin, but London will also be able to experience this sparky, imaginative band at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on 20 September.