Dances (2019)

Kracht, Dowland, Felice Sances

New World Quartet, Egon Kracht, Angelo Verploegen, Jan Menu, Rik Cornelissen

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Music for a Green Planet

What if you’ve seen most of the jazz clubs in The Netherlands, know most of its theatres inside out and have adapted classical masterpieces to a contemporary form? These are the words of double bassist Egon Kracht (Velsen, 1966), the driving force behind many ensembles, environmentalist and visionary. Together with his wife, Noortje Braat, he is building his own sustainable and self-sufficient house in Almere. Discarded car tyres and sand are the main building materials. He feels equally at ease as a construction worker as he does as a musician.

Musical Synthesis

“In my music I try to find a synthesis between various genres”, he says. “Pop, jazz, classical, contemporary, I find them all equally appealing. I love Zappa just as much as I love Bach. That’s why I’ve founded the New World Quartet. It’s an ensemble in which musical worlds meet in a new and sustainable vision of the future of art.” 

Double Bass

At the age of eleven, Kracht chose the double bass as his instrument and since then he has become one with it. Renowned Dutch jazz musicians like saxophonist Dick de Graaf, drummer Pierre Courbois and saxophonist Theo Loevendie requested his services. Bassist Niko Langenhuijsen’s ‘Gemeentereinigingsorkest’ Vaalbleek and the Willem Breuker Kollektief were among his favourite orchestras. We find the influence of their music in many of his projects. With his adaptation of Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’ and his own ‘Judas Passion’ and ‘Stabat Mater Stabat Pater’ he caused quite a stir in the Dutch classical music scene. He is an inventor, a composer looking for new and different forms. 

Dances

The music he wrote for the New World Quartet is the musical result of all of the above: ‘Dances’, a musical novel with a prologue and two suites. Double bassist Kracht takes the plunge, joined by flugelhorn player Angelo Verploegen, baritone saxophonist Jan Menu and accordionist Rik Cornelissen. The opener, ‘Evolutionary Tango’, is a musical translation of the evolution, latched on to the pulse of the Argentinian tango: an inescapable rhythm, which feels like the heartbeat of someone in love. The flugelhorn sounds as free as a bird, and the baritone saxophone gives him a musical answer. Meanwhile, the accordion depicts the pain of daily life and the struggle for survival.

Civilization Suite

The ‘Civilization Suite’ starts off with the light-footed sketch ‘Transitioned’. Giovanni Felice Sances’s baroque dance music enters with ‘Accenti Queruli’. Then the staccato ‘Civilization #2’ takes over and we are surprised by the introduction of John Dowland’s ‘Can She Excuse My Wrongs’, a moment in which the minstrel directly enters the modern age. It’s an ancient song, made world-famous by Sting’s performance. ‘Civilization #4’ brings us yet another ominous staccato. The grumpy baritone sax lashes out and gives expression to the idea that our civilization is really taking a wrong turn.

Galanthus Nivalis 

The first suite felt mainly ominous, but in ‘Galanthus Nivalis’, Kracht seems to have taken another direction. The first part opens with positive vistas. This trend is continued in the course of the suite. There is still hope for our world, if we are willing to lead a life of sustainability. 

Egon Kracht and his New World Quartet are the living musical proof of this! 

Cyriel Pluimakers, July 2019.

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Angelo Verploegen

Angelo Verploegen was born on December 22, 1961 in Oss. It all starts in this small town in the south of the Netherlands, when he joins the local brassband playing the flugelhorn at the age of 11. A few years later he gets so excited about Big Band Oss that he switches to trumpet to be able to join them.

In 1980 Angelo moves to Amsterdam to study musicology at the Amsterdam University and trumpet at the Jazz Department of the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory. The extremely vivid and divers Amsterdam music scene is a true walhalla for a young, curious and eager trumpeter. In these roaring 80’s Verploegen plays salsa with Ruben Salas, Evolution 2000, Salsa d’Amsterdam, big band with Maiden Voyage and the Frank Grasso Big Band, gets involved with the theatre (Haagse Comedie, later on with Orkater, ZT Hollandia, de Veenfabriek), plays lead- trumpet in the musical Cats and gets acquainted with the improv scene, working with Jaap Blonk, Micheal Moore, Larry Fishkind and many more.

In 1986 Angelo starts playing with guitarist/composer/bandleader Corrie van Binsbergen. Her musical versatility and pursuance are of great influence on Verploegen’s approach and further development. In ’87 producer Gert-Jan Blom asks him to put together a jazz band as part of the traveling music and theatre festival Boulevard of Broken Dreams: sextet The Houdini’s is born to live a long and fruitful life. The unheard-of collective hyper-energetic chemistry of these six youngsters makes them tour through Europe, the USA, Canada, and Australia, record numerous CD’s (two of them by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder) and perform/record with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Asko/Scho?nberg Ensemble, John Adams, Louis Andriessen, JacobTV, Trijntje Oosterhuis.

After 10 years of running The Houdini’s, Angelo is ready for a change. In ’97 he challenges himself by playing trio with just bass and drums: the critically acclaimed trio Toi?s releases two cd’s, provides music for dance company Blok & Steel and for the Dutch movie Wilde Mossels. At the same time he starts producing recordings for Challenge/A-Records and initiates the sublabel BUZZ Records for new music. In that capacity he works with Denise Jannah, Benjamin Herman, Leny Andrade, Lisa Michel, Maarten van der Grinten & Jesse van Ruller, Wolfert Brederode-Eric Ineke Quintet, Kenny Wheeler with the UMO Jazz Orchestra, Misha Mengelberg, Nimbus with Dave Liebman, Sven Ratzke and many others.

A few years later he forms the Amsterdam Jazz Trio with guitarist Ed Verhoeff and bassist Eric van der Westen. With this intimate chamber-jazz configuration Verploegen finds his way back to the lyrical flugelhorn. All in all a sweet return. Focusing on the flugelhorn again feels like a homecoming. Other ‘flugelhorn-groups’ will follow: Soo Cho Quartet, Marc Scholten’s The Blindfold Test, Paul van Kemenade’s Three Horns and a Bass, trio with Japanese pianist Atsuko Kohashi and Dutch bassist Tony Overwater, trio with Curacao singer Izaline Calister and again guitarist Ed Verhoeff.

In 2001 Verploegen begins his teaching career at the Jazz & Pop department of ArtEZ Conservatory Arnhem and the Utrecht Conservatory HKU. Around this time time he starts touring and recording with Michiel Braam’s Bik Bent Braam. In 2005 the Amsterdam Bimhuis grants him a carte blanche. For this occasion he invites Japanese trumpet-piano duo Natsuki Tamura en Satoko Fujii together with Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg to team up as a free improv double-duo and he introduces his new quartet Executive Lounge. In 2006 he joins Egon Kracht & The Troupe for many (semi-theatrical) music productions to follow.

Angelo Verploegen’s The Ballad Album is released in 2011 and nominated for an Edison Award. Besides all of his small-group work as a flugelhorn player, Angelo is also a much in demand section- and solo-trumpeter to be heard with Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, David Kweksilber Big Band, New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra as up to this date.

 

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Dances (2019)

Kracht, Dowland, Felice Sances

New World Quartet, Egon Kracht, Angelo Verploegen, Jan Menu, Rik Cornelissen

Amplifiers: Van Medevoort, Holland
Cables: Van den Hul
Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Label Manager: Sjoerd Vriesema
Mastering Engineer: Tom Caulfield
Microphones: Bruel&Kjaer 4006, Schoeps, AKG
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis Custom Analog Console
Notes: This music is available in its original recording resolution as download from NativeDSD.com
Producer: Jared Sacks, Jonas Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording Location: MCO Hilversum, The Netherlands on May 1 and 2, 2019
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256
Speakers: Grimm Audio LS1
Special Thanks: Floor van der Holst, Ted Brady, Brian Moura, Bill Dodd

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JL020: Dances
00:51:13   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Evolutionary Tango
Kracht
00:10:30   Select quality & channels above
2.
Civilization Suite - Transitioned
Kracht
00:02:25   Select quality & channels above
3.
Civilization Suite - Accenti Queruli
Felice Sances
00:06:06   Select quality & channels above
4.
Civilization Suite - Civilization No. 2
Kracht
00:05:21   Select quality & channels above
5.
Civilization Suite - Can She Excuse My Wrongs?
Dowland
00:02:52   Select quality & channels above
6.
Civilization Suite - No. 4
Kracht
00:02:25   Select quality & channels above
7.
Galanthus Nivalis - No. 1
Kracht
00:03:36   Select quality & channels above
8.
Galanthus Nivalis - No. 2
Kracht
00:03:43   Select quality & channels above
9.
Galanthus Nivalis - No. 3
Kracht
00:04:34   Select quality & channels above
10.
Galanthus Nivalis - No. 4
Kracht
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11.
Galanthus Nivalis - No. 5
Kracht
00:03:26   Select quality & channels above

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