Forbidden Fruit (1998)

Verploegen, Ellington, Gershwin, Marsalis, Porter, Legrand, Vogel, Tizot

Tois

Toïs is a trio composed of Angelo Verploegen on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tjitze Vogel on double bass and Bram Wijland on drums.  They are joined on several tracks by guest Ed Verhoeff on guitar.

Choosing material from Duke Ellington (two cuts), Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Michele Legrand,, and Branford Marsalis - the Marsalis without emotional hang-ups, as well as three originals that sound very much like Miles Davis compositions, the group sets a high standard for themselves. To play music so well known and yet bring something new to the re-telling is a task reserved only for the talented. The good news is that they generally pull it off, and at times do even better than that.

Toïs is about creating an open and communicative atmosphere. The music isn’t narrowed down to style – it’s coming from different places, it’s going to different places. Always reaching for intimacy.

Europe, while a haven for Jazz players from the United States, with the exception of the odd bassist or horn player, has yet to birth many world-class players. Actually, that may be a bit too narrow a definition. European players and I’m generalizing here so there are numerous counter-examples, in broad terms are superb executioners that seem to lack originality. Toïs, lovingly recorded by Netherlands-based Turtle Records, has set out to counter that trend.

Take, “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good,” for example, played as a trio. Verploegen has a Miles tone and feel, and the open space left by the trumpeter lets the bassist and drummer show their chops without showing off. We are left with, just as Miles left us with, the fragments of the tune necessary to fill them in an emotional heartbeat, and nothing more.

“Brad’s Feast,” an original, adds Verhoeff’s guitar to great effect. A slow burner, the tune is familiar, but since the playing is so tight, so right, we can forgive that. In fact, throughout the album, each player consistently offers themselves in service of the song rather than using the situation as a personal showcase. If you are looking for knock-out solos, blistering runs or center-stage heroics, this is not the place. Instead, listen closely to “What Is This Thing Called Love?” The soft bass-and-drum opening leads to a gentle and oblique guitar statement followed by the tasteful trumpet. The mood is sophisticated, romantic and elegant. Multiply that by nine, once for each track, and you have the album.

As for the sound, it is reference quality, and one look at the liner notes explains why. Neil Patel of Avalon Acoustics lent both expertise and speakers to the mastering. The rest of the mastering chain, as you’d expect, was from Spectral and MIT. The recording was done with conversion happening with dCS equipment. The result is a very open and natural soundfield. The feel is of live music happening in real space right in front of you. Dynamics are superb and tonality is as good — top to bottom — as I ever expect to hear from any album.

This is a superb introduction to a swinging European combo to watch out for. Less overtly hot than current American playing but in the pocket nonetheless, these are players with something to say — and recorded by a label to keep an eye on.

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Forbidden Fruit (1998)

Verploegen, Ellington, Gershwin, Marsalis, Porter, Legrand, Vogel, Tizot

Tois

    NativeDSD Blog

A hidden gem of atmospheric jazz from the dawn of DSD Toïs: Angelo Verploegen, Tjitze Vogel, and Bram Wijland Have you ever searched the NativeDSD website and noticed a checkbox labeled DSD Exclusively available as DSD download (Never available on SACD)? Try clicking on it. What displays is an ever-growing list of albums recorded in DSD, DXD, or analog transferred direct to DSD, that were never issued on SACD. “Forbidden Fruit”, a jazz trio album by the group Toïs, consisting of Angelo Verploegen, trumpet and flugelhorn, Tjitze Vogel, standup bass, and Bram Wijland, percussion, was recorded by engineer Bert van der Wolf at the dawn of the DSD era in Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer, the Netherlands. The sonics of that venue are known to listeners of Jared Sacks’s classical music SACDs and DSD albums on Channel Records. The spacious acoustic and long reverberation time paints a “glow” around the instruments; trumpet phrases hang in the air; plucked bass notes fill the soundstage, and cymbals shimmer. The selection of standards by Ellington, Gershwin, Porter, and Legrand are balanced by original compositions from Angelo Verploegen and bassist Tjitze Vogel, and a “new standard” from Branford Marsalis. Duke Ellington‘s “I Got it Bad and That ain’t Good” takes the unexpected approach of a musical argument between trumpet squalls and clattering drum fills. It’s a humorous performance that upends listener expectations. In the Gershwins’ “S’Wonderful” Verploegen dispenses with the verse melody and jumps into a muted trumpet solo on the bridge line, another unexpected revision of a classic standard. The traditional elements of bebop structure are all in place; nimble horn solos; the leader dropping out to showcase the rhythm section; “trading fours”; familiar signposts on the long road from the music’s origin in the early 1940s. The Cole Porter classic “What Is This Thing Called Love?” opens with a dexterous bass solo over fleet brushwork from Bram Wijland, only gradually revealing the familiar contours of the song’s melody. Counterpoint guitar chords give this arrangement a foot-tapping rhythmic drive. A bridge between “Forbidden Fruit” and “The Duke Book” is the Juan Tizol-Duke Ellington composition “Caravan”, which appears on both recordings. I encourage listeners to create a playlist with both versions side by side for ease of comparison. On “Forbidden Fruit”, Verploegen reconceived “Caravan” as a study in restless energy; on “The Duke Book”, he revised that conception into a radically new arrangement. That probing curiosity and drive to experiment in new directions is the measure of a master musician.

Mark Werlin[read full review]

    Soundstage

Toïs, a trio composed of Angelo Verploegen on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tjitze Vogel on double bass and Bram Wijland on drums, is joined on several tracks by guest Ed Verhoeff on guitar. Choosing material from Ellington (two cuts), Porter, Gershwin, Legrand and the Marsalis without emotional hang-ups (Branford), as well as three originals that sound very much like Miles Davis compositions, the group sets a high standard for themselves. To play music so well known and yet bring something new to the re-telling is a task reserved only for the talented. The good news is that they generally pull it off, and at times do even better than that. This is a superb introduction to a swinging European combo to watch out for. Less overtly hot than current American playing but in the pocket nonetheless, these are players with something to say -- and recorded by a label to keep an eye on.

Todd Warnke[read full review]

Forbidden Fruit (1998)

Verploegen, Ellington, Gershwin, Marsalis, Porter, Legrand, Vogel, Tizot

Tois

Cables: MIT
Digital Converters: dCS
Microphones: Sonodore RCM 402
Producer: T.A. Diehl
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: Doopgezinde kerk, Deventer
Recording Software: Augan OMX 24
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Avalon Arcus

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TR0002: Forbidden Fruit
00:57:11   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Dewey
Verploegen
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2.
I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
Ellington
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3.
It's Wonderful
Gershwin
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4.
Brad's Feast
Verploegen
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5.
Housed From Edward
Marsalis
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6.
What Is This Thing Called Love?
Porter
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7.
The Summer Knows (Theme from Summer of '42)
Legrand
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8.
Rhythm & Blues
Vogel
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9.
Caravan
Tizot
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