2022 NativeDSD Album of the Year – Jazz Ensemble
When Night Falls is an ode to the night in all its forms; from dusk until dawn. Through this selection of Jazz standards, the trio captures the course of an evening – while limiting their music in terms of instrumentation, repertoire and recording technique, to evoke the narrow world of the night.
Playing with Ed Verhoeff on guitar and Eric van der Westen on bass, Angelo Verploegen reunited a trio with more than twenty years of shared history behind them. The trio initially appeared together at NativeDSD on the album The Sweetest Sound, one of the 2018 DSD Albums of the Year!
The intimacy of this small ensemble suits the evening. Through subtle playing that reflects a wealth of experience and attention, we witness a twilight conversation between three old friends. Talking deep into the night.
Trumpeter and Flugelhorn player Angelo Verploegen first performed with guitarist Ed Verhoeff and bassist Eric van der Westen in 2001, after all three had had long musical careers in larger lineups and projects. This trio brought them back to the core – “like in a good dish, sometimes no additional ingredients are needed” says Verploegen.
During the pandemic – twenty years after their first performance – they found the perfect moment to renew their collaboration once more. The chamber jazz trio decided to paint a small portrait of the night on a new album with Just Listen Records. On the 22nd and 23rd of May 2021, they recorded ‘When Night Falls’ at Studio150 Bethlehemkerk, a former Lutheran Church in Amsterdam.
Songs of Eventide
Verploegen selected vocal jazz standards that lead us through the different stages of the night. Starting off by asking his listeners to ‘Close Your Eyes’, we get to join Verploegen and his trio on nighttime adventures – first going out ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and then following the course of the evening through standards like ‘Makin Whoopee’, ‘It’s a Pity to Say Goodnight’, ‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’ and ‘Stardust’. The album ends with the dawn: ‘Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise’.
Verploegen deliberately wanted to limit himself to vocal standards, songs that were always meant to be sung, where melody and lyrics were conceived at the same time, guiding and informing each other. For him, the lyrics are an important extra layer of meaning, playing a part in his phrasing, experience and performance.
Dream along on ‘When Night Falls’. A musical journey by way of gems from the American Songbook, interpreted by three grandmasters of Dutch jazz, who know how to beautifully evoke the magical concentration of the night, when the wider world falls away.
Choosing from the rich repertoire of standards can be a challenge in itself, but precisely in that challenge, according to Verploegen, lies the excitement: “The songs have been interpreted by the all-time greats. Now you must step up to the plate and show what you can do with them yourself.” Verploegen believes that it is not in new compositions, but within the boundaries of the known, in your own variations and improvisations on familiar themes, that you can show your own identity to the fullest.
Angelo Verploegen – Flugelhorn
Ed Verhoeff – Guitar
Eric van der Westen – Bass
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:51:33
|Analog to Digital Converters
Horus, Merging Technologies at DSD 256
Van den Hul 3T
|Digital Workstation Software
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|High Bit Rate Mastering Engineer
|Mastering Room Loudspeakers
Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
|Original Recording Format
Rens Heijnis, custom design
Jared Sacks, Jonas Sacks, Angelo Verploegen
Studio 150 in Bethlehemkerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands on May 22-23 2021
Thanks to Peter, Tom and Joeri of Studio 150 for their hospitality, and Ype for cooking us amazing meals during the recordings.
|March 17, 2022
Praise for ‘When Night Falls’
The new album of Dutch trumpeter Angelo Verploegen is an intimate and chamber ode to the night in all its forms; from dusk until dawn, as told by iconic jazz standards. This album also reunites Verploegen with old comrades, guitarist Ed Verhoeff and double bass player Eric van der Westen (aka The Amsterdam Jazz Trio), who share a history of more than twenty years of playing together. The first album of this trio also addressed the night, ‘The Night and The Daydreamer’ (A-Records, 2003) and since then the night became a recurring theme in their repertoire, as night was always the domain of the jazz musicians. But now this trio is equipped with more experience and deep attention, all leading to a twilight conversation between three old friends, talking deep into the night.
“Music without words but full of lyricism, rich in nuances and nocturnal scintillations.”
Each album Angelo Verploegen makes with Just Listen Records and Jared Sacks is an eagerly awaited pleasure in our household. Beautifully played jazz in some of the best small ensemble recorded sound we get to hear. Verploegen and his partners take us to a soft, warm musical place, and Jared Sacks brings the performances right into our listening space. Just a terrific album from Just Listens Records.
In this album, Angelo Verploegen returns to his “first love” and principal instrument: the flugelhorn. Its warmer, darker tone suits the music on this album perfectly with its overall them of music for when night falls. The combination is just the right touch. While I certainly enjoy Verploegen on trumpet, he is simply marvelous to hear when he is able to pull out this wonderfully expressive instrument for a recording session.
Guitarist Ed Verhoeff provides excellent accompaniment on his 1951 Gibson electric guitar, with an excellent choice on “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” to pull out his acoustic guitar, a 1971 Manuel de la Chica flamenco guitar. Eric van der Westen’s bass playing is subtle and flexible here. He does not overpower but delivers a strong supportive role with a deep woody resonant sound that carries a the rest of the group.
As Verploegen and Verhoeff trade leads, an intriguing complexity plays out in their collaborative renditions of these songs, many of which are well known standards given a distinctive new voice. Whether Carmichael’s “Stardust,” Donaldson’s “Makin’ Whoopee,” Young’s “Stella by Starlight,” these tunes receive fresh, original and engaging interpretations.
The recorded sound reflects my ideal for a studio recording of a small ensemble. The musicians are naturally arranged in front of us, imaging is completely solid, and there is air surrounding and supporting each of the instruments (including the speaker for the electric guitar which is allowed to reverberate naturally into the environment). Nothing is spotlighted but everything is clear and detailed. The musicians sound as if they have been brought directly into my listening space.
What adds so immensely to this recording is its capture of a live performance. These performances truly are live one-take performances. This is the standard that Just Listen Records and Jared Sacks have set: record in a supportive natural acoustic setting, record as if performing live, capture it in one-take without overdubs later in post-production. And by recording his tracks to DSD 256, using very carefully selected low noise cabling and electronics, Jared delivers sound quality that is transparent, open, and true to the instruments — just beautiful.
This is yet another outstanding recording by Jared Sacks. He founded Just Listen Records with his son Jonas Sacks for just this goal — and they are succeeding brilliantly.
Highest recommendations all around.
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