Pure DSD

Four In One [Pure DSD]

Brad Jones, Dave Douglas, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, Misha Mengelberg Quartet

(9 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 64
Learn about choosing Quality and Channels

Available in Pure DSD Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128 and DSD 64 at NativeDSD! 

Veteran Dutch pianist-composer Misha Mengelberg and his longtime colleague, percussionist Han Bennink, recorded Four In One with Dave Douglas and Brad Jones in Avatar Studios, NYC in 2000.
– Mark Werlin

When the late Dutch pianist, composer and humorist Misha Mengelberg, one of the heroes of the “new Dutch swing,” got together with Dave Douglas for a couple of duo gigs, they enjoyed it so much they decided to expand things to a quartet with New York bassist Brad Jones and Misha’s longtime colleague Han Bennink on drums on the album Four In One.

Working with a book of Mengelberg originals and Monk tunes, they played a week at NY’s Iridium and then went into Avatar with engineer Joe Ferla (Dave producing) to record live to 2-track DSD. The result preserves the wit and drive and cohesiveness of four improvisers at the top of their collective game. Misha’s tunes run the gamut from ‘boppish’ scorchers to ballads, raucous, sardonic ditties to blues to a South African kwela, and in this context the Monk tunes underline Misha’s particular affinity for his music.

The godfather of Dutch improvised music, Misha Menbelberg was involved in the absurd-art movement Fluxus in the 60s, debuted on record in ’64 on Dolphy’s Last Date, and founded the Instant Composer’s Pool with Han Bennink and Willem Breuker in 1967. During the 70s he began leading the ICP Orchestra, which was a forum for his interests in the classic jazz repertore, composition, improvisation, conducted improvisation, and music theater, and was artistic director of the electronic music workshop STEIM. He composed various pieces for piano, wind ensemble, electro-acoustic ensemble, orchestra, and voice, and taught counterpoint at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. His records are on Soul Note, Avant, DIW, hatOLOGY, ICP, Buzz, Tzadik and other labels.

“Improvisation was almost extinct in western art music before jazz brought it back. Misha Mengelberg’s work reminds us that the improvisational impulse jazz unleashed takes many forms, some far from obvious. His stuff offers yet more evidence that African-American music changed nearly everyone’s sound in the 20th century. Think of it. Even Dutch composers play the blues.”
Kevin Whitehead, Fresh Air (NPR)

Misha Mengelberg Quartet
Misha Mengelberg, Piano
Han Bennink, Percussion
Dave Douglas, Trumpet
Brad Jones, Double Bass


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Die Berge schuetzen die Heimat
Four in One
Monk's Mood
Criss Cross
Blues after Piet
Kwela P'Kwana
We're Going out for Italian
Poor Wheel

Total time: 00:59:15

Additional information





, , , , ,



, , , ,





Mastering Engineer

Mark Wilder at Sony Music Studios, NYC


, , , ,

Original Recording Format

Recording Engineer

Joe Ferla

Recording Location

Avatar, Studios, NYC

Release DateJanuary 12, 2024

Press reviews

All About Jazz

This session is a joyful combination of skilful musicianship and pixilated compositions. Mengelberg is heir to the Monk charm and perhaps Charles Mingus’ wit. His playing straddles Monk with his eclectic-European timing. Fans of both the ICP Orchestra and Douglas’s work will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.

BBC Music

Throughout these players are a match made in Heaven. In Douglas, the group has a virtuoso with fire and stamina that doesn’t play for effect but for the music, as attuned to Stravinsky as much as Monk. The Dutchmen provide inspiration and challenge in equal measure. There’s a spirit and shared humour that’s infectious, beautifully exemplified by “Kwela P’Kwana” a rollicking tribute to the late lamented South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana. Two Mengelberg compositions close this fine release; the Herbie Nichols-like “We’re going out for Italian” and “Poor wheel”. There can’t be many songs these days that are inspired by a squeaky wheel on a deux chevaux. More’s the pity; delightful stuff.


(…) Misha Mengelberg has received much acclaim for everything from his solo performances to his leadership of the Dutch ICP Orchestra, but the small-ensemble recordings he began making in the U.S. during the ’90s are perhaps the best places to begin investigating his wonderfully offbeat charms. Four in One, recorded in September 2000 and subsequently released in the Hybrid Super Audio CD format by the Songlines label, is an album with particularly wide-ranging appeal, satisfying for listeners with tastes ranging from the avant-garde to more traditional post-bop, and certainly anyone interested in the commonality between Mengelberg and one of his primary influences, Thelonious Monk. (…)  Mengelberg projects an identity all his own, as he effortlessly redefines the possibilities of jazz with another tossed-off shrug.


This live-to-stereo-DSD recording is what we audiophiles want all SACDs to sound like. The musicians…are sonically portrayed with great vividness and a complete lack of electronic haze. Douglas’ trumpet has the perfect amount of bite, and the piano wafts through the soundstage with supreme clarity. You’ll need to goose the volume more than usual, but this will help you admire the wide dynamic range of this SACD all the more. The music is inventive and inspired, all of it composed by leader Mengelberg or Thelonious Monk, not the sleep-making jazz found on all too many audiophile recordings. This is one of the very best-sounding SACDs you can buy, which makes it one of the best-sounding recordings, period.

Sound & Vision 4 out of 5

The relative obscurity of veteran Dutch pianist Mengelberg says something about the jingoism of American jazz fans and critics. Although his originality is apparent in every note, no other pianist captures as much of Thelonious Monk’s pinging rhythm and rhyme — perhaps because Mengelberg is guided by the same sort of thorny individuality. There are three Monk tunes on the terrific Four in One…Everything here is irresistible…The album benefits from Joe Ferla’s attentive engineering.

Village Voice (Best Jazz CDs of 2002)

Dave Douglas’s muted, skittering phrases throughout this lively session contain some of his best work since Tiny Bell. His light-fingered trumpet tears through the first track, a ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ meets ‘Hot House’ pastiche. Mengelberg’s piano responds in kind, and plies Monkian wit on a Monk triptych.

The Absolute Sound

A dozen years ago, Lester Bowie recorded an album called Serious Fun, which might serve well for this disc, too, though Misha Mengelberg & Co. drink more deeply from both parts of the title. Mengelberg is a Dutch pianist-composer whose style has roots in Monk, Mingus, Herbie Nichols, and the myriad streams of jazz and classical avant-garde – which is to say, his music is playfully witty, sometimes madcap, but more tightly structured than you might at first think…Douglas first joined forces with Mengelberg a few years ago, when he and his piano-less quartet learned a bunch of Mengelberg compositions (no easy task) and then asked the Dutchman himself to sit in with them at a live gig. On this disc, Douglas brings along the agile bass player from that date, Brad Jones. The result is a fresh blast of crazyquilt blues, ballads, circus tunes, and other bits beyond category, all of which swing like the proverbial demon. The three non-Mengelberg tunes, by the way, are Monk standards, which Mengelberg hurls in a funhouse where the mirrors elongate or compress the angles without ever rounding them off or — more amazing — losing Monk’s spirit. More wondrous still, if such were possible, is the sound…This ranks as one of the best digital jazz recordings ever – brash, airy, vivid, seamlessly spacious, with a black-curtain quiet backdrop…Joe Ferla is, once more, the man at the control board, again with tube mics, except for a ribbon mic on the trumpet and a couple dynamic spot mics on the tom-toms (a stereo tube mic over the trapset, though). He recorded live-to-2-track digital on Sony’s much-acclaimed DSD machine, which impressed Ferla greatly. Even so, he mixed it in analog on an old Neve console.


…Mengelberg has, since the early 1960s, probably more than anyone else created what we think of as modern Dutch jazz…With a dash of experimental classical, a splash of American post bop and a lowlands infusion of comedic anarchy, he’s produced a hybrid Frankenstein monster that’s distinctive without scaring the pants off anyone…One of the clues to Mengelberg’s power is that he never takes anything — especially himself — too seriously. You can hear this in different sections of some tunes where his writing — and playing — can transform what sounds like a beginners’ piano exercise, a POMO polka, or a nursery rhyme into pulsating serious sounds. Another is his innate sense of disorderliness, which probably accounts for his 40-year plus partnership with Bennink, who has rarely seen a session he couldn’t disrupt…Freed from the responsibility of leadership, Douglas appears to be having time of his life…Joining the eight Mengelberg originals here are three Monk standards given the appropriate irreverent treatment…Mengelberg’s two-handed approach often out-Monks Monk…the Dutchman can slip in and out of tune and tempo so subtly that not one scintilla of the theme is lost. No one CD can ever be seen as being definitive, nor can exceptional Dutch jazz be illustrated in a single session of slightly more than 59 minutes. But Four in One gets awfully darn close.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings 4 out of 5

This is Mengelberg’s most completely satisfying record. The international group tackles the iconic bop of ‘Hypochristmutreefuzz’ (from Dolphy’s Last Date) with utter conviction. Other pieces, like ‘Kneebus’ and ‘Reef’, are also familiar from other records, but the real delight here is a sequence of Monk tunes placed in the middle of the album like the meat in a sandwich. It would be hard to differentiate between the originals and these classics, for Mengelberg makes ‘Four in One’, ‘Monk’s Mood’ and ‘Criss Cross’ entirely his own. Douglas is iin great form and Bennink shows once again what a fantastic ensemble player he is.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

More from this label