Top 5 European Jazz Groups
5.) Reinier Baas (The Netherlands)
From a nation full of of cheeky and fanciful jazz musicians such as Holland comes the amorous creativity of the young guitar prodigy, Reinier Baas. His electric groove can be experienced in distinct styles, from playing solo to full orchestras. His hit record Smooth Jazz Apocalypse has turned the heads of critics and listeners worldwide and his latest project, the intense Vs. Princess Discombobulatrix, is an energetic, mostly instrumental, opera, for a band of 14 classical and jazz artists. The album also includes illustrations done by the popular Dutch illustrator Typex.
4.) Tomasz Dabrowski (Poland)
Polish but currently residing in Copenhagen, trumpet player Tomasz Dabrowski’s genre merges avant-jazz languages with Eastern European folk music. He features many European and US musicians two examples being Tyshawn Sorey and Kris Davis. He has lately started to use a vintage Balkan horn and he is also and member of the Barefoot Collective. His projects stretch moods from the personal and meditative-like solo sound in his erratic trio with Nils Bo Davidsen on double bass and Anders Mogensen on drums, to Free4Arts Quartet with fellow Danish jazzmen like Jacob Anderskov.
3.) De Beren Gieren (Belgium)
This exquisite piano trio drift between post-jazz signatures, trances of minimalism, electro-acoustic distorting mirrors and humorous jumps into the traditional sound. Fulco Ottervanger on piano, Lieven Van Pee on bass, and Simon Segers on drums. The group contains such a unique attitude to this classic format, drawing the listener into surprising, quirky, polyrhythmic atmospheres. The collection of different time signatures naturally coinciding with one another is a sound not to miss- but also never to forget. They often play along with other cultivated European improvisers such as Joachim Badenhorst, Susana Santos Silva, and Louis Sclavis. The group is due to publish their newest album, Dug Out Skyscrapers with SDBAN Records, sometime this fall.
2.) Kaja Draksler (Slovenia)
Slovenia is a very small country, with its area being tinier than New Hampshire. The country has the blessing of having a great attention for jazz. Also thanks to the sponsoring role played by one of the greatest festivals in Europe, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, an ongoing number of Slovenian artists are communicating new ideas and progressive projects. Pianist Kaja Draksler is one of these artists. Her solo music has been noted by her critics as “a wealth of sturdy ideas and nonchalant technique,” but this young musician is also the leader of a versatile octet with vocals, reeds and strings and challenges herself in wonderful duets with fellow artists such as Onno Govaert, Susana Santos Silva, Eve Risser or Matiss Cudars. Abrupt yet organized at the same time, her piano playing brings home some New Thing instinct for the ages.
1.) Duot (Spagna)
Ramón Prats is on drums and Albert Cirera is on saxophone. The two form the brain melting duet, a project that is pulled together by an intimate language that pulls in its own fuel from the very roots of free jazz and is filled with warm, Mediterranean sounds. Both highly talented and famous within the Spanish and European scenes, Prats and Cirera discover in this duo the main “battlefield” for their endless creativity, sometimes they share the stage with colleagues such as guitarist Andy Moor, with whom they have recently recorded an amazing record.
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