Michiel Scheen Quartet

Ab Baars - saxophones, clarinet
Han Bennink - drums
Ernst Glerum - bass
Michiel Scheen - piano, compositions

2004: Dance My dear?
In 2003 Michiel Scheen invited three prominent Dutch musicians: Ab Baars (reeds), Ernst Glerum (bass) and Han Bennink (drums), to join him in a Quartet. After a few years of musical in-activity, Scheen is back with his highly individual and recognizable style. With this Quartet, he strives to combine his very personal interpretation of jazz with the playful and adventurous nature of improvised music.

"For this group I composed pieces that feature individual freedom for the players. And it’s wonderful to see what such great musicians as Ab, Ernst and Han do with the material: their intuition and imagination is enormous! Melodic phrases are carefully cut into pieces and catapulted into space, lumps of harmonies hanging on the side. And their conception of tempo is mesmerizing: sometimes we play in four different pulses; it's not the beat that generates 'swing', but the more freely phrased pulses. There is no monotonous beat, but a kind of polyphonic, multi-subjective swing. If you would dance to it, every move would be permitted. An inevitable and often returning inspiration is the powerful and frenzy work of Thelonious Monk. Especially, my harmonic idiom is clearly influenced by him. But I think his music contains more and other musical possibilities, with its angular, pounding and rumbling, razor-sharp shining lyricism. He is a savage sculptor of sounds, a musical architect of genius, with a melancholic, happy, Dadaist and hopeful vision. With Monk, the world is an awful little bit more beautiful. Furthermore, I'm very happy to be able to work with musicians that still contribute so much to the development of improvised music; through their creativity, the vitality of improvised music is guaranteed."

Ab Baars - saxophones, clarinet (1955, Axel) collaborated with Harry de Wit, Wolter Wierbos and Mariëtte Rouppe van der Voort in the quartet Cumulus. He worked with a.o. Guus Janssen, Theo Loevendie, Willem van Manen, Steve Lacy, Maarten Altena, Roscoe Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg, John Carter, Anthony Braxton, Cor Fuhler, Gerry Hemmingway, Cecil Taylor, de EX, Sunny Murray, George Lewis and Ig Henneman. Now he works with Mengelbergs ICP Orchestra, and recently his trio with Wilbert de Joode and Martin van Duijnhoven celebrated their 12th anniversary.

Ernst Glerum - bass (1955) a much demanded bassplayer and currently working with the Amsterdam String Trio, Available Jelly, the ICP Orchestra, the ensembles of Guus Janssen and the collectively managed trio with Michiel Borstlap and Han Bennink.

Han Bennink - drums (1942, Zaandam) is, besides a visual artist, an internationaly renowned solo-player and much demanded percussionist. He worked with Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy, and had/has a major influence on the development of the Dutch and European improvised music. For more than 30 years, he works together with Misha Mengelberg, as a duo, but also with the ICP Orchestra. Furthermore he worked with a.o. Peter Brötzmann, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred van Hove, Derek Bailey, Ernst Reijseger, Michael Moore, Willem Breuker, Marion Brown, Don Cherry, Alex von Schlippenbach, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Albert Mangelsdorff, Cor Fuhler, Tobias Delius, Dudu Pukwana, Keshavan Maslak, Toshinori Kondo, Leo Cuypers, Roswell Rudd, Harry Miller, Conrad Bauer, George Lewis, Teo Joling, Sean Bergin, Peter Kowald, Cecil Taylor, de EX, Fred Frith, 'Butch' Morris, Anthony Braxton, Ray Anderson, Myra Melford, Dave Douglas, Eric Boeren, Evan Parker and with kind of practically everybody.

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