“An Evening At Jazzblazzt severs up two sets worth of dartingly ragged and often manic improv, which shifts with moments of bounding angularity, sawing frenzy, and even fraught atmospherics. This CD/ digital release appeared last year on the always worthy New Wave Of Jazz label, who release some of the more difficult-through often highly rewarding side of the improv and modern composition genres.
As the release’s title suggests this was recorded at Jazzblazzt, which is in Neeritter in the Netherlands. The set was recorded in June 2019- with the first two-part set featuring Dirk Serries- acoustic guitar and Benedict Taylor-viola, then the second two-part set sees the two been joined by pianist Martina Verhoeven.
So, we kick-off with “Set 1, Part A” this comes in at just under the seven-and-a-half-minute mark. It starts off as a nicely urgent and jagged example of the improv form, with Serries tightly strummed ‘n’ hacked guitar tones going up against Taylor’s rabidly bowing ‘n’ saw viola. As the track moves on we find rewarding lulls of more broken-up and abstract plucks and picks, but fairly soon the rapidity and urgency of the whole thing picks up, with some wonderful manic and scrabbing interplays. Next up we of course have “Set 1, Part A” – just shy of six and a half minute track opens with really elongated viola string rip and scrubs, this is joined by tightly jagged and darting guitar tones- with the whole thing talking on an almost lop-sided jig quality at points.
Moving onto “Set 2, Part A” and see’s Martina Verhoeven joining Serries and Taylor. The sound on this just over the twenty-eight-minute track is moodier and more atmospheric, though still bounding and tautly unpredictable. It opens with a blend of deep bass bounding piano tolls, saw sting swoops and rapid guitar strum. As the track moves along more mid-to-high key work comes in play, this is joined by neck scrabbles, and waving-to-sour string saws. As we move along we have manic jigs undertone by tolling grimness and scuttling scrap ‘n’ creak. There’s a woozy yet waving blend of string ‘n’ guitar pittered with clunking key darts, through to manic scrubs-meet- creek, bow, tinkle.
Lastly, we have “Set 2, Part B”- and once more we have the three-piece playing this track. It starts off all jittering and uneasy with manic fret fumble, nets of twanging discord, baying scrub, and atmospheric piano darts. As we move on the tone pares back with minimal neck rubs, subdued key hits, creaks. and tight string plucks.
An Evening At Jazzblazzt feels very much like a game of two halves- the first set is tight, twitchy and manic, where set two brings into play a more moody and uneasy atmosphere.”