Ken Waxman of JAZZ WORD (Canada) enlightens us with a fine review of HUGO COSTA & PHILIPP ERNSTING’ THE ART OF CRASHING, which we released last year on our label. The album is of course available through our bandcamp store.

“The Netherlands’ long-time reputation for promoting freedom of expression has certainly been confirmed in the field of free music. Not only have local improvisers established themselves internationally, but exploratory musicians from elsewhere have gravitated there as well. The Art of Crashing was artfully created in Rotterdam by two city residents who are actually German (drummer Philipp Ernsting) or Portuguese (alto saxophonist Hugo Costa).

More aggressive and abstract in their interactions, the Rotterdam-based duo coordinates convulsive reed shrieks with minimal but powerful anchoring percussion coloring, Costa and Ernsting construct and then extend many of the tracks, but with enough cohesion so that the linear thread remains. “Blind Spot” for instance is taken prestissimo, with cymbal patterns, paradiddle pops, and subtle metal clunks cushioning the reed work. Costa’s strained clarion squeaks and bites present a logic of their own as he appears to examine every single note and its extensions, sometimes in Aylerain altisssimo until wooden drum pops signal the finale. Although near-toneless breaths and percussion rattles make up the sonic landscape elsewhere, the most distinct impression comes when the duo is in free form. There are even some quick changes involved. The introduction to “Nowhere Fast” for instance, suggests that it will become a standard Bebop melody, that’s quickly shattered as the drummer subdues his backing to hushed nerve beats and bass drum resonations. Concurrently the saxophone toughens his story-telling beeps and blips to repeated honks mixed with split tones and soon bulks up his output to continuous multiphonics. As doits, flattement sand sopranissimo screams are exhibited in turn the piece climaxes as exploratory as it was traditional at the top.

Stripped to essentials of wood, metal, skin, and cork, it’s easy to see why so many questing musicians take up this minimalist challenge. Additionally, this disc shows exactly what sort of quality sounds can be created in this configuration.”


Next concert in our ongoing label events in conjunction with jazz venue PlusEtage is the premiere of this duo: excentric and wilful pianist MARTINA VERHOEVEN teams up with one of the most versatile drummers-on-demand in Belgium TEUN VERBRUGGEN. This Belgian duo will definitely push boundaries while it can equally be delicate and melancholic. Everything is possible, nothing is obligated. Definitely a must for the lovers of free jazz and the fully improvised. Tickets and all info go here.


Suisse composer JÜRG FREY celebrates his 70th birthday today ! Congratulations.


This Monday, May 1st and Tuesday, May 2nd A NEW WAVE OF JAZZ focuses on two events during which affiliated artists MARTINA VERHOEVEN and DIRK SERRIES will go into a musical dialogue with two musicians from the excellent Portuguese free jazz scene: saxophonist JOSE LENCASTRE on Monday (a JAZZBLAZZT event) and with guitarist LUIS LOPES on Tuesday at the Kapel Oude Klooster in Brecht (Belgium). Not to be missed for admirers of pure free improvisation.


Next in line are a lovely series of concerts in Belgium (at our favorite chapel in Brecht), at the incredible Jazzblazzt (Neeritter, The Netherlands) while one week later guitarist DIRK SERRIES is teaming up with Portugese saxophonist JOSE LENCASTRE for 3 gigs in Portugal. Hope to see you at one of these gigs.

01/05/2023 JOSE LENCASTRE/DIRK SERRIES/MARTINA VERHOEVEN – Jazzblazzt (Neeritter, The Netherlands)
02/05/2023 LUIS LOPES/DIRK SERRIES/MARTINA VERHOEVEN – Kapel Oude Klooster (Brecht, Belgium)
06/05/2023 JOSE LENCASTRE/DIRK SERRIES – Cossoul (Lisbon, Portugal)
07/05/2023 JOSE LENCASTRE/DIRK SERRIES – Hotelier (Porto, Portugal)