On Songs, Russian Chants, Miniatures
Stevko Busch – p/whistling, Paul van Kemenade – as
Marc Hoogma (NL), by email: The CD is wonderful. I’ve never heard Paul play like that before. Regards, Marc http://www.jazzpodium.com/pivot/entry.php?id=1035
31 July 2010 – 16:48 (NL) Paul van den Belt for JazzPodium.com Rating: * * * * * …on Contemplation Van Kemenade plays like a young god. .. a great intensity that almost feels religious. …they hit the mark. …it can actually put you in a contemplative mood.
In brief, it’s richly varied, and it never becomes dull or tiresome.
.. a lot of talent. Both men have got it, and it shows too. Van Kemenade in particular pulls out all the stops. From lyrical and melodic, to screaming and ecstatic. Occasionally, his sax sounds almost like a flute, and then later like a babbling brook. And all without histrionics, and deeply sincere. Or, as the English like to say, a ‘heartfelt performance’.
… enigmatic, but intensely fascinating five Contemplations … delightful abundance …
An album that grows on you the more you play it. (Or is it that you grow on the album?)
Volkskrant (NL) 10/06/2010 http://extra.volkskrant.nl/select/music/artikel.php?Id=3218 Intimate and reflective * * * * By Frank van Herk … a real duet album. Busch’s accompaniment strongly influences the course and the atmosphere of the sixteen, mostly short pieces. ..his touch and phrasing are more under-cooled than swinging, which makes for a nice contrast with the often preaching, blues-drenched sax Most of the album is intimate and reflective, the passionate saxophonist showing his reflective side, but ‘For Russia’ fortunately offers a real party element.
Belorussia http://www.nestor.minsk.by/jz/cd/2010/07/0500.html by: Leonid Auskern Two pieces … are based on the works of famous Russian composers Glazunov and Taneyev. If there is no doubt that these compositions are jazz in nature, and close to the Avant-garde, they are composed with highest regard to the original and are unlikely to meet the objections of the strictest adherence to Orthodox canons. Busch and Van Kemenade convincingly demonstrate that the jazz language can speak any theme and any trend if dedicated and talented people are involved.
…. get thoroughly absorbed if you need the meditative calm. ….an inspirational, highly skilful alto saxophone performance by Paul Van Kemenade. … deep philosophical content.
Finland http://webmagx.jazzrytmit.com/index.php/ kaikki-arvostelut/1577-stevko-busch-paul-van-kemenade 3 JULY 2010 … the duet’s playing is purposeful and effective. Paul van Kemenade’s alto saxophone plays keenly and beautifully, brilliantly linked to Stevko Busch’s subtle piano playing. The pieces on the disc are generally very short, integrating South African rhythms with the liturgical melodies of Russian Orthodox Church. At times the passionate roar of Kemenade’s alto and Busch’s fury on the keyboard has Taylor-like aspects. Some of the pieces are very slow, soulful and minimalist, creating an ambience of spiritual tranquillity. …moments of great intensity when Paul van Kemenade gets carried away and tears abruptly into his alto with great strength at high tones. This is alternative music combining basic harmonic jazz rhythms with skilful playing.
Jazzenzo (NL) 18/06/2010 http://www.jazzenzo.nl/pivot/entry.php?id=2967 by: Rinus van der Heijden .. a special CD. …works like a charm. It’s a unique take!
They have found a form where there is not only space for thoughtful music, but where joy and exuberance can also bask in glory. When performing duets, a sense of timing and feeling for your partner are of course of paramount importance. When this happens in an atmosphere of contemplation, you get a kind of musical philosophy.
… the musicians explore their deepest thoughts and expose their most vulnerable side in some intricate miniatures.
…diversity of attitude in which both piano and saxophone are played.
.. the serious listener will be drawn into the depths, where the skill of both musicians has settled and where emotions are hooked together like the carriages of a train.
http://www.jazzflits.nl (NL) NO. 140, 28 JUNE 2010 by: Herman te Loo ‘Contemplation’, the title of this CD says a lot. Pianist Stevko Busch and alto saxophonist Paul van Kemenade are lost together in thoughtful musings.
Van Kemenade fans, in particular, will be surprised because I’ve rarely heard him play so modestly. Herein lies the power of Busch, because he chose the material. Besides his own compositions, we are also treated to chants from the Russian Orthodox church, and these of course create a rather ethereal, pensive mood. The performances given by Busch and Van Kemenade mean that their pieces fit perfectly with the two pieces by pianist Dollar Brand / Abdullah Ibrahim (who also always uses ecclesiastical melodies in his music).
Sophisticated music, where every note seems to count, and the two musicians co-exist in complete harmony.
http://www.jazzpress.org (NL) 19/06/2010 by: Hans Schulte No machine-gun-speed solos, no super-fast octave leaps, but contemplative play … the music is not polished or sugary. It does get under your skin, though.
Draaiomjeooren (NL) concert review about “Borderhopping” in Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Feb. 2007 “…the Duet’s playing is intense and impressive. The beautiful and sharp tone of the alto saxophone and the delicate accompaniment of Stevko Busch made this part the climax of the concert.”