# Van Kemenade & Cappella Pratensis

A cocktail of renaissance polyphony – jazzmusic – flamenco music – african percussion. Worlds come together.

Cappella Pratensis: Stratton Bull – Lior Leibovici – Pieter Stas – Olivier Berten (vocals; Three Horns and a Bass: Louk Boudesteijn (trb) – Angelo Verploegen (trp & flügel) – Wiro Mahieu (b) – Paul van Kemenade (as & comp); special guests: C.M.Gueye (perc.) – El Periquin (flamencoguitar)


Listen to musictrack nr. 4 (Fantasy Colours) on the cd´ Close Enough´ and musictrack nr. 9 (Une Couleur Differente) on the cd ´Kaisei Nari´.


Watch short video of work in progress:


Op de jongste cd ‘Close Enough’ van de Tilburgse altsaxofonist en componist Paul van Kemenade speelt hij samen in diverse kleinere en nieuwe bezettingen. Hierop is ook een (eigen) compositie te beluisteren voor een wel hele bijzondere bezetting bestaande uit vier totaal verschillende muziekdisciplines: drie zangers van het fantastische renaissance vokaal ensemble Cappella Pratensis, vier jazzmusici, een Afrikaanse percussionist en een flamenco-gitarist. Van Kemenade heeft nooit samenwerkingen met compleet diverse en afwijkende muziekdisciplines geschuwd, volgens eigen zeggen wordt je er als musicus alleen maar beter van.


Downbeat (USA) ***** july 2011.
Ever heard a jazz CD o pen with Gregorian chant? A composition involving a Renaissance vocal ensemble, flamenco guitar, Senegalese percussion and jazz quartet also has to be a first. Further listening reveals rich variety and surprising homogeneity, driven with deep conviction from the leader, already confirming this as one of my albums of the year. Dutch saxophonist Paul van Kemenade’s expressive alto and bluesy feel betray a likely debt to David Sanborn and Maceo Parker but might also have been distilled from Bunky Green, Johnny Hodges or Amsterdam-based saxophonist Michael Moore. Clawing for precedents ends there, since this is a unique record. Contexts are ingenious, from three horns plus bass, to duo with cello, to big-shot quintet with Ray Anderson, Ernst Glerum and Han Bennink. The latter plays snare with brushes, contributing to an overall chamber-like vibe. Collaborations with Angelo Verploegen and Louk Boudesteijn suggest a regular band given the perfect tonal overlay, bassist Wiro Mahieu as a fine counterweight. The leaders’s ‘Close Enough’ and ‘It is never too late’ whiff of rhapsodic ballads and detour into peculiar polyphonic places, the former fragmenting into spacious abstraction. His alto darts and dives luxuriously, a rainbow feathered bird of paradise riding to the stratosphere. Speaking of birds, ‘Cuckoo’ with Ernst Reijseger plucking and strumming cello and guffawing like a tipsy woodchopper, is brilliant and hilarious. Despite the alto’s distinct pump in the mix, there is a great sensitivity to dynamics and a lovely hover betwixt classical, composition and improv. (Michael Jackson)


All About Jazz (USA) ****½ august 2016.

Close Enough from alto saxophonist Paul Van Kemenade was a Downbeat magazine “Best of 2011” and it is no small wonder why. Sub-titled “alto Paul van Kemenade in different settings,” the nine tracks range widely in both style and personnel, including a Renaissance vocal ensemble, a duo with cello, three horns and a bass as well two different more standard quintets. Through it all, Kemenade’s playing is marvelous, bringing together a sly wit and sense of humor, much intelligence and a strong sense surprise in his lines which continually do the unexpected. Close Enough in a wonderful example of pure music which exists outside of any style or instrumentation. It is to Kemenade’s credit that his musical personality is strong enough to tie it all together. Highly recommended.


Cadence Magazine (USA) (july-aug-sept 2011).
Dutch altoist Paul van Kemenade’s Close Enough is subtitled In Different Settings and, true to his word, he performs with five different ensembles, including, on three tracks, a duo with cellist Reijseger. The opening “Fantasy Colours” has a Renaissance-style vocal ensemble plus a flamenco guitarist and a Senegalese percussionist augmenting the basic piano, bass, flugelhorn, trombone, and alto instrumentation. Those latter four instruments constitute the sole instrumentation on three tunes and a quintet of piano, bass, drums, alto and bass clarinet do so on another one. The title track is the only one that employs Van Kemenade’s regular Jazz quintet with trombonist Anderson, drummer Bennink, guitarist Mobis, and bassist Glerum. Van Kemenade provided all the compositions except two by Reijseger and one by the bass clarinetist Koltermann. Most of the expertly crafted and interesting pieces are clearly instrumental in nature, with “Fantasy Colours,” its lyrics from Psalm 147, being an obvious exception. Also, the lyrical “Close Enough” might itself serve as a fitting vehicle for a singer. The leader’s biographical material speaks of the variety of elements typically blended into his music-European improvised music, Jazz, Pop, and African, Spanish, and Classical music. The classical influence on this album is most evident in Reijseger’s “Gathering for Alto and Cello,” which sounds almost like a recital piece, albeit with a Jazz tone and inflec­tions on alto. But for the most part, the recording’s emphasis is on Jazz with a little bit of Free playing mixed in with a lot of Hard Bop/ Post Bop improvising. All the solos are excellent, but the leader is spotlighted most often and plays extremely well. On “Close Enough” he projects the kind of quiet intensity and expressiveness typical of the late Charlie Mariano. In fact, his surefooted, emotional playing evokes Mariano again on Koterman’s “Vormarz,” which also fea­tures a well-constructed bass clarinet chorus by its composer. (David Franklin)


Jazznytt Magazine (NO) Jan Granlie 04 2011.
Paul Van Kemenade, raise your hands if you know him. Just as I thought. No, not many hands to see. According to the biography he is born in 1957 in Nederland. In 1977 he started his own ensembles, and played in ensembles such as Contraband, Vaalbleek, Podium Trio, and many more. He is an alto saxophonist of the straight Kind and he did a lot of recordings in Holland since his debut in 1979. He has been playing with the Contraband, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, African percussionists, the bass player Jamaladeen Tacuma, the pianist Aki Takase, the saxophonist David Murray, trumpet player Kenny Wheeler plus a lot of other benchmark artists from the “wooden clog country”.Those who thought that the mad jazz from the Netherlands was passé, have to think twice after listen to these two records a few times.Because with “Close Enough” and “Who is in charge” the alto saxophonist Paul Van Kemenade proves that there still is a little life left in the jazz that was ravaging Europe more than 10-15 years ago. On “Close Enough” that was recorded in December 2010 he put together a bunch of songs that deviate and variate as the blessed Per Borthen carried at his time. It all started with “Fantasy Colours” with a renaissance ensemble, a flamingo guitarist, a Senegalese percussionist and a bunch of happy people from Holland. Funny and extremely original. After that we meet the alto saxophonist together with the trombone- thug Ray Anderson, the sharp drum-maestro Han Bennink, electric guitarist Frank Möbus, bass player Ernst Glerum in an imaginative titeltrack, before we get the compositions for three horns and bass, three duets with the cellist Ernst Reijseger, before it all ends with bas-clarinetist Eckhard Koltermanns “Vormärz” in beautiful company with the pianist Stevko Busch, drum player Achim Krämer and bass player Benjamin Trawinsky. “Close Enough” is a kind of collective moment where he cooperates with different formations throughout the record. I think that the most interesting is when he in almost ten minutes, together with Ray Anderson plays over Han Benninks drums. That song is worth the price, but the other songs are not too bad either. It swings infernally in between and shows that there still is a lot going on in the Dutch jazz world. Thank you very much!


Jazzism (NL) ****march/april 2011.
Powerful compositions; the renaissance singers is a musical find; amazing, music that spans two continents and six centuries; Three horns and a bass sound like a pocket big band and sounds fine and exudes intimacy and tranquility. The saxophonist himself on an Introspective path. (Eddy Determeyer)


Draaiomjeoren.nl (NL ) february 2011.
Unique formations such as a combination with renaissance singers-jazz-flamenco-african percussion and a group with three horns and a bass , sound tight with well written arrangements. Great duo with cellist Ernst Reijsger. This album is a very diverse range of Van Kemenade’s musical intentions, which seem to be limitless. We hear a variety of groups, the alto saxophone of Van Kemenade in a vibrant and prominent role. Paul van Kemenade is – witness this CD – Dutch most original modern jazzaltist. (Jacques Los)


Jazzenzo.nl (NL) february 2011.
The CD with totally different ensembles excels in accuracy and diversity, with a striking and impressive result. (Rinus van der Heijden)


Jazzflits (NL) january 2011.
The CD “Close Enough” is a festive musical kaleidoscope including a special opening of “Fantasy Colours”, a Van Kemenade Renaissance vocal composition – flamenco- jazz – and African percussion. The title song “Close Enough” with his international quintet is a nice track and the combination with three horns and bass are all typical Van Kemenade compositions. Inventive duo with cellist Ernst Reijseger. (Hessel Fluitman)


Het Parool (NL)****

Eerst is er even de gedachte dat de verkeerde cd in speler ligt. Het vocale ensemble Cappella Pratentis zet Psalm 147:1 in en zingt Lauda Jerusalem. Dan klinkt de trommel van de Senegalese percussionist Serigne Gueye en dan, ja toch, Paul van Kemenade op altsaxofoon. De stijl van de eerste compositie op Close enough wordt nog hybridischer als flamenco-gitarist El Periquin zijn snaren aanslaat, Wiro Mahieu een lekker jazzloopje op zijn contrabas speelt en Angelo Verploegen en Louk Boudesteijn hun bugel en trombone aan de mond zetten. Op magische wijze vertegenwoordigen de muzikanten een nieuw continent. De compositie is getiteld Fantasy colours.



De nieuwste cd van Paul van Kemenade bevat negen stukken die de altsaxofonist in verschillende bezettingen opnam. Speelde de Tilburger al eens met onder meer een harmonie-orkest en in Afrikaanse-, Spaanse-, pop- en computerbezettingen, nu zocht hij samenwerking met Cappella Pratensis, een vocaal ensemble dat Renaissancemuziek levend houdt. Drie zangers uit de Cappella weven in het openingsstuk ‘Fantasy Colours’ op de tekst ‘Lauda Jerusalem’ uit de bijbelse psalm 147 hun etherische klanken door de lappendeken die het geheel omspant.Het is daarbij verbazingwekkend te constateren hoe de muziek waarin een tijdsverschil optreedt van vijf eeuwen, zich zo logisch als wat, mengt. Datzelfde geldt ook voor de inbreng van een flamencogitaar. Met klassieke muziek is vaker geëxperimenteerd in stijlen waarin zij normaliter niet thuishoort. Het resultaat was meestal zo dat door de stroperigheid beide richtingen in elkaar verdronken. Daarvan is hier geen sprake: Cappella Pratensis tilt de totaalklank naar een nieuwe horizon.



In het eerste nummer is zijn formatie Three Horns And A Bass aangevuld met onder anderen het vocaal ensemble Capella Pratensis en de flamencogitarist El Periquin. De titel van het stuk is ‘Fantasy Colours’; zeer toepasselijk, want het is een combinatie van jazz, Afrikaans ritme en renaissancezang. Het resultaat is verrassend. De combinatie van de zeer verschillende genres klinkt verfrissend en harmonieert bewonderenswaardig. Dit album is een zeer gevarieerde staalkaart van Van Kemenade’s muzikale intenties, die onbegrensd lijken te zijn. We horen een verscheidenheid aaqn groepen, waarin de altsax van Van Kemenade een sprankelende en prominente rol speelt. Paul van Kemenade is – getuige deze cd – Nederlands meest originele moderne jazzaltist. De cd is een sterke aanrader.