# Three Horns And A Bass

Louk Boudesteijn (trombone) – Angelo Verploegen (flügelhorn) – Wiro Mahieu (double bass) – Paul Van Kemenade (altosax/compositions)

CD’s: Close Enough (2010), In a Certain Mood, (2014), A Kind Of… (2016), CD/LP: Stranger than Paranoia (2018).





VPRO Dutch TV march 2015


cd’s amongst others: CLOSE ENOUGH and KAISEI NARI


Three Horns And A Bass  is another initiative of altoist-composer Van Kemenade. He uses this unorthodox combination for a different approach than only writing for ensembles with a traditional rhythm section. Writing for this setting provides new opportunities for him. Three Horns And A Bass (THAAB) is a not often heard combination in a nimble occupation that goes in all directions with trombonist Louk Boudesteijn, flügel player Angelo Verploegen, bassist Wiro Mahieu and Paul van Kemenade who feel each other flawlessly. Some pieces of the above group can be heard with various other combinations on the recently released cd ‘Close Enough’ with a five stars quotation in the American prestigious jazz magazine Down Beat. The CD is chosen as one of ‘Best CDs of 2011’. In year 2015 they made the internationally well-reviewed cd ‘In a certain mood’.


AMR Jazzfestival Geneva Switzerland march 2016

Épatant ce projet mené par le prolifique saxophoniste hollandais Paul Van Kemenade !D’abord son audacieuse configuration, trois souffleurs pour une basse, ensuite ses compositions, entre polyphonies médiévales et blues échevelé, enfin les arrangements, minutieux jeux de timbres et de rythmes. Le résultat est absolument décoiffant, en les écoutant on jurerait entendre toutes les sections d’un band au grand complet !


Jazzinsidemagazine (NY USA) january 2015

Within a couple of minutes of putting on this recording, each of the artists are world class. Altoist Paul Van Kemenade has a beautiful tone that is also cutting. Born in 1957, he has been a professional musician since he was 19. He has appeared on over 55 albums, many as a leader. In addition to his work as a leader, his associations through the years include the Berlin Contemporary Jazz orchestra, Aki Takase, Jasper Van’t Hof, Eric Vloeimans, Ray Anderson, Han Bennink, Ernst Reijseger, Benny Bailey, Kenny Wheeler, Willem Breuker, Misha Mengelberg, David Murray,the Metrople Orchestra, Robin Eubanks and a large number of top European musicians. Trumpeter Angelo Verploegen is a versatile player with a mellow tone who has worked with Gunther Schuller , Bob Brookmeyer, and extensively with the Houdinis. Trombonist Louk Boudesteijn is a major force with the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra as its artistic director. Bassist Wiro Mahieu has been a busy session player who along the way has worked with Tineke Postma, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Malach, Benny Bailey and numerous others.While each of the musicians is indispensable to Three Horns And A Bass, this group is very much Paul Van Kemenade’s dream. He wrote all the compositions and the arrangements. Each of the musicians have very attractive tones that are well utilized. The music, which is episodic and sometimes cinematic, blends together arranged ensembles with solos and jammed sections so well that it is difficult at times to know what is improvised and what is written out. Many of the solos are such a logical part of the music that they often sound arranged even though they probably are spontaneous.The individual improvisations are built off of both the chord changes and the arrangements. Many of the individual statements are brief and overlap with those of the other musicians. As in Charles Mingus’ music, it is not unusual to hear the three horns all soloing together yet they never seem to clash, generally sounding as if they have a common purpose. While there are heated sections in sone of the arrangements and even short stretches that are free, the music is generally rhythmic, lyrical, melodic and both pleasing and creative. And there is no point during this enjoyable CD where one misses the piano or drums. It all sounds very complete. In a certain mood is a quiet gem. (Scott Yanow)


Cadence magazine (NY USA) august 2015

His music here is tasty and swinging, with nice arrangements and sumptuous harmony throughout. He’s got a lovely rasp to his tone, a deep soulful melancholy that looks back to jazz’s earliest days even as it sounds wholly contemporary. And he writes for maximum impact of both individual and ensemble work, making for music that’s resourceful, tasteful, sensitive, and inventive throughout. The group plays with its own puckish identity front and center despite the varied material. Each piece on this succint album has a different language and identity, and I found it it very refreshing overall. (Jason Bivins)


Jazzquad (RU) 2015

Van Kemenade is distinguished by his unusual creative activity, unusual instrumentation and compositions. (Leonid Auskern)


Salt Peanuts (NO) 2015

Brilliant, Van Kemenade has surpassed himself. (Jan Granlie)


DMG newsletter ( NY USA) january 2015 

PAUL VAN KEMENADE’S THREE HORNS AND A BASS – In a Certain Mood (Kemo 012; Netherlands) Featuring Paul Van Kemenade on alto sax & compositions, Angelo Verploegen trumpet & flugelhorn, Louk Boudesteijn on trombone and Wiro Mahieu on double bass. Mr. Kemenade keeps pretty busy in several bands with all types of great Êplayers like Han Bennink, Ray Anderson… I listened to this disc earlier in the week and thought it was great even without a drummer, the bassist is the entire rhythm section & the entire quartet is superb. Longer review next week.




*****Downbeat (USA)

A variety and surprising homogeneity, driven with deep conviction from the leader. 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. Contexts are ingenious. Collaborations with ‘Three horns and a bass’ Angelo Verploegen and Louk Boudesteijn suggest a regular band given the perfect tonal overlay, bassist Wiro Mahieu as a fine counterweight. His alto darts and dives luxuriously, a rainbow feathered bird of paradise riding to the stratosphere.


*****Volkskrant (NL)

Fireworks of an extraordinary set of instruments: flugelhorn, trombone, alto saxophone and contrabass. The limber horn section is capable of polyphonic medieval chants and exciting instant composing. The double bass is not only obviously serving but actually as part of the whole. Here, music is created on the cutting edge. As a unit, elastic and at the same time challenging for each other during the free moments. And the public is still sitting on the tip of the seat.


Goddeau.com (B)

Three Horns And A Bass shows that Van Kemenade disposes with this band about a huge potential. They, one moment give à la the World Saxophone Quartet, the impression that you’re listening to a complete swing Orchestra with vibrant casual themes,and then moments later they deal with the blues as in ‘Cool Man, Coleman’ with results that resonate now even cinematic compelling, and then again playfully dancing.


Info Dutch

‘Three horns and a bass’ is een vervolg op een eerder Van Kemenade-initiatief: ‘Two horns and a bass’, met onder andere trompettist Eric Vloeimans. Nu is er sprake van drie blazers en een contrabassist. Altist/componist Van Kemenade gebruikt deze bezetting om juist op op een andere manier te schrijven dan voor ensembles met bijvoorbeeld een traditionele ritmesectie en dit biedt voor hem nieuwe mogelijkheden. Een niet vaak gehoorde combinatie in een lenige bezetting die alle kanten op gaat met de drie blazers Louk Boudesteijn, Angelo Verploegen en Paul van Kemenade en met contrabassist Wiro Mahieu die elkaar feilloos aanvoelen. Enkele stukken van bovenstaande groep staan met diverse andere bezettingen op de onlangs verschenen cd ‘CLOSE ENOUGH’ die met vijf sterren in het Amerikaanse prestigieuze jazz-magazine Downbeat uitgekozen is, tot een van ‘Best cd’s of 2011’ .

*****Volkskrant (NL)

Vuurwerk van een bijzonder stel instrumenten: flügelhorn/trompet, trombone, altsax en contrabas. Van Kemenade speelt er al langer mee en eens te meer blijkt waarom. De lenige blazerssectie is in staat tot meerstemmige middeleeuws aandoende gezangen, en ook tot spannende instant composing waarbij de contrabas niet alleen, zoals vanzelfsprekend dienend is, maar daadwerkelijk onderdeel is van het geheel. Hier wordt muziek gemaakt op het scherpst van de snede. Als eenheid en elastisch en tegelijkertijd uitdagend voor elkaar tijdens de vrije momenten. En het publiek zit nog steeds op het puntje van de stoel.


Goddeau.com (B)

Three Horns And A Bass laat horen dat Van Kemenade met hen over een enorm potentieel beschikt. Geven ze nu eens, à la het World Saxophone Quartet, de indruk dat je een compleet swingorkest hoort, met bruisende, ongedwongen thema’s, dan wordt even later resoluut de blues opgezocht of pakken ze, zoals in “Cool Man, Coleman Part 1 & 2”, uit met resultaten die nu eens filmisch meeslepend klinken, en dan weer dartel dansend.


Jazzenzo (NL)

Met ‘Three Horns And A Bass’ worden Van Kemenade’s harmonieuze, speelse en ritmische composities haarzuiver en strak uitgevoerd, met sterke collectieve improvisaties. De altsaxofonist soleert wederom magistraal met souplesse en overtuigingskracht.