Eva Besnyo is a Dutch photographer originally hailing from Hungary who in a recent documentary film by fellow lensman Leo Erken is shown picking and choosing out of 60-odd years of her photos what she feels has staying power, and discarding the ones which don't. Often I wonder at whether artists should do this sort of thing since given one is too close to the act of creation one might not always see the worth of what one considers to be flawed. Maybe so, but then who will do the culling? Critics? Er, let's leave it the other way, please. Anyway, bassist Tjitze Vogel's fine Dutch quartet (including sax and bass clarinetist Lothar Ohlmeier, violinist Jasper le Clerq and trombone player Joost Swinkels, with guest Pieter Jan Cramer van den Boogaart on piano and accordion) says in the liner that his eleven chamber pieces have a definite debt to Bartok. I agree, but there's also a certain playfulness that makes me recall early Ligeti ("Eva en Ata," with a delightful trombone part), to say nothing of the lilting "Nederland"'s folky Weill-like exuberance. "Slenteren," with its carefully wheel-like cycling structure, even leans in the direction of Daniel Denis' modern chamber ensemble Univers Zero in its wintry dourness. And a few of the tunes end on the last note in a manner not too far from Gil Evans' method (the closing "Wandeling"). A very provocative listen, not a lot of Jazz influence at all but the 19 minutes 51 sceonds of music on this CD is of the highest caliber. Hopefully the film will land in the USA and we can see it in context!
by Ken Egbert
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2003 issue, all rights reserved