Lotz of Music

Pum'kin Diaries

Lop Lop Records, CD, Netherlands

Lop Lop Records is a Dutch label to watch. A few Jazz Nows ago I reviewed a fine CD from Vogelkwartet, a bit short but still full of delightful, knotty, thorny chamber music worthy of the late Bruno Maderna. On this release we have Mark Alban Lotz wielding a small copse of flutes ("concert, alto, bass, PVC contra- bass"), and with Marc van Roon (piano), Eric Surmenian (acoustic bass), and Michael Vatcher, achieving a neat CD which puts me in mind of Hubert Laws' Atlantic years (especially LAWS' CAUSE, which I think had Chick Corea at the keyboards). Recorded live at the Theatre Pompoen (Dutch for pumpkin), the quartet bounce energetically and with no small humor through Sonny Rollins' "Oleo," Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation," Jobim's evergreen "Zingaro," Lee Konitz' "It's You," Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand" (?! Who remembers the last time somebody Jazzed [and not necessarily the original meaning of the term, please] a Dylan tune? Send cards!), and let's not forget some stirring originals as well: "Pygmy Lounge" is an improv over a field recording of what's possibly an Aka (also known as "pygmy") village in southeast Africa, the rain having just gone by. Beautifully done, sprightly and satisfying throughout.

One of my favorites this year.

by Ken Egbert

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