knimes acoustic group Adventures In Improvised Music (Envelope 2021)


Knimes has found a delicate balance between experiment and tunefulness.

knimes acoustic group - Adventures In Improvised Music


Matthijs de Ridder (drums), Jose Cervera (alto saxophone, flute), Yannis Marinos (trombone), Ignacio Santoro (bass)


on March 15 & 16, 2020 at Moon Music, Roermond


as Envelope 001 in 2021

Track listing

Side A:
A Journey Through Sound And Colors
Side B:
The Haunt
Be A Vampire
Waltz For Gloria
Birth Of Joy

Sweet and sour neo-bop, film noir miniatures and mesmerizing, gritty free-wheeling episodes. You will find all of this and then some on Adventures In Improvised Music, brainchild of Dutch drummer Matthijs de Ridder in cooperation with the Spanish alto saxophonist Jose Cervera, Greek trombonist Yannis Marinos and Italian bassist Ignacio Santoro. Ridder met his international crew while he was project manager at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and his knimes acoustic group (De Ridder also leads knimes electric group) made a point of not only presenting its debut album as download but releasing it on vinyl as well.

The LP concept is appropriate. Adventures In Improvised Music refers to classic post-bop and avant-leaning jazz without compromising its own organic and completely 21st century vibe. Moreover, it spawns a refreshing and talented composer of diverse repertoire. Among others, De Ridder created the sassy hard bop tune 3.12, underlined by polyrhythm and definitely not in need of a coat of paint and the melancholic homage to his grandfather, D.C. The Haunt’s sultry theme and loping bounce accompanies the steps of the long-legged femme fatale that fatefully clashes with a hard-boiled detective in the asphalt jungle. Any movie with Lauren Bacall will do, y’all.

De Ridder cleverly works around the beat of Waltz For Gloria, which is sweetened by Cervera’s elegant flute playing. A hip Afrobeat rhythm underscores the boppish Be A Vampire line, which swings with increasing tension. Hypnotizing pulses and rough-tough and sweeping simultaneous improvisations of sax and trombone mark the moody textures of A Journey Through Sound And Color and Birth Of Joy. As if George Russell re-arranged Radiohead’s Kid A, which is totally cool apart from the fact that you would wish for a less flat and more fat and resonant sound production of the bass of Santoro, who no mistaking is excellent and propulsive throughout.

One striking aspect of Adventures is the non-virtuosic approach of Cervera and Marinos, whose bittersweet and ebullient outings signify a longing to emulate the forthright emotions of the human voice. Muscles are flexed but expression is key and Cervera positively leans towards the sound of Jackie McLean, while Marinos sounds like a cross between Grachan Monchur and Wayne Henderson. Their combined inflections reach a zenith during the clarion call theme of the crispy Clean, a cookin’ tune that like all of knimes’ efforts convincingly obviates the need for piano harmony.

Check out the teaser of Adventures In Improvised Music on YouTube here.

Buy the digital or LP format of Adventures In Improvised Music on Bandcamp here.

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