Tutti Flutti


Jazz bars. Remember? Of course. Fondly and bittersweetly. The vibe created by the artists, fans enjoying warm and surprising sounds, crowded at the bar like so many thirsty catfish. One more beer, please. Patience. They will be back. Artists, catfish, beers and the like.

I remember thoroughly enjoying a performance by saxophonist and flute player Doug Webb at the tail end of 2019 in Pavlov, The Hague. The unsung West Coast hero was in The Netherlands to record an album with bassist Marius Beets and drummer Eric Ineke: In Holland. The evening preceding the recording session, Webb participated in a blowing session with Beets, Ineke, pianist Rein de Graaff and guitarist/organizer/emcee Dan Nicholas.

Killer session. I distinctly remember Webb and De Graaff negotiating repertoire. At one time, Webb suggested Chelsea Bridge. De Graaff said ok and proceeded with a lovely introduction. Killer version. Calling a tune and acting upon it is one of the wonders of real jazz and easily taken for granted. It takes the best of the lot to pull off compositions like Chelsea Bridge and I have not forgotten my satisfaction and delight.

Anyway, during intermission I got to talking with Beets (who apart from bassist is also a record engineer and music shop owner and was tired as a dog, sipping his third espresso), Ineke and Webb. Over the sounds of a Grant Green tune, the genial multi-reed player told me that one of the endeavors that he looked forward to in The Netherlands besides recording was a visit to the village of Grollo out there in the province. Webb said that he was going to visit a ‘fruit shaker’.

Sounded out of the box but perhaps not entirely unusual to me. Webb hails from Los Angeles in liberal California. He sports a ponytail. Probably a health freak in search of innovative brews. Lots of sporty and spiritual types in jazz, contrary to myth. Maynard Ferguson was a yoga buff as early as the ‘50s. Still, I was at a loss for words and said, “Fruit? That’s cool. By the way, Grollo is a legendary place. Birthplace of Holland’s finest blues group Cuby & The Blizzards featuring future visual artist and rock&roll icon Herman Brood.”

Beets woke up. “He probably is not familiar with either Cuby or Brood.”

Which proves that three espressos is brain food of higher quality than three pints of Westmalle Triple. On my way home, I kept thinking, man that’s a way out trip, travelin’ from the USA to get some fruit in Holland. Anyway, soon after I read somewhere that Webb had visited Eva Kingma, one of the best ‘flute makers’ around today, in Grollo, Drenthe.

A true crackerjack in her field and I’m sure that Doug Webb got a good taste.

But it’s a world away from apples and oranges.

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.

Melvin Rhyne


Sharing a rare clip on YouTube of organist Melvin Rhyne, see here. Catch Rhyne in the studio in Wisconsin in 1993 with saxophonist Mark Ladley. I have to thank engineer Max Bolleman, who mentioned the footage in his memoirs I’m The Beat.

See my review of Rhyne’s only album as a leader in the ’60s, Organi-zing here.

Melvin Rhyne may not have made the headlines but he has always been a much-beloved organist. A special one who did not strictly follow the blazing style of pioneer Jimmy Smith but developed a restrained style with lines that betrayed thorough experience as pianist. His time was impeccable and his ‘plucky’ and dry sound stood out from the pack. Mike LeDonne told yours truly a couple of years ago that Milt Jackson believed Melvin Rhyne to be the greatest bebop organist.

Rhyne, best known for his contributions to the trio of fellow Indy cat and iconic guitarist West Montgomery, appeared on three major league Montgomery records, disappeared from the scene in the ’70’s but resurfaced particularly on the Criss Cross label of Gerry Teekens in the ’90s. (with Bolleman at the console) From then on the organist cooperated prolifically with New York guys that had known about Rhyne’s class all along, like Peter Bernstein, Eric Alexander, Bryan Lynch and Kenny Washington. He influenced various contemporary organists such as Mike LeDonne, Brian Charette, Kyle Koehler and Arno Krijger.

B3 hero!

Our Man In The Hague


Good news for those who every year at the ‘requiem for the departed’ All Souls start to thinking again, ‘damn this pretty rare Dexter Gordon record keeps eluding me time and again…’. That particular record, All Souls, the live performance of Long Tall Dex with the Rob Agerbeek Trio in 1972, is reissued, newly remastered, on the Ultra Vybe label in Japan. Plus bonus track.

As one of many expatriates in Europe, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was a welcome guest at the European stages in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Not only did the Copenhagen-based progenitor of bop tenor sax and hard bop giant play festivals, he also participated in tours in little places across countries like The Netherlands. Here’s a fragment from a letter that Gordon wrote to friends in Denmark: “This tour is quite fantastic; we are traveling through Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and France! It’s six weeks no, seven and I’m getting rich! Anyway, it’s very well organized and seems to be a success. For the most part I’m working with the same group…”.

From l. to. r: All Souls; Ultra Vybe CD; gatefold LP; Dexter Gordon’s bicycle race.

That band consisted of pianists Rein de Graaff and occasional substitute Rob Agerbeek, bassist Henk Haverhoek and drummer Eric Ineke. All Souls, with Agerbeek at the piano, was recorded on November 2, 1972 at the Haagse Jazz Club in The Hague, The Netherlands. Gordon is in excellent form. All Souls was reviewed in Flophouse Magazine in 2017, read the review here.

Eric Ineke once in conversation recounted to me the last time that he met Gordon at North Sea Jazz in the early ‘80s. Gordon waved and shouted, “S.O.S!”. Gordon did not mean that he was in clear and present danger, but instead added, “Same Old Shit!”. Long Tall Dex had style and humor. Ineke reflected that it was darkly humorous, because Gordon was getting more tired and burned out at the latter stage of his life.

Find All Souls on Ultra Vybe here. Distribution from The Netherlands is scheduled for this year. And good luck with the vintage vinyl hunt, of course.

Pinheiro Ineke Cavalli Turn Out The Stars (Challenge 2021)


Tight-knit guitar trio Pinheiro Ineke Cavalli refreshes the work of piano legend Bill Evans.

Pinheiro Ineke Cavalli - Turn Out The Stars


Ricardo Pinheiro (guitar), Massimo Cavalli (bass), Eric Ineke (drums)


on November 8, 2019 at Atlantico Blue Studios, Lisbon


as CR 73523 in 2021

Track listing

You Must Believe In Spring
Peri’s Scope
Turn Out The Stars / Time Remembered
Very Early
Waltz For Debby
Some Other Time

Versatile Portuguese guitarist Ricardo Pinheiro, also a Psychology Graduate, is a keen interpreter of the jazz songbook and sustains a fascinating career that includes both fusion and the serene soundscapes of Caruma. His veteran Dutch colleague Eric Ineke has been there and done that and regardless of the age of 73 succeeds at continuously deepening his drum style. The trio is completed by Massimo Cavalli, harmonically refined bass player from Italy with a forceful, resonant sound. These gentlemen met in Lisbon and have already cooperated with Dave Liebman on Is Seeing Believing? (note the continuity of sleeve design) in 2016 and released their debut album Triplicity in 2019.

Swell and challenging idea, Bill Evans project. Unanimous decision by Pinheiro Ineke Cavalli, which alertly, tastefully and full of surprising details adheres to the piano giant’s far-reaching democratic principle of doing justice to every personality in the band. Very “Evans” as well: refined lightness that almost evokes weightlessness, which is a feeling that the internationally diverse trio brings to the fore very well while retaining its own authoritative identity.

A spacious and ephemeral sound and an angular but lyrical style, tagged by sleazily bended notes, are Pinheiro’s strong points. He’s convincing without superfluous exclamation marks. With bountiful calmness of line. And truly inventive at deepening Leonard Bernstein’s Some Other Time and medley Turn Out The Stars/Time Remembered with melodically astute use of echo, tone and volume control. The latter features Pinheiro working off the increasingly intense free forms of Ineke and Cavalli. Electric sheep jump fences. Silver apples seek the rising sun. Munchkins talk to the wind. Time went back to the future. Seldom if ever have we heard Bill Evans interpreted this way.

The conversational figures of the boppish Peri’s Scope, mix of cubist chords and rustling drum patterns of Michel Legrand’s You Must Believe In Spring, marvelous alternation of pizzicato and arco bass during Very Early and Ineke’s melodious solo lessons of simplicity during Interplay – indeed a very interactive performance – are snappy details in support of a layered whole. Simultaneously homage and stepping-stone for a new chapter in its suspenseful book, Turn Out The Stars finds Pinheiro Ineke Cavalli at the top of its game.

Find Turn Out The Stars here.

Max On Wax


At the start of Max Bolleman’s career as studio engineer in the early ‘80s, impresario Wim Wigt requested him to bring 30.000 dollars to Rudy van Gelder in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. A stupendous amount of cash for the Timeless All-Stars of Cedar Walton and Bobby Hutcherson, among others, which Bolleman had to smuggle through customs and airport security stacked in his socks and underwear. The dumbfounded one-off runner eventually made the delivery and could not resist to “accidentally” take a peek under the piano, curious for the answer to the burning question of how the legendary RVG recorded the sound of the piano. RVG saw what happened and, to put it mildly, was not amused.

It is one of many entertaining anecdotes in I’m The Beat – De korte beentjes van Art Blakey (Art Blakey’s short legs, FM), Bolleman’s memoirs of his career as studio engineer from 1981 to 2009. Finally came around to reading Bolleman’s book from 2015. Well worth it.

Max Bolleman (1944) started as a drummer in the early ‘60s. He played with Louis van Dijk and Harry Verbeke and led his own groups Suite Four and Soul Max. Bolleman made notable appearances with Don Byas, Dexter Gordon, Clark Terry and René Thomas.

Running a business as optometrist – a profession he coincidentally shared with Van Gelder – Bolleman started working as engineer in his hometown of Monster, South-Holland in his home Studio 44. He eventually was engineer on more than 1500 sessions, mostly for Timeless and Criss Cross, the label of the late Gerry Teekens, another passionate self-made man with whom Bolleman developed a close relationship. “These guys from Holland” earned an outstanding reputation in New York, where Bolleman also regularly worked.

(From l. to r: I’m The Beat; Rudy van Gelder and Max Bolleman; Art Blakey & Freddie Hubbard at Studio 44)

I’m The Beat expresses the viewpoint that being a studio sound engineer is a grossly underrated tightrope walk with circumstances that not only requires skills and exceptional ‘ears’ but also a fair amount of psychological and social adroitness. Blood, sweat and tears. Generally, jazz musicians are a sensitive and headstrong lot – sometimes under the influence or, in the case of black musicians – awkward but with sound reason – anti-white. Perhaps it is the typically level-headed nature of the Dutch that makes them meet these demands exceptionally well. Furthermore, Bolleman does not hide his love for good-old fashioned analogue production, which requires risk-taking and improvisation, as opposed to the ‘fix and polish it with Pro Tools’ mentality of digital engineering. The Bolleman Sound equated with high-quality production, an acclaimed sound that induced many a musician to gasp that “everybody talks about the sound instead of my album.”

Bolleman’s tale reads like that of a kid in a candy store. He recounts many satisfying sessions with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Raney, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Phil Woods, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Harris, Kenny Barron, Willem Breuker, Brad Meldhau, Chris Potter and many more. At times, his memories are dryly comical: panicky chain-smoking Japanese producers, Al Cohn making crossword puzzles between tunes ánd solo’s. At times they’re downright hilarious: Freddie Hubbard being chased out of the studio with a knife by percussionist and wannabe trumpeter Jerry Gonsales, brass player Malte Burba recording three-feet long alphorn plus the sound of his well-balanced farts. And endearing: Bolleman being carried on the shoulders by one of his greatest heroes, the 64-year old Elvin Jones, happy with how the session turned out.

Then there are the short legs of his other big hero, Art Blakey. Good story. Great book.

Plenty of good places to start listening to Bolleman records, if you’re not already familiar with them. I, for one, am not done yet. I always loved the Chet Baker records on Timeless. Pure late career Baker, not always consistent but captured by Bolleman at his most intimate. Also the way Bolleman recorded piano trios is excellent. And I remember being surprised by the underrated Dutch tenor player Joe VanEnkhuizen – currently a top-notch accordion player – and former bandmate of Bolleman. Scroll through the Timeless and Criss Cross catalogue and feel your way from there.

Max Bolleman & Herbert Noord

I’m The Beat – of De Korte Beentjes van Art Blakey; Mijn Bestseller.nl, 2015.

Max Bolleman - I'm The Beat

Pictures: Bolleman archive.

Buy Sounds, the English translation of I’m The Beat, here.
And the original Dutch version on Bol.com here.

Feel Like Going Home


“Birdland had great people but it was like going to a theatre. Jimmy Ryan’s was like going to a nightclub. And the Five Spot was just like going home.” (Dan Wakefield)

Most of us probably share the sentiment of going to a hangout in our formative years that felt like home. Home for me was (is) Porgy & Bess (jazz) and the defunct Snugly (rock) down south in The Netherlands. What writer Dan Wakefield calls home happened to be the legendary jazz bar The Five Spot in the Bowery in New York City in the late ’50s. Situated at 5 Cooper Square, the little place was nothing special. Which made it very special. Every jazz fan knows the stories about the eponymous Thelonious Monk concerts with John Coltrane and the controversial performances of Ornette Coleman. About the records: Monk, Eric Dolphy, Kenny Burrell, Pepper Adams & Donald Byrd… all “At The Five Spot”.

The Five Spot, run by the Italian-American brothers Frank and Joe Termini, existed before 1956 and after 1962, when it was relocated to St. Marks Place. But the years 1956-62 sealed its reputation. Initially a hangout for Bohemians and poets, the Terminis started programming jazz at the advice of French horn player David Amram. First up was Cecil Taylor and his uncompromising developing experiments. Finally, Thelonious Monk put it on the map in 1957. I stumbled upon the June 2020 radio show Night Lights by David Johnson on WFIU in Indiana. David Amram and writer Dan Wakefield reflect on their associations with the Five Spot Café. Read here.

And at the tail end of the article, there is the link to the Bedford/Bowery article
Definitely a New York hang by Frank Mastropolo from 2014. Enlightening memories of bassist Buell Neidlinger, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson and French horn player David Amram.


(Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane and bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik; Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins, drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik; Five Spot Café at 5 Cooper Square)

(Charles Mingus with pianist Horace Parlan; Charles Mingus with Charles McPherson and Pepper Adams; saxophonist Ken McIntyre)

(Don Cherry & Ornette Coleman; tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin in the audience; and the highly unusual Bowery sight of Thelonious Monk and jazz maecenas Baroness “Pannonica” de Koenigswater)

The Five Spot Café finally closed down in 1967.