NEW RELEASE – GOVREEN/SEVER QUARTET
Israelian/Slovenian/Dutch progressive jazz collective congregates in Amsterdam. Their promising debut album Maya oozes the proverbial metropolitan swagger.
Aleksander Sever (vibraphone), Floris Kappeyne (piano), Omer Govreen (bass), Wouter Kühne (drums)
on June 4 & 5, 2021 at Lullabye Factory, Amsterdam
as JMI 008 in 2022
Some musicians eschew composing and are satisfied with playing standards at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, some colleagues arguably try too hard at writing originals because it appears to be a prerequisite for the modern jazz artist. This is only a matter of outside pressure. Of course, it’s only the inherent drive that counts. Amsterdam-based bassist Omer Govreen and vibraphonist Aleksander Sever convincingly go their own way. They have written a fresh and suspenseful progressive jazz set channeling a spirit, as they state, ‘of supernatural powers and magic’.
Govreen/Sever Quartet also features pianist Floris Kappeyne and drummer Wouter Kühne. Their seldom-heard vibes and piano combination is most welcome, neatly linking classical undercurrents to a spontaneous flood of moods. Maya positively leans towards the melancholic pieces of unsung hero Walt Dickerson. Bits of the daring interaction of Bobby Hutcherson and Andrew Hill shine through, if you will. Like the music of those adventurers of lore, Maya’s dynamic sound is the consequence of an analogue recording process. Analogue, y’all. Amen.
So much for comparisons. The band’s got a rugged, serene and mysterious beauty all her own. Heal is a beautiful melody with the tenderness of a lullaby. It reminds me of sweet and sour songs like Gene Lees’s Grandfather’s Waltz, which is high recommendation. Whoever assumes that he will fall asleep is mistaken. Slowly but surely, the tension is heightened near the end.
As far as energy and tension is concerned, Inwoods is nonpareil. Kappeyne paints with his piano notes, mixing moody pastels with Marslit reds and pineapple yellows and coming up with a sparkling canvas. Sever’s spirited vibraphone playing brings the song to boiling point, underlined by recalcitrant drums rolls. Comforting in the solid beat of Govreen, Kühne goes way out, freely counterattacking Inwood’s gritty rhythmic flow. I’m really impressed by Kühne’s current playing style (and sound!) and read somewhere that he has spend time in NYC. Did he perhaps enjoy an afternoon or two with Ari Hoenig?
The lovely slow piece Tired, surprisingly underscored by drum march figures, is another highlight of a record that features approximately 30 seconds of straight swing, just so you know what Maya, a mature album full of intriguing songs from a bunch of high-level cats, is about.
Find Maya here.