knimes trio pt.1 (Envelope 2023)


Three different nationalities speak one language of progressive jazz.

knimes trio - pt.1


knimes (Matthijs de Ridder, drums), Hue Blanes (piano), Ignacio Santoro (bass)


on October 29 & 30, 2022 at Moon Music


as Envelope 003 in 2023

Track listing

Monday June 13th
Andrew’s Hill
Waltz For Gloria

Better get to steppin’ because the sophomore effort of knimes acoustic group is available in a limited edition of 150 items. knimes is Dutch drummer Matthijs de Ridder and pt.1 is the follow-up to vinyl release Adventures In Improvised Music from 2021. This time, knimes limits himself to the trio and CD format.

At 37 minutes (more or less, more about this later…), it’s short but sweet. Good for us, we’re fed up with albums of 60 minutes or more that, well-intentioned they may be, leave us picking our noses in Poughkeepsie and staring into the cracks of the ceiling at a crawling spider and wondering why the roof the roof the roof is on fire while all that’s happened is our brain’s fried from being exposed to the music of Kenny G. at the tender age of 3 and a half. Short is fine, as long as the repertoire is strong, and the tunes by knimes likely will have your stamp of approval.

The trio goes modal, swings free and moves into territory that was pioneered long ago by the progressive jazz masters, presenting their own original and fervent take on it. They add a little turpentine over hotbeds of post-bop, create moods that work as the musical equivalent of film noir and make us hum along with an uplifting melody or two. The title of Andrew’s Hill suggests where part of the trio’s inspiration stems from.

The tight-knit playing of knimes trio, solid bass by Argentinian Ignacio Santoro mixing with De Ridder’s strong-willed drums, shouldn’t come as a surprise, since here’s a working group that leads many a jam session evening at café Bebop in Delft. Australia-born Hue Blanes is a capricious pianist with a strong toucher. Never extravagantly loud, accurate but flexible, he’s somewhat the star gymnast that suddenly strays from his program on the balance beam and improvises surprising sidesteps and jumps.

This little album sounds awfully good, likely the result of knimes being a producer as well. This holds true for the bonustrack, which reveals itself when the last notes and dancing spiders have passed away. It’s a hip blend of hip hop and jazz, which for the occasion, and in sync with the likes of The Philadelphia Experiment, we will dub The Hague Experiment in honor of the jazz hub where these cats ran into each other. Running time has been stretched to approximately 43 minutes, Standard Long Player Time, which fits this interesting ‘neo post-bop’ trio like a glove.

knimes trio

Find pt.1 here.

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.