The Dam Jawn Master St. (Challenge 2023)


Amsterdam-based international young lion crew immersed itself in the unique Philly vibe.

The Dam Jawn - Master St.


Frank Groenendijk (tenor saxophone), Martin Diaz (alto saxophone), Dick Oatts (alto saxophone), Joan Fort (guitar), Philip Lewin (bass), Nitin Parree (drums)


on April 15, 2022 at Boyer Recording Studio, Philadelphia and May 4, 2022 at Chris’s Jazz Café, Philadelphia


as CR-73559 in 2023

Track listing

Master St.
Racoon’s Fight
Send In The Clowns
NY’s Hectic Nature
Darn That Dream

When you make jazz music in Philly, you’re standing on the shoulders of a long line of giants who were born or grew up in Philly. It includes Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Buddy Greco, Ray Bryant, Bill Doggett, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Philly Joe Jones, Pat Martino, Randy and Michael Brecker, Joey DeFrancesco, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Christian McBride. Most Philadelphians, either legend or contemporary class act, that I have talked to always have spoken fondly of the scene, which is receptive and open-minded. It’s also the city of Philly soul and hip-hop and there’s a striking amount of cross-fertilization.

The Dam Jawn is a quintet of Dutch, Spanish and German cats that are part of the scene in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Tenorist Freek Groenendijk, altoist Martin Diaz, guitarist Joan Fort, bassist Philip Lewin and drummer Nitin Parree bonded together in The City Of Brotherly Love and stayed there for half a year. Dick Oatts, superb veteran from the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, sideman to Joe Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Lovano, is a great and inspiring teacher who also left his mark in The Netherlands. He’s currently artistic head of the jazz studies department of Temple University in Philadelphia.

Inspired by the Philly scene, The Dam Jawn produced a neo-traditional record appropriately called Master St. ‘Jawn’ is Philly slang and the stayovers share the use of it with Christian McBride’s New Jawn and linked it with ‘Dam’, closest pronunciation ‘dum’, from Dam Square, which lies in the heart of the Dutch nation’s capital city. It is a sprightly outfit that finds a spot somewhere between The Jazz Messengers and the post-bop of Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter, et. al. Mutually inspiring alto sax solos, suave and swinging tenor sax, a striking guitar tone, all this pushed forward by a solid bassist and a drummer that spiritedly cues in changes and solos. Not much left to be desired from a young and promising jazz quintet.

The modal-tinged Venango is a standout tune among the band’s bunch of hip originals, a burner no less. Send In The Clowns gets a long and continuously energetic treatment. The classic ballad Darn That Dream, recorded at Chris’s Jazz Café, where else, is a vehicle for Dick Oatts, who shines brightly.

Damn, that Dam Jawn crew’s cookin’.

The Dam Jawn

Find Master St. at Challenge Records here.