CD review: Joey Baron, Bram De Looze, Robin Verheyen – Mixmonk 2019: Videos, CD cover

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In the MiXMONK trio, born from a BOZAR commission on the occasion of the Thelonious Monk Centennial in 2017, the influence of this legendary pianist-composer does not translate into an obvious homage or an easy pastiche.

It is all the more apparent in the playful creativity and spontaneous experience that feeds the musical conversation between pianist Bram De Looze, saxophonist Robin Verheyen and formidable Joey Baron.

Without a doubt, Bram De Looze and Robin Verheyen appear more and more pronounced among the small number of Belgian musicians of international stature. They scored, both together as a duo and each on his own. Of Looze by his ensemble Septych and especially by the great success of the absolute solo Piano É Forte. Verheyen through his role in TaxiWars (with Tom Barman) and his great American quartet with Marc Copland, Drew Gress, Billy Hart. The new album MiXMONK promises to be a new big step in their adventures.

As for Joey Baron, that American drummer’s CV is a Who’s Who of contemporary jazz, to say the least! Apart from his projects as a leader, he has played a crucial role in such projects as John Zorn’s energy Masada, the nostalgic trio of Jakob Bro, and many other collaborations with the likes of Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie, Dave Douglas, Toots Thielemans, Fred Hersch and even David Bowie who said of him: ‘It scares the metronomes, so much he is implacable’.

After a successful European tour with live broadcasts on Radio Klara and Radio France, followed by a phenomenal concert at Jazz Middelheim 2018, MiXMONK hit the road with two tours and a debut album of the same name.

The album MiXMONK offers a mix of compositions by Monk and De Looze and Verheyen. It will be released on March 1, 2019 with a club preview in Singen (DE), followed by the big BOZAR release concert on March 23 as part of the Klara Festival. Baron, De Looze and Verheyen will then move by Bimhuis, Amsterdam (NL), Handelsbeurs, Ghent (BE), De Ververij, Ronse (BE), Duc Des Lombards, Paris (FR), the Transition Festival in Utrecht (NL), Vrijstaat O , Ostend (BE) and DeSingel, Antwerp (BE). A second tour is announced in December 2019, with concerts in Flagey, Brussels (BE), De Casino, Sint Niklaas (BE) and the Stranger Than Paranoia (NL) festival.

Joey Baron (1955) – One of the all time great and most in demand drummers and percussionists, Baron is widely known for his ground breaking work with the likes of John Zorn (Masada), Dave Douglas and Bill Frissell. In addition, he has covered an incredibely wide ranging musical territory including stints with Toots Thielemans, Al Jarreau, Fred Hersch, Carmen McRae, Joe Lovano, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Laurie Anderson, Chet Baker and even David Bowie who said of him: ‘Metronomes shake from fear, he is so steady. ’ Besides his hectic schedule, Baron maintains the long standing percussion duo with Robyn Schulkowsky recently acclaimed for their extended composition and performances of ‘Now you hear me’.

Bram De Looze (1991) – Bram De Looze is widely considered by fans and critics alike as the one up and coming European pianist destined for the big time. As a performer, composer and performing artist he has, at not even 30, marked strong points on the international scene with LABtrio, followed by his large ensemble Septych and the much acclaimed and widely toured breakthrough solo performance and recording of ‘Piano è Forte’. De Looze is the recipient of Belgium’s Rising Star Jazz Award and worldwide ambassador for the new and much talked about revolutionary Maene upright concert grand piano.

Robin Verheyen (1983) – A fully accomplished saxophonist and improviser, Verheyen leads several bands of his own, including the stellar quartet with Marc Copland, Drew Gress and Billy Hart as recently heard on ‘When The Birds Leave’. His fanbase reaches beyond jazz audiences through his role as co-leader and songwriter for the high-energy band TaxiWars with dEUS Frontman Tom Barman. As a classically trained composer Verheyen has been commissioned to write several genre defying larger works such as The Bach Riddles. In 2018 his career accomplishments deserved him Belgium’s prestigious Sabam Jazz Award.

THE ALBUM: MiXMONK: 3 virtuoso players mixing up the music of jazz legend Thelonious Monk with original compositions of their own.

Crossing borders and generations, the line-up of this acoustic trio features high profile American drummer Joey Baron and two rising star artists from Belgium, the duo of pianist Bram De Looze and New York based saxophonist Robin Verheyen.

MiXMONK certainly loves to simply play a beautiful Thelonious Monk ballad but is definitely not a repertory band out to re-create the great composer-pianists music by sticking to its letter. Instead, Baron, de Looze and Verheyen honor its idiosyncratic spirit through the playfulness and creativity of their all-over conversational approach. Making Monk sound normal is the last of their goals.

Initially commissioned by Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels as a feature for Monk’s Centennial Birthday Celebration, the trio never looked back since the sold out première in October 2017. With two successful European tours, a handful of major festival appearances and several radio broadcasts under their belt, MiXMONK is now ready for the release of their first eponymous album followed by international touring throughout 2019.

Joey Baron – Drams
Bram De Looze – Piano
Robin Verheyen – Saxophon

Картинки по запросу Joey Baron, Bram De Looze, Robin Verheyen - Mix Monk

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