Wofert Brederode Quartet – Currents – ECM 2004, 58:13 **** [Release date: Sept. 9, 08]:
(Wolfert Brederode – piano; Claudio Puntin – clarinets; Mars Eilertsen – double bass; Samuel Rorher – drums)
Trained as both a classical and jazz musician, Dutch pianist Wolfert Brederode straddles the two genres with and easy grace. As with many ECM releases, especially of late, there’s plenty of space, a generally down-tempo feel, and creative use of silence. The mood is one of quiet anticipation. Mildly dissonant chords and surprising progressions add strength and tension, especially in the oddly titled “As You July Me” with its subtly disconcerting two-minute bass clarinet/piano intro. Brederode’s touch, while often delicate yet firm, can get downright percussive as on the middle section of “Ebb.”
Although nothing really swings, certain tunes have a more or less propulsive movement, especially the Nik Bartsch-like opener, “Common Fields.” The gracefully fluid “High & Low” and the heartbeat pulse of “With Them” and “Scarabee” maintain a steady beat while even the very slow numbers “Empty Rooms,” “Disiderata,” and “Barcelona” have their own internal rhythmic flow. The band zeros in on the haunted vibe, especially Claudia Puntin with his plaintive clarinet and Mars Eilertsen planting Charlie Haden-inspired bass bombs.
One gets the feeling that Currents represents only one side of a very talented and versatile player. It will be exciting to see where his next recorded venture takes Wolfert Brederode.
TrackList: Common Fields, Empty Room, As You July Me, High & Low, With Them, Forest Flower, Scarabee, Disiderata, Soil, Ebb, Barcelona
– Jan P. Dennis