Dick DeGraaf Quartet

Moving Target

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Dick de Graaf's Moving Target is well named, as the tenor saxophonist doesn't stick to one style during these 2006 sessions. Leading a quartet with pianist Jeroen van Vliet and bassist Guus Bakker (both of whom double on electric instruments) plus drummer Pascal Vermeer, the leader starts off very much in a post-bop setting with his potent "Cascade." Several of the leader's pieces were inspired by 20th century composer Béla Bartók, including the haunting "Stolen Dream" and the quirky swinger "Why Birds Always Sing" (the latter with de Graaf switching to soprano sax). Van Vliet's hand-muting of the piano strings in the opening to "Handiclap" gives the piece the feeling of a kalimba (African thumb piano), while this percolating composition never loses steam. The switch to electric instruments is a bit uneven, as the lively "Démasqué" works well but "Climate Change" sounds like warmed-over Weather Report from the 1970s. Still, this is a commendable outing by the veteran musician.

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